- Joey Chestnut told Insider he once got frostbite during an ice-cream sandwich eating contest.
- The legendary competitive eater had blisters and freezer burn all over his fingers.
- Chestnut set a world record that day by eating 25 ice-cream sandwiches in six minutes.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Legendary competitive eater Joey Chestnut has conquered everything from hot dogs and chicken wings to ribs and kimchi.
But Chestnut — who recently set a world record by eating 76 hot dogs in 10 minutes — told Insider that the contest that sent him to the doctor’s office was actually ice-cream sandwiches.
Chestnut broke the world record as he scarfed down 25.25 Baked Bear ice-cream sandwiches in six minutes during the 2017 San Diego competition.
But the fierce contest left his fingers covered in freezer burn and blisters.
“The way I was holding the ice-cream sandwiches, I’d squeeze them really hard and shove them in my face,” Chestnut recalled. “And I ended up getting frostbite on my fingers because I was touching the ice cream. I went to the doctor’s and they said, ‘Yeah, it’s frostbite.'”
“I felt like garbage after I ate so much ice cream,” Chestnut added. “I was shivering after the contest.”
Chestnut’s body is used to weathering rough conditions after an intense eating competition
People told Chestnut that his sweat reeked of hot dogs after he competed in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.
“Most people relate to feeling really bloated and tired after Thanksgiving. It’s kind of like that, except really, really bad,” Chestnut told Insider. “Right after the contest, I’m sweating like a madman. It takes two days to really start to feel normal.”
But hot dog eating competitions are a piece of cake for Chestnut, as are chicken wings.
“Any food I love is really, really easy,” he said. “The worst foods to eat are the ones I’m not familiar with at all. A lot of what I do is building a tolerance, and if my body’s not familiar with the food, it’s not comfortable taking in a massive amount of food really quickly. It’s like I’m in an argument with my body. It’s like my body is revolting.”
Some of Chestnut’s more difficult competitions have included cow brain tacos (he set a world record after eating 54 in eight minutes), as well as kimchi.
“That was one where my body was like, what are you doing?” he said of the kimchi contest.
But Chestnut said he would do any of the tough food competitions again, even the ice-cream sandwiches.
“Runners, they look like they’re going to die at the end of a marathon, but they still love to run,” he said. “Even though it makes me feel like garbage, I love something about it so much.”