There’s a Tasty Reward for a Little Pain

If you thought hot sauce was just about adding some zing to your meals, think again! Recent spicy research reveals that a whopping 60 percent of folks experience feelings of euphoria from indulging in fiery delights. That’s right, heat-seekers: There’s a tasty reward waiting for you, and it’s only a few pepper-induced tears away. So, grab some Kleenex, buckle up, and prepare for a happy, wild ride!

Getting high from eating chili peppers is a real thing.

Smokin’ Ed Currie, the man who invented the mega-hot Carolina Reaper pepper, became one of the world’s foremost chili-heads as a way to stay off drugs and booze

“Addicts don’t understand that they’re doing it for the buzz,” he says. “They say, ‘It makes my food better.’ But they’re getting high. They just don’t realize it.”

Talk about fighting fire with fire!

Well, it turns out that the human brain, like the overprotective friend it is, sounds alarm bells when it senses you’re in physical danger. And, wow, when you devour a plate of fries doused in hot sauce does it jump into full-on screaming inferno mode!

Why do you feel like you’re on cloud nine after munching down hot sauce?

The, ahem, *cool* thing about hot sauce, though, is that the pain you feel causes no actual physical harm. Your mouth does not get measurably hotter. There’s no actual scorching. There’s no 9-1-1 emergency.

But your brain doesn’t know that. It’s freaking the freaky-freak out! So, it floods your system with all sorts of feel-good chemicals to relieve you from your supposed torment. The effect is kind of like the “runner’s high” many folks get after battering their body on a marathon run. But unlike with a runner’s high, with hot sauce, you’re not causing yourself any actual damage.

Is that your heart beating a little faster? Are you feeling a little giddy? Floaty, even? Whenever you eat hot sauce, that thrill you experience is your brain giving you a little jolt of fun-loving endorphins! Yeah! You feel great, and what’s not to like about that? It’s your tasty reward for a little pain.

Chasing the hot sauce buzz.

It’s no secret that eating hot sauce can make you crave more of its delicious, stinging ecstasy. Who wouldn’t want to feel even more of those energized and blissed-out sensations? 

Most folks new to hot sauce start with a little…but before long, they’re adding more and more. Just to get that same “high.” We’ve all been there.

Is your beloved hot sauce actually addictive?

So, yes, chili peppers and hot sauce are addictive, but not in a way that’s bad for you. 

There are plenty of addictive foods that are packed with calorie-dense carbs (I’m looking at you, pizza). Or put you at risk for heart problems (ice cream, we love you). Sugar, fat, salt–these delicious foods can be physically addictive. They can cause people to overeat in a way that’s harmful in the long run. 

Not hot sauce.

No calories, no fat, no carbs.

Most of our sauces have zero calories, fat, or carbs. They’re a guilt-free pleasure…like the rebellious angel of the food world, tantalizing your taste buds without any negative consequences (except for perhaps the occasional ring sting). 

The main ingredients in hot sauce are peppers, salt, and vinegar. And if you’re a fan of Secret Aardvark, you’ll know we also pack our sauces with plenty of other vegetables, like onions, garlic, and carrots. Even our marinades are low on calories and carbs.

In fact, the chemical (capsaicin) that gives hot sauce its heat has also been shown to increase metabolism. Which means it helps burn calories. How awesome is that?

Get after that hot fun, y’all!

There are plenty of addictive things in life that are bad for you, but fortunately, hot sauce isn’t one of them. You can indulge to the max without even having to surrender your car keys!

Soenjoy the fiery delights, savor the flavor, and embrace the buzz!