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When it comes to the strongest muscle, your tongue is in the running! But can it really lick the competition? 

Your jaw, your heart, and your calf muscles are all kinds of strong, too. When it comes to picking a winner, health experts say it depends how that strength is measured.

The tongue, with its ability to lick, bend, and twist, allowing you to eat, talk, and kiss, gets the award for agility. And, because it is made up of eight little muscles all working together for the same cause, it never fatigues. So even though we may talk “until our tongues are tired,” the truth of the matter is we will run out of things to say long before our tongue is trounced.

The jaw muscle, however, holds the record for being able to exert the most pressure – as in being able to clench your teeth or chew a variety of foods. But in terms of raw power, the calf muscle may be the strongest. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to stand, walk, run, or dance.

Alternately, the forceful muscles of the uterus can power an eight-pound (or more!) baby into the world. Then again, if the strength of a muscle were based on steadiness and rhythm, your heart would win for keeping the pace 42 million times a year.

Ultimately, the tongue is not the single strongest muscle in our body – but culinarily speaking, it certainly may be the most fun to exercise.

Image: Tongue, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from M Glasgow’s photostream.

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