The average adult human’s stomach can hold comfortably about 32 ounces at any given time (edit: excepting we Americans who, judging from the comments, apparently can hold about 138 times that amount despite science’s official averages). The Double Big Gulp holds about 64 ounces of soda or Slurpee.
Now, your stomach can process liquids at about a rate of 200-400 ml an hour according to research done by Shils et al. in 1994. The rate mostly depends on what else is in your stomach at the time of digestion. Generally speaking, an empty stomach will digest the liquid fastest. This means that if you want to actually drink the entire double big gulp without needing to vomit or otherwise stretch your stomach to extremes it’s not meant to handle, the absolute quickest you could do it, assuming starting on a completely empty stomach and not lucky enough to be an American with our lifetime of practice stretching our stomachs to extremes, will be approximately 4.73 hours. So unless you like your soda or Slurpee warm and fizz-less in the former case, probably best to stay away from the Double Big Gulp. It just really isn’t going to work out for you in terms of being able to drink it all while it’s still tasty.
Next down we have the “Super Big Gulp” generally coming in at 44 oz or approximately 138% the size your stomach is comfortable expanding to. Here, the best case scenario is that you could drink it comfortably in about 3.25 hours, which is still not going to really work out for you unless you like your drinks warm and possibly fizz-less.
Now at the 32 ounce size we have two options: the classic Big Gulp or my personal favorite the “Extreme Gulp”. This is the perfect sized drink. It is exactly the same size as the average adult stomach is capable of comfortably expanding to. This means, on an empty stomach, you can chug it all down and not worry about the fact that it will take your stomach about 2.36 hours to actually process it all. And if you happen to be American and put ice in your soda unlike most of the rest of the world, then you’ll have extra room for tasty nachos to go with your gigantic soda and stomach. Sugar rushes for everyone!!!
Best of all, say you don’t want to chug it all down at once (for some odd reason). If you like ice in your drink like us Americans, the Extreme Gulp is capable of keeping the ice frozen in your drink for about 6 hours or so, give or take depending on outside temperature. Literally this thing is like a mini-cooler (and is kind of the size of one, truth to tell). So your drink stays un-watered down and icy cold for plenty of time to comfortably drink your tasty beverage, even if you happen to want to eat something and use a little room in your stomach for non-beverage purposes.
Note: a newborn baby’s stomach can only handle about 1 oz of fluids. So, until 7-11 comes out with a “Baby Gulp”, probably avoid getting them their own Big Gulp until they man-up a bit.
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Just for fun, here are some Bonus 7-11 Facts
7-11 is the largest chain store with more than 36,842 outlets operating around the world, surpassing the previous record-holder McDonald’s Corporation in 2007 by approximately 1,000 retail stores.
- 7-Eleven pioneered the convenience store concept way back in 1927 at the Southland Ice Company in Dallas, Texas. Joe C. Thompson, the manager of the plant, started selling milk, eggs, and bread from an ice dock on Sundays and evenings when the grocery stores were closed. He eventually bought the Southland Ice Company and turned it into the Southland Corporation, thus opening the first ever “convenience” store.
- The company’s first convenience outlets were known as Tote’m stores since customers “toted” away their purchases; some even sported genuine Alaskan totem poles in the front of the stores. In 1946, Tote’m became 7-Eleven to reflect the stores’ new, extended hours – 7 a.m. until 11 p.m., seven days a week, which was pretty unheard of back then.
- 7-Eleven stores sell almost 26 million gallons of fountain drinks a year.
- 7-Eleven stores sell about 41 million gallons of milk each year.
- In anticipation of the July 2007 release of The Simpsons Movie, 7-Eleven turned 12 of its North American stores into Kwik-E-Mart, including stocking and selling a variety of their products under various Kwik-E-Mart band names.
- 7-Eleven was the first c-store retailer to give customers “freedom of choice” by offering all major soft drink brands at the fountain.
- 7-Eleven was the first retailer to offer fresh-brewed coffee in to-go cups, introducing it in their Northeast stores in 1964.
- 7-Eleven aired the first television advertising by any convenience store; the animated commercial featuring a singing owl and rooster ran in 1949.
- Japan has more 7-Eleven locations than anywhere else in the world (incidentally as of 1991 a Japanese company bought the controlling interest in 7-11) , Of the 36,000-ish stores around the globe, 12,349 of them are located in Japan with 1,577 in Tokyo alone.
- There are 1,750 7-Eleven stores in Korea, with only the United States, Japan, Taiwan and Thailand hosting more stores. Korean stores no longer carry branded products such as Slurpee or Big Gulp.
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