With the NBA Finals having recently concluded, Milwaukee Bucks' great Giannis Antetokounmpo became an instant role model to fans all over with his stunning 50-point performance. Not every grand champion sparks such envy and inspiration, however. For instance, the competitive eating icon Joey Chestnut has been a headline-making hot dog devourer for 14 years now on the grand scale, but I can only imagine how few people would be willing to take on such food-related challenges after hearing about how his body handles the aftermath.
By and large, Joey Chestnut's post-competition issues aren't wildly out of the ordinary, but stomach problems obviously don't have to be exceedingly rare in order to bring rampant misery. Here's one description he gave to Insider that a lot of people can probably picture without too much trouble:
Most people relate to feeling really bloated and tired after Thanksgiving. It's kind of like that, except really, really bad.
Some of the biggest stomach aches in the world no doubt happen on Thanksgiving, as well as the days after the holiday, considering how much food is prepared for the family-friendly celebration. Just picture that stomach-distending and fatigue-provoking misery, only spread throughout the year, and not always with turkey gravy involved. (Unless, of course, you keep a spare jar of turkey gravy around for emergencies.)
Immediately after the food-eating competitions are over, Joey Chestnut suffers from a big case of the food sweats. And given the massive amount of processed meat going into his system, those sweats will more often than not take on the smell and sticky consistency of hot dog water. To the point where his girlfriend has commented on the change in odors, and other people can pick up the hot dog scent when nearby.
After the sweats (and whatever interviews he's responsible for) comes a big nap, which honestly sounds like the best part of the process by far. Chestnut said he's usually thirsty afterward, as well, but makes sure to hunker down and sleep as soon as possible after a competition. Which then leads into the inevitable tummy troubles. Saying the rumblings usually start around four hours after his gigantic meals have concluded, Chestnut described how he prepares for such a vast caloric exodus:
It's natural. If you eat a lot of food, you're going to go to the bathroom. . . . My body knows that it's going to be digesting a massive amount of food really quickly, so I make sure it's easy to digest. Most people, when you eat food, it takes nine to 10 hours to really digest it. After I do a cleanse, things are moving quick.
One can only assume Joey Chestnut hits the store in advance for excess toilet paper, napkins and pore cleansers to prepare for his hot dog-eating contests, his YouTube videos and other stomach-bursting food challenges. And that he keeps some mints and cologne nearby for those days when everything but his thoughts smells like Nathan's.
Joey Chestnut won the 2021 Hot Dog Eating Contest in July 2021, though the telecast was a controversial one, considering the feed cut out right as Chestnut was securing his victory. Maybe the cameras got a little sick from all the hot dog smells.