Chugging Milk at a "Chocolate Seder"? Even a Jackass Knows That Ain't Kosher


Drink up! (Slowly, and with a bucket nearby.) - IMAGE VIA
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  • Drink up! (Slowly, and with a bucket nearby.)
Today's Post-Dispatch includes an innocuous, even charming, article by Jesse Bogan about a "Chocolate Seder" held over this past weekend for kids at Congregation Temple Israel in Creve Coeur.

According to the article, the aim of this "Seder" was "to engage a new generation in one of the most observed Jewish holidays of the year." Instead of parsley, for example, the kids ate green M&Ms.

Near the end of the article, however, things took an unpleasant turn.

You see, in place of wine, the kids drank chocolate milk. And a couple of those kids -- teenagers, naturally -- decided they would have a contest to see who could chug that chocolate milk most quickly.

At the last second, though, they came up with a better duel to end on: finish off the jugs, which were still at least a third full of milk.

The group watched alongside in amazement as the two boys somehow found room in their stomachs with the marshmallow filling and other sweets. A minute or so into the contest, Cohen paused to rest and to admit how bad of an idea the contest had been. Light on his feet, he left the table and walked outside to vomit.
If the two teenagers had done a little online research, they would have known that their experience chugging milk would be no different from all other experiences.

Chugging milk occupies a strange, liminal place between challenge and prank. If you believe Wikipedia, (and we're not saying you should, but no one else has a "history" of milk-chugging this damn thorough), the practice dates back only to the beginning of the prior decade, with an episode of MTV's Jackass the tipping point of its entry into public consciousness.

In general, the challenge involves finishing an entire gallon of milk within one hour without throwing up. The without throwing up stipulation is the rub. The human body isn't meant to consume that much milk that quickly. In a 2009 article from the Technician, the N.C. State student newspaper, Dr. Sarah Ash explains why:

"First of all, there is a total stomach capacity as well as [an] individual tolerance for large quantities in your stomach at one time.... The stomach in general only holds about a half a gallon -- one of the triggers of the vomit reflex are the so-called 'stretch' receptors in the stomach that sense when capacity has been met."

Dr. Ash also described how Shaffer could slightly outlast the milk participants with a less severe response. The release of stomach contents into the small intestine depends on the protein and fat content of what you have consumed. In general, the more protein and fat, the longer the delay in the emptying of the stomach's contents into the small intestine. Thus, being able to drink a gallon of water would be easier than a gallon of milk because water will move out of the stomach quicker.
Then again, human nature (especially teenage human nature) being what it is, chugged milk's propensity for prompting puking might make the challenge more rather than less appealing. At any rate, many have tried it over the years, and more than a few attempts have made the news.

- In 2005, a batboy for the Florida Marlins was suspended from his duties after accepting the challenge from a few of the teams' players. (The batboy didn't puke, but he also didn't finish the gallon within an hour.)

- A 2008 report from Houston's KTRK details a Huffman, Texas, teacher who invited students in his eighth-grade class to undertake the challenge. Video of the students' attempts reached YouTube, and a parental uproar ensued.

Of course, you might be asking yourself, "Who in their right mind, other than teens, college students and drunks, would actually want to chug milk?"

We're glad you asked! Because it turns out that the milk lobby itself wants you to consider guzzling chocolate milk after your next run, game or session at the gym.

That's right. The same folks behind the "Got Milk?" campaign have launched "Refuel with Chocolate Milk" -- a media blitz, complete with accompanying promotional tour, to suggest that chocolate milk has the ideal blend of carbs, proteins and electrolytes to replenish your body. Look! There's even a shiny brochure:

​If you want to try to refuel with chocolate milk, well, no one's stopping you from hitting up the dairy aisle of Schnucks or Dierbergs on your way home from the gym. However, the official "Refuel With Chocolate Milk" campaign will be at the DFW Mud Run at Harrah's Casino on Saturday, May 7, from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.  There will be milk samples, "Got Milk?"-style milk-mustache photos and free five-minute massages.

There will be no sanctioned milk-chugging contests, but that doesn't mean you can't organize your own.


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