top of page

Is Eating Too Much Hot Sauce Bad For You?

Is Eating Too Much Hot Sauce Bad For You?

While some people can't get enough of hot sauce (AKA us here at Mikey V's), others might wonder if there's such a thing as too much hot sauce. What happens when you eat too much hot sauce? Is it okay to eat hot sauce every day?

The short answer is yes, eating too much hot sauce COULD potentially have SOME negative effects on your health. However, the key here is moderation and being mindful of your own body's tolerance.

Too much of anything isn't healthy for you.

With that being said, let's take a look at hot sauce and answer a few of your questions about consuming "too much" of it.

What Is Capsasin and What Is in Your Average Hot Sauce?

To understand how hot sauce might affect our bodies, it's important to know what makes it spicy in the first place. The compound responsible for that fiery sensation is called capsaicin (not capsasin).

Capsaicin is found in chili peppers and other spicy ingredients used in hot sauces.

chili pepper plant

In addition to capsaicin, most hot sauces also contain vinegar, salt, and various spices for flavor.

Depending on the brand, there may be additional ingredients such as sugar or preservatives. But most have very limited ingredients and as mentioned a moment ago, capsaicin is known to have health benefits for your body.

So using hot sauce in your food is definitely better than using most other condiments.

However when consumed too much, it can also... be unpleasant!

What Happens When You Eat Too Much Hot Sauce?

The effects of eating too much hot sauce vary from person to person. Some people may experience only minor discomfort, while others may have more serious reactions.

When it comes to hot sauce and spicy foods, everyone's tolerance levels are different. Some people can handle the heat and spiciness of hot sauce without any issues, while others may experience discomfort or negative side effects if they consume too much.

Some potential negative effects of eating too much hot sauce can include:

  • Stomach irritation and discomfort: This could manifest as heartburn, acid reflux, or an upset stomach. For people who already have gastrointestinal issues, consuming too much hot sauce can exacerbate those symptoms.

  • Diarrhea or changes in bowel movements: The capsaicin in hot sauce can irritate the lining of the digestive tract, leading to loose stools or diarrhea.

But again, this is only for certain people (usually people who are not used to consuming spicy foods or have acid reflux or heartburn issues).

You CAN also experience an upset stomach or unpleasant bowel movements if you consume an extremely spicy hot sauce as well. Which is why it's important to know the heat level you can handle, the heat level of the hot sauce, and to not go overboard with it.

hot sauce meatballs

The only other drawback to eating hot sauce daily is the sodium intake.

As we know, sodium is an important nutrient but too much of it can lead to high blood pressure and other health issues. Most hot sauces do contain a fair amount of salt, so if you're consuming large amounts daily, make sure to take that into consideration.

If you're worried about the sodium intake though, you can always opt for low sodium hot sauces!

Does Hot Sauce Damage Your Stomach?

Despite common myths, there are not any studies showing that hot sauce damages your stomach or causes ulcers. Capsaicin, the compound that gives hot sauce its signature heat, has been extensively studied and found not to cause harmful effects on the stomach lining. In fact, capsaicin is often used in certain medications to manage pain and inflammation.

Does Hot Sauce Damage Your Liver?

There is no evidence to suggest that hot sauce can damage your liver either. In fact, some studies have shown that capsaicin may actually protect against liver damage and reduce the risk of developing fatty liver disease.

mikey v's hot sauce

Everything in Moderation

The key takeaway here is moderation.

Consuming hot sauce in moderate amounts should not pose any major health risks for most people. However, overindulging could potentially cause discomfort or some minor negative side effects. As with any food or condiment, it's important to listen to your body and monitor your consumption levels.

“Eat as much as you can tolerate and enjoy. There is no significant downside to eating hot sauce or spicy foods regularly, as long as it is not resulting in significant side effects. If you notice adverse effects, such as heartburn, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or anorectal discomfort, then back down.”
Ketan Shah, M.D., Gastroenterologist

So, What's The Deal, Is Eating Too Much Hot Sauce Bad For You?

In short, consuming hot sauce in moderation should not pose any major risks for most people.

However, everyone's body is different and some individuals may experience discomfort or negative side effects from overconsumption. It's important to listen to your body and monitor your intake levels.

So go ahead and enjoy your favorite spicy condiment, just be mindful of how much you're using on a daily basis.


bottom of page