Don’t you just love hot dogs? Pork, chicken or plant-based. There’s one for every taste. But one is never enough. You always want to eat one more. And another. Wait, are you going to eat one hundred of them? Could your body even fit that many hot dogs? How long would it take you to stuff yourself with all of them? And what would happen to you if you met this challenge?
According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, in the summer season, Americans eat 818 hot dogs every second. That makes for 20 billion hot dogs consumed in the U.S. every year. And yes, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council is a real thing, in case you were wondering. Scientists have calculated that a human could eat up to 84 hot dogs in 10 minutes.
Theoretically. Nobody has ever eaten that many that fast. The current record is 75, and Joey Chestnut set it at a hot dog eating contest. Do you think you could break it? Well, for this challenge, you won’t have to eat all of them in 10 minutes. Instead, you’d have the entire day to complete your hot dog mission. So you might have a chance. Unless you start puking.
Before we go any further, you should know what you’re getting into. Hot dogs may be delicious. But they aren’t the healthiest meal choice. Even if we take out the bun and condiments, they still have too much saturated fat and salt and too many preservatives. To give you an idea, you’d be getting 2000% of your daily recommended salt intake.
Almost 100 times more saturated fat than you should. This could raise your cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. Still think you’re healthy enough to take on this hot dog challenge? Okay, okay, I can see that nothing can stop your enthusiasm.
So you wake up to this great cholesterol adventure. It’s 8 a.m., and you have about 16 hours to eat 100 delicious hot dogs with condiments of your choice. You’d spread this adventure out by eating one hot dog every 10 minutes. This would help your body get used to the amount of food.
As the hours went by and you continued to eat hot dogs, your stomach would start to stretch and push all your organs around. Two hours in, you’d be on your 12th hot dog. At noon, you’d have hot dog number 25. And by 1 p.m., you’d be stuffed with 30 of these things. You wouldn’t feel great, and you haven’t eaten half of them yet.
All those hot dogs inside your stomach would cause a traffic jam in your intestine. Head for the couch. You’re about to have some serious stomach pain. Are you sitting down? Great, because all that salt would make you dizzy and give you a major headache. At this point, your body would start working overtime to process all that food.
Your gut and pancreas would release hormones to help regulate your skyrocketing blood sugar level. Your heart would beat faster. You’d feel hot and sweaty. Your stomach would be full of gas. Ugh. You’d be about to give up. But you keep going. The feeling of exhaustion and nausea would slow you down. So you would have to eat the rest of the hot dogs faster.
By now, even the look of them would make you want to throw up. And what is this horrible heartburn? I bet you’ve never had it so bad in your life. But because you decided to stuff yourself with more hot dogs than you can take, your stomach would produce hydrochloric acid. And that acid would break down in the esophagus, causing this burning feeling.
It’s midnight, and you’re almost there. You can barely eat. But you’re determined to finish the challenge. After your 100th hot dog, you’d be exhausted. Forget about dessert. You’d likely pass out right away. And even though the challenge is over, it would take a few days to recover. You could be severely constipated, or you could experience the worst diarrhea in your life.
You’d be dehydrated too. After all, you consumed 31,600 calories in one day. That’s 15 times your recommended caloric intake. You would likely survive, but probably never want to eat another hot dog ever again. Our bodies aren’t meant to digest this much food in one day. Sorry if I ruined hot dogs for you.
- “How Hot Dogs Are Made | NHDSC”. 2022. hot-dog.org.
- “What’s In Your Wiener? Hot Dog Ingredients Explained”. Katherine Harmon. 2011. blogs.scientificamerican.com.
- “Hot Dog Fast Facts | NHDSC”. 2022. hot-dog.org.
- “What Hot Dogs Do To Your Body”. Mahita Gajanan. 2017. time.com.
- “Are There Risks Associated With Eating Too Much Protein?”. 2022. healthline.com.