A Researcher Believes We'll Reach Human Limit Of Eating Hot Dogs

84 in 10 minutes is believed to be the absolute peak.

July 15, 2020
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It's been a question since the dawn of time, "What are human beings capable of?" Every single day, we seem to go a little bit further, or a little bit higher. 100 years ago, Usain Bolt's 9.58 second 100m record or a sub 2-hour marathon was though to be absolutely ridiculous, yet here we are. You might think the sky is the limit, and we'll just keep getting better and better.

Just like the Sports Science show on ESPN, we seek to find the absolute peak of what we can accomplish. But we're not talking about running, or football, or even golf. We're talking about eating hot dogs.

Earlier this month, American comptetive-eating star Joey Chestnut broke his own record in the annual Nathan's Hot Dogs 4th Of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, shoving down 75 hot dogs and buns in just 10 minutes. This inspired one researcher to ask the most important question: "How many hot dogs could a human eat?" The answer as he sees it: 84.

James Smoliga, a sports medicine specialist at High Point University in North Carolina who dug through the numbers calls that a "Usain Bolt-type performance", in eating hot dogs. This idea is based off data from 39 years of the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. His cites the 'evolution' of competitive eaters, who used to be just big, hungry dudes, but now they've become dedicated, trained, specialized eating machines. 

James says the number of 84 should hold up unless a "new type" of competitor shows up, like someone with gigantism or a metabolic condition. And in case you're curious, the 84 limit isn't about how many hot dogs the human body can fit, it's more about how many hotdogs the human body can physically swallow and/or chew within a 10 minute period.

He also says that humans can eat faster than bears and coyotes, which is neat I guess.