James Smoliga is a sports medicine specialist at a university in North Carolina. He has analyzed past data of 39 years pertaining to the "Nathan’s Hotdog Eating" contest and made use of mathematical modeling to project trends. He concluded that a competitor could devour a maximum of 84 hotdogs in the stipulated 10 minutes. Joey “Jaws” Chestnut has already set a world record of 75 in the 2020 event and is now nine short of reaching the limit of human performance as identified by Smoliga. Theoretically, that is. Observers compare this contest with sports events like the four-minute mile and the two-hour marathon.

These appeared to be impossible at one point in time, but someone broke the myth. The Nathan’s Hotdog Eating contest is an annual affair held on the Fourth of July.

The Guardian says the fast-food company, Nathan’s Famous has retained the composition of the hot dogs and size ever since inception for the last 104 years. James Smoliga is a sports medicine specialist at a university in North Carolina. He has analyzed past data pertaining to the annual contest held at Coney Island, New York and he used mathematical modeling to project trends. That way he made a valid comparison between those who compete to bag the honor of devouring the maximum number of the food item.

Normally, in any sport, competitors try to improve upon their performances until they reach a plateau. In the words of James Smoliga, “Hotdog eating has definitely reached that second plateau.”

Interesting history of Nathan’s Hotdog eating contest

In the early years, the honor of eating the maximum number of hot dogs usually went to “big obese guys” who felt themselves to be lucky on the day.

That is the observation of Smoliga. The Guardian reveals the winner in 1984 was a 17-year-old West German judo team member who weighed 130lb. The best part is that he had never eaten a hot dog before that day and he ended up eating nine-and-a-half of them to win the contest. Within a short time, the Japanese came on the scene and by the 1990s, they had changed the complexion of the contest.

In 2001, one of them ate 50 hotdogs to set a new record. As Smoliga says: “It wasn’t just people with big appetites any more.”

Competitors go to any extent to win the hot dog contest

The Guardian describes the extremes contestants go to in order to win the trophy. They followed specific training programs to enhance their capabilities. These included various methods like yoga and breathing exercises that could help to expand the capacity of their stomachs. Joey “Jaws” Chestnut is the winner of 2020 and, it seems, he had undergone a training program for three months to ensure a win. In the opinion of Smoliga, his theoretical maximum of 84 should hold true unless something extraordinary happens. Everyone wants to make a name for himself and winning the hot dog eating contest can make them Celebrities.

This hotdog eating contest is unique

According to Newsweek, a study indicates competitive eaters might have nearly reached the human limit for the number of hotdogs one can eat in 10 minutes. It pertains to a unique competition where contestants have a time limit to devour as many hotdogs as they can. A study conducted by James Smoliga, an expert associated with the Department of Physical Therapy at a university in North Carolina, has put a ceiling on the maximum possible number within 10 minutes.

It boils down to the capacity of one’s stomach and its ability to expand. He also looked at how much humans and carnivores who live on land can eat. His estimate is that a normal person can eat 832 grams (1.83 lbs) of matter over a period of 10 minutes.

He says the amount of food eaten in a given period by humans is comparable to that consumed by grizzly bears but less than that of grey wolves. In conclusion, the expert says: "In summary, data from hot dog eating competitions suggest that there is stunning plasticity in gut capacity."