The World Of Competitive Eating
There is a lot of debate over whether competitive eating is a sport or not. Some people argue that it is simply a display of consuming large amounts of food and has nothing to do with athleticism. Others believe that the competitors have to have incredible discipline and agility to eat as fast as they can while avoiding indigestion.
So, what is the truth? Is competitive eating a sport or not? Let’s take a closer look at the evidence.
What Is Competitive Eating?
Competitive eating is a contest in which people eat as much food as possible in a short amount of time. It’s a performance sport with a twist: The competitors want to see who can consume the most food in the shortest time.
The competition is judged by how much food is consumed, how much is flung, and how much is left on the plate.
Why Care About Competitive Eating?
There’s something raw and primal about eating. It’s a universal activity that brings people together, whether eating at a communal table or sharing a meal in a restaurant. Eating competitions offer an intimate glimpse into people’s appetites.
The nature of the competition — who can eat the most, who can eat the fastest, what happens if something goes wrong — is endlessly fascinating. Eating competitions have also become a way for people with disabilities to demonstrate their abilities and interact with the community in a way that’s often more authentic than mainstream able-bodied events.
Different Types Of Competitive Eaters
There are different competitive eaters, and the contests themselves reflect the eating styles. The “safest” eaters eat the most familiar foods carefully and slowly, and the “extreme” eaters risk everything to try to eat the most.
These two competitive eaters are often separated into “male” and “female” categories. There are also “vegetarian” and “non-vegetarian” eaters. Vegetarians are forbidden to eat meat, so they must rely on fruits and vegetables to score points. Non-vegetarians can eat most meats to get bonus points for anything offal, organ meats, and other off-the-menu foods.
Is Competitive Eating Right For Me?
When it comes to competitive eating, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Some people thrive on the pressure and excitement of competition, while others find it too stressful. Ultimately, whether or not to compete in eating contests comes down to personal preference.
If you enjoy challenges and have a strong stomach, then competitive eating may be right for you. However, if you’re someone who gets easily overwhelmed or anxious, it’s probably best to steer clear. Regardless of your decision, always remember to eat responsibly and never overindulge – your health is always more important than winning a contest.
Top Tips For Competitive Eaters
Practice, Practice, Practice: Train as much as possible when you first want to compete. This is a skill that takes time and practice to become good at.
Eat Breakfast: People tend to eat more when hungry than when full. A small breakfast before competing can help you eat more throughout the day.
Eat Light: Two hours before competing, eat a light meal to help you avoid water retention and keep your stomach empty and free to react as it should.
Drink Water: Before competing, drink a glass of water or a sports drink to cleanse your stomach and prepare it for the contest.
Don’t Eat After Midnight: Eating large amounts of food in the hours before a contest can cause water retention and bloating in your stomach.
Get Support: Family and friends can support you and help you prepare for the competition.
Get Down & Dirty. The nature of competitive eating contests is that everything is messy. There will be spills. There will be crumbs. And there will be crud. This is just the way it is. You have to be prepared for it, which means bringing a change of clothes.
Keep a Schedule: If you plan to eat during a particular time or day of the week, follow a schedule that will help you eat more and avoid binge eating.
Prepare For Psychological Challenges: Competitive eaters will push themselves to eat more, throw it up, and clean up messes during a contest. This is a psychological challenge as well as a physical one.
Don’t Be Afraid To Adjust: Adjust as necessary and move on if something goes wrong during a contest. You can’t let one mishap make you afraid to eat at a contest in the future because of the personal and financial investment required.
Is Competitive Eating A Sport?
As bizarre as it may sound to some, competitive eating is most definitely a sport. It takes practice, discipline, and training like any other “traditional” sport out there. Even professional competitive eaters make a living off of their craft.
So the next time you watch someone down an entire pizza in under 10 minutes, don’t write them off as just another crazy person–they might be a professional athlete!