“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” That’s an excellent quote from politician Newt Gingrich which definitely applies well to the sport of competitive eating and food challenges. Most people put forth so much effort into planning and training for their food challenges, along with figuring out proper strategy for during the challenge, that they totally forget to consider what they need to do after the challenge is over. Just because you either won or lost the challenge, that doesn’t mean that everything is done. Especially if you plan on continuing on and trying more challenges in the future, once you open your empty mouth in victory or once that final second ticks off the clock to signify your loss, you then begin RECOVERING from the eating challenge. You most likely took in a few extra calories through both your training and the actual challenge, and those excess calories don’t just magically disappear. You need to either do a few additional workouts the next week or you need to lower your calorie intake for a few days to burn off that excess fat you gained. All of that food sitting in your belly doesn’t just magically leave in a few hours either. There are special tips to help you recover from both quantity food challenges and spicy challenges.

Before you even worry about recovering though, you need to help clean up your table, tip your server(s), and thank the restaurant for hosting the challenge. There are two ways that you should thank the restaurants that provide you with a very positive challenge experience. You can verbally speak to the severs, chefs, managers, and owner(s) that are there and thank them. You can also thank them in a more helpful way by promoting the restaurant and challenge to your friends and family online. Along with everything else, you need to think back and analyze how you did during the challenge. Critique yourself and figure out ways that you can improve your training, strategy, and technique for future challenges. To help you understand what you need to do after your food challenge, follow this checklist which provides links to those particular articles that explain each task:

What To Do After The Food Challenge Is Over

1) Clean up your table and area – We did not add an entire separate article on this, but I just wanted to stress the importance of cleaning up after yourself, and especially if you made a mess. Your server and the restaurant staff will take care of it of course, but please show some respect for the people who just helped you by doing most of the cleanup yourself. If you rearranged the table and chairs, please put them back to where they were before. If you used multiple drink cups, please consolidate them or at least put all the glasses into the same easy to reach area. If you used multiple plates, bowls, and dishes while eating the meal, please stack them along with your utensils and make everything easy for your server to pick up and bring back to the dishwashers. If your eating challenge was at a “fast food” type restaurant, throw all of the disposable items away yourself. Even if your server tells you not to worry about cleaning, please at least straighten and do what you can. If there are small puddles of liquid or sauce around the table, or any other messes, grab a napkin and wipe everything up. Do what you can to make things easier on your server. If you do happen to “get sick” during the challenge and throw up into either a trash can or bucket provided by the restaurant, ask your server or somebody with the restaurant staff what you should do to properly dispose of your mess. The server will surely appreciate your helpfulness.

2) Claim your prize(s) for winning – Just like #1 above, hopefully this is a given, but don’t forget to claim your prize(s) that you are supposed to receive for winning the prize. Whether the challenge prize is cash, gift cards, a free meal, a free shirt, or even just a free beer, be sure to accept your prizes. If you are supposed to receive a shirt, but the restaurant says none are currently available, give them your address so that they can mail you a shirt once there are new ones in stock. Also get a business card filled with the restaurant’s phone number and information because 99% of the time you will have to follow up a few weeks later to see when your shirt will be arriving. This also applies to any other prizes that you do not immediately receive. You will have to follow up in the future if you actually do want that prize. I get told “We will mail it to you!” all the time (never happens).

3) Tip your server whether you win or lose

4) Critique the food challenge and improve

5) Help restaurants that take care of you

6) Recovery from quantity food challenges

7) Recovery from spicy food challenges

Those seven tasks above are a great list of things that you should do after completing your food challenge. The two recovery articles are filled with helpful tips and information you can use to help yourself feel better faster and minimize the discomfort that may occur after eating a large quantity of food, or extremely spicy food. Even after reading the articles linked above, you may still have questions related to issues that may come up after your challenge. The following list of article links should provide answers to all of those questions, plus more:

Answers To Questions You May Have After A Food Challenge

1) Supplementing digestive enzymes and probiotics

2) Increase your dietary fiber intake afterwards

3) Water is nature’s ultimate digestive aid

4) Why your body feels tired after eating a lot

5) The speed of recovery depends on the food

6) Expect your weight to fluctuate significantly

7) Optional medicinal drugs that help recovery

8) The dangers & risks of self induced vomiting

9) Advice for continuous food challenge training

10) Advanced tips for chronic food challengers

All of the above articles should answer just about any question you may possibly have regarding issues that occur after the challenge. If you have a question that has not been answered, please contact us and we will add an article answering your question. You are most likely not the only person that has wondered that question.

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