Eating contests, whether you watch or participate, are not for the faint of heart. A professional eater can pack enough food to feed a family (including extended parents) in minutes. Some competitors focus on speed, while others train for quantity. At the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, held annually in Coney Island on July 4, courage in both categories is required for victory.
Nathan’s is home to the world’s most famous eating contest, but it’s not the only place where insatiable eaters are breaking records. Pop a Tums and read about the awesome competitive food achievements below.
Lea Shutkevera competitive eater from the UK, won this record in 2022. She devoured 19 chicken nuggets in 60 seconds as part of the Italian TV show Guinness World Records Lo Show Dei Record. She also holds the record for the most chicken nuggets eaten in three minutes with 1.7 pounds.
Even competitive eaters have been known to follow dietary restrictions. Vegan Speed Eater MikeJack of Canada broke several plant-based food records, including fastest time eat a head of lettuce with a time of one minute 31.053 seconds achieved in 2021.
Some diet-related feats require a high tolerance for pain. In 2022, American competitive eater Gregory Foster ate three hot-in-the-mouth Carolina Reaper peppers in 8.72 seconds.
In 2018, American competitive eater Michelle Lesco consumed a record 2448 grams of mayonnaise in three minutes. This is the equivalent of about 3.5 jars.
Isaac Harding-Davis from Australia ate 806 grams, or more than two tubs, of Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream in one minute in 2017. According to Guinness World Recordshe broke the record despite having “mild symptoms of brain freeze”.
Kathryn Ratcliffe from the UK broke a record by consuming 175 Smarties sweets with chopsticks in three minutes in 2013. She is also up for the most bizarrely specific food record recognized by Guinness.
In 2014, Philip Joseph Santoro successfully completed a jelly donut in 11.41 seconds with his hands behind his back. Although it looks messy, Santoro’s performance was surprisingly neat (lip licking was forbidden).
German competitive eater André Ortolf broke a world record in 2017 by drinking 483 grams (or more than a pound) of soup in 30 seconds. He also has scratched records for gourmet things that don’t go down so easily, like ketchup, mustard and lemon juice.
We can’t end this list without acknowledging the most famous eating contest of all time. Competitive Eating Legend Joey Chestnut set the current record last year by devouring 76 hot dogs in 10 minutes. He will have another chance to improve his numbers in this year’s competition on July 4, 2022.