TikTok's 'Rock-Paper-Scissors Eat' Challenge Has Real-Life Side Effects

Leave it to TikTok to promote another challenge to go viral. You've seen couples use rock-paper-scissors to choose where to go on dates. Others have played rock-paper-scissors with other cars while stuck in traffic. Even James Corden and Jason Momoa took part in the tortilla challenge, which included rock-paper-scissors then slapping the loser with a tortilla while you both have your mouths full of water.

This time, it's another take on the rock-paper-scissors game where you eat and run. You start with your favorite fast food and plenty of space to run — at least 25 yards. Then you play rock-paper-scissors (or rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock if you're into Big Bang Theory). Whoever loses the draw must run the designated distance. The winner gets to eat, but only until the other person returns. Then the game begins again.

Do you take time to open the sauce? Do you take a drink? It's your choice if you're the winner, but next time your partner could scarf up the rest of the food. While the game at least encourages a bit of exercise and perhaps some time outdoors, eating too fast and vigorous exercise on a full stomach can have some gastrointestinal consequences.

The effects of eating too fast

Joey Chestnut took home his first Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest in 2007 by packing down 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes. After his 2023 record-breaking win, he said that he felt really bloated, similar to Thanksgiving. "It's kind of like that, but really, really bad," he told Insider. Eating so much so quickly also had him sweating profusely, and his sweat smelled like hot dogs. He also said it would take him two days to recover.

While the rock-paper-scissors food challenge won't have you gorging on that much food, even your mother told you that eating too fast has side effects. Dietitians at Northwestern Medicine say that eating food too quickly will have you swallowing a lot of air, making you gassy a little later. Do you really want to do this on a date?

You'll also be setting yourself up for digestive problems because you're more likely to swallow larger pieces of food such as whole french fries. Your digestive system will have to work harder to break these larger pieces down. Eating too fast also elevates your blood pressure and blood sugar. Over time, you could develop obesity, diabetes, or gastritis.

Exercising with food in your stomach

The "loser" in the rock-paper-scissors eat challenge must run rather than eat. Yet losing at this game is probably healthier for you because short bursts of exercise throughout your day can be great for your long-term health. You'll also enjoy a boost in mood and burn some calories after your run.

And really, the "winner" is actually the loser because you're eating fast food. Not only is fast food high in fat, salt, and calories, but it's also low in nutrition. When you eat fast food every day, you'll also raise your blood sugar and blood pressure. You'll also increase the inflammation in your body after a single helping of fast food.

You wouldn't eat a Big Mac and fries before a solid workout in the gym because you know that exercising on a full stomach (especially with a ton of fat) will make you sick. Sucking back that same Big Mac and then doing a 50-yard dash might not feel so nice when you've played the rock-paper-scissors-eat game. Working out with heavy food in your stomach can lead to acid reflux, stomach cramps, nausea, or diarrhea. Again, not a great idea for date night.

Perhaps a better idea might be to run several 50-yard dashes first, then find a healthy post-workout smoothie to complete your challenge.