Dr. Connor O'Brien, Stanford: "There are a few components to what limits your ability to eat fast. First is the size and movement of your esophagus. It's 2-3cm wide and about 18-24in long -- this size is insufficient for accommodating 50 hot dogs. But, if you eat large quantities over time you can stretch out your esophagus. Second: On average, your body takes 1-2 minutes to move solid food from your mouth to your stomach. To make this more rapid you can soften food, like sticking buns in water or lemonade.
"A third limitation is the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). In order to allow food to pass to your stomach, you would want this to relax. Repetitive, rapid eating can induce a laxity in the muscle. Second, rapid succession swallowing causes progressive relaxation of the LES. Third, there are foods that cause this to relax, which classically cause acid reflux -- things like chocolate, coffee, and spicy food.
"A fourth limitation would be the size of your stomach -- you can teach your stomach to relax in anticipation of a meal. Eating small amounts of food or drinking water can cause "anticipatory relaxation" of the stomach. Even things like smelling food can cause this. This is why restaurants serve bread prior to a meal.
"The fifth and final thing you need to overcome is the nausea mechanism. There are medications that could help prevent throwing up by suppressing the central nervous system's stimulus to vomit. These medications generally inhibit serotonin in the brain. Ondansetron is one example. There are antiemetics around the house that could be used, but these generally work on other nausea mechanisms that may not benefit a competitive eater. One classic example is ginger ale. You could also use dramamine over the counter."
Matt "Megatoad" Stonie, Competitive Eater: "It really comes down to two things. Mentally, you have to disregard any notion that you've built up about eating. People put stuff in their mouth, chew, and then swallow. If you want to eat competitively, you've just gotta focus on swallowing. [Editor's Note: ...] Chew a little bit here and there, but you have to take the traditional eating mentality out of it. The other thing is using plenty of liquids to chase the food down. It goes down your esophagus easier. It's like... um... lubrication."