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Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest winner Joey Chestnut quotes the following:

"I’ve slowly made my body adapt and understand what’s going to happen," Chestnut said about the repetition of his training sessions, which sees him fast for three days and drink gallons of water before binging in a practice contest.

I assume drinking gallons of water makes room for more food, but I would think the water would displace any room made until released from the body.

In which ways does drinking gallons of water prepare one for a competitive eating contest?

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This is known as water training.

Training with water far before an eating competition is very common. The act of chugging a gallon of water quickly over a long period of time will indeed stretch your stomach. If the competitor does this regularly before a competition, it will help him/her fit more food in their stomach.

As a side note, this is not recommended by doctors as it is very dangerous. Drinking a large amount of water in a short period of time can dilute the electrolytes in your blood, which can lead to a loss of heart, muscle and brain function.

Quotes from competitors on water training...

"Lerman, 42, says he trains every day to stay in top shape. Like most competitive eaters, he drinks massive amounts of water, more than a gallon at a time, to stretch his stomach. Only rookies think that fasting helps."


"Champion eater Eric "Badlands" Booker, who has been training by drinking 4-1/2 litres of water in three minutes, twice a day, for two weeks.'It helps elasticate the stomach.'"

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