Do Competitive Eaters Vomit After Each Competition? | Scary Truth of Competitive Eating

Sometimes, you get so hungry that you feel you can eat ten hot dogs at once. However, you might actually eat just three to five. Try to eat more than that, and your gag reflex will force you to vomit. We have seen competitive eaters consuming over fifty hot dogs in 10 minutes. They must have felt terrible after that. So, do competitive eaters vomit after each competition?


The answer is both yes and no. Competitive eaters do not vomit intentionally after the competitions. A competitor cannot vomit or throw up consumed foods to win in the completion. But if their stomach stops contracting, they will feel nausea and vomit. 

In this article, I will explain why competitive eaters do not vomit. You will also know how they train their body. 

Why Do Competitive Eaters Not Vomit After Competitions?

Image Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer

Most professional competitive eaters will never intentionally vomit the consumed food during the competition. This is because they have trained themselves to be like that. However, some competitors may end up vomiting when they have overeaten more than their capacity. 

Interestingly, many competitors even say that they feel normal after eating pounds of food in a few minutes. In fact, not vomiting is a part of their training. 
During the competition, they have to keep eating as much as possible. Contestants are closely monitored to make sure they eat all the food. If a competitor throws up even a small piece of food at any moment of the competition, they will get out of the contest. 

Moreover, they also have to hold up the food after a specific time of competition. Vomiting right after the match will also get them disqualified

In the food-eating contest, vomiting is called ‘reversal”. At competitions like ESPN and Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, vomiting is called “reversal of fortune” as competitors lose thousands of dollars because of it. 

Therefore, serious competitors train their stomachs to hold the food without feeling nauseated. The training also helps them keep the food inside even after the competition. Besides, intentionally throwing up this much food is uncomfortable and weakens the body. So, it is better to digest the food instead of vomiting it. 

Training Facts of Competitive Eating

Generally, a group of people feels horrified seeing people eating pounds of hot dogs and hamburgers in just ten minutes. Others may find the competition interesting, and even want to join the contest. 

They think eating tasty food for free and winning thousands of dollars is a quick way to get rich. But things are not as easy as it seems. In fact, unregulated training and eating can even cause death because of choking on food. 

The contest is not for everyone. Swallowing 10 to 20 hotdogs and burgers seems overbearing, let alone 60 of them!  

There are many facts about competitive eaters that can amaze a regular person. Let us learn some of them.

Competitors Train Go through Risky Training

Yes, competitive eaters have to train their bodies to be fit to take part in the eating competition. However, their training does not involve going to the gym and doing squats and sit-ups to work on the abdomen muscles. Rather, the task is to stretch their stomach to hold more food. 

If you think the competitors eat solid foods to train their stomachs, you are wrong. To do that, a competitive eater has to consume a huge amount of liquid. 
Not just water, a contestant may drink sugary fluid like juice, milk, and soft drinks. Drinking fluid helps their stomachs to consume more food than usual. They may even have to drink up to two and a half gallons of liquid in just about five minutes! 

Drinking fluids in large amounts also helps the competitors to train their throats so that they can swallow a large amount of food and not choke on them. They do not have much time to chew the food properly during the competition. They mostly have to swallow as much as they can. 

So, competitors often train themselves by gulping a mouthful of liquid at once. It can put a lot of pressure on the throat. This way, they prepare their bodies to eat a huge amount of solid food in the contests. 

They Work On Their Jaw Muscles

The training does not end just by drinking gallons of water. The contestants also have to work on their jaws. Their jaws help them chew the food faster. Hence, it is necessary to train the jaw to keep it strong. 
Before the competitions, contestants chew at least five to six gums at a time to strengthen their jaw muscles. Some of them even chew on silicone gums recommended by doctors.  

Competitive Eaters Control Their Gag Reflex

Winning in the competition depends on mainly two things: your stomach’s food holding capability and your power to control your gag reflex. Competitive eaters cannot have a poor gag reflex. Otherwise, they will end up vomiting, which will disqualify them. 

Many competitors brush their tongues far back their throats as much as possible in both empty and full stomachs to learn to control nausea and vomiting. They also train their mind not to think about their feelings when they eat the food. Both techniques proved effective during the competitions. 

Many Competitors Follow Chipmunk Strategy 

 Image Source: Newsweek

The chipmunk strategy is popular among many competitive eaters. It is a technique to put a large amount of food in their mouth at once and store it in their cheeks. If used right, the strategy can let competitors get ahead of others. 

Through this strategy, a competitor can store the food in their mouth and take off food more from the plate. They fill their cheeks with food as much as possible. When the competition is about to end, a competitor has to finish the stored food in 20 to 30 seconds. Therefore, competitors must be sure about following the chipmunk strategy in the competition. 

They Practice Breathing Control

Controlling breathing is also essential for the eating competition. Taking full breaths can take time, which can affect your timing. Therefore, contestants practice breathing techniques before the competitions. 

It is important to find a rhythm so that competitors do not get out of breath while eating. Many of them do regular swimming and breathing exercises. They have found these exercises useful for controlling breathing during the eating contest. 

Why Are Most of The Competitive Eaters In Good Shape? 

Depending on the amount and type of food, a winner may have to consume 22,000 to 30,000 calories in the competition! So, naturally, they should gain a huge amount of fat, right? 

But most competitors are in top shape. They rarely have any extra fat in their body. But how do they maintain their weight?

Well, the answer is they burn their extra calories through physical exercises and workouts. Besides, they regulate their calorie intake before and after the competition. Burning the calories is necessary not just for their health but also for the competition. 

Fat around the stomach and rib cage will restrict food consumption. The stomach will not have much space to stretch. Therefore, competitors always try their best to stay in shape by reducing the amount of fat in their bodies. 


So, do competitive eaters vomit after each competition? They try their best not to vomit. Whether or not they will throw up depends on their training and reflexes. For that, they train well before the eating contests to hold such a large amount of food. 

Header Image Source: USA today

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