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What Should I Eat or Drink After Hot Sauce?

What Should I Eat or Drink After Hot Sauce?

We all know the feeling of taking that one bite of hot sauce that sets our taste buds on fire. It's like a love-hate relationship we can't resist. Hot sauce can add an incredible kick and flavor to any meal, but the after-effects can leave you feeling the burn (sometimes more than you want!). Whether it's your first time trying a spicy dish or you're about to enter a spicy food contest, you're probably wondering what you should eat or drink to ease the heat.

So we're going to talk about the science behind cooling off your mouth and provide some suggestions for what to consume after hot sauce.

(Note: These tips are for foods and drinks to consume if you ate something too spicy. Not how to tone down spicy foods or sauces)

The Capsaicin In Chili Peppers & Hot Sauce

Capsaicin, a component of chili peppers, is the active ingredient that gives hot sauce its fiery kick. The heat intensity of capsaicin is often measured in Scoville Heat Units (SHU), with different peppers having varying SHU ratings on the Scoville Scale.

From a chemical perspective, capsaicin is fascinating because it triggers the same sensory neurons that respond to heat. When capsaicin binds to these neurons, it sends signals to your brain that you're consuming something hot, even though the temperature hasn't actually changed.

This deception is what creates the sensation of a burning mouth when you consume hot sauce. Additionally, capsaicin is not water-soluble (it's oil-based), which means gulping down water will not alleviate the burn.

plate of spicy chili peppers

What to Eat Or Drink After Spicy Food?

According to science, dairy, and acidic foods and drinks are what you need to consume to help cool off the spiciness. Balancing it with an acid can help neutralize the capsaicin.

This means that drinking or eating something acidic can give you some temporary relief from the burning sensations. Things such as lemonade or orange juice are great options. You can also try a tomato-based item. And if you're a milk lover, you'll be happy to know that milk is also acidic!

Another option is to reach for some carbs. Bread, rice, or potatoes can help absorb some of the spiciness in your mouth and provide a more neutral flavor. This method may not be as effective as consuming acidic or dairy products, but it's worth a shot. Plus, who doesn't love carbs?

So, to recap, if you need some relief from a spicy food or hot sauce, try consuming:


  • Lemonade

  • Limeade

  • Orange juice

  • Tomato-based foods and drinks

  • Milk


  • Bread

  • Rice

  • Potatoes

spicy chicken wings

What Not to Eat After Consuming Spicy Food

When it comes to cooling down after eating something spicy, there are certain foods and drinks that you should avoid.

For instance, carbonated drinks like soda or beer will only intensify the heat in your mouth. Some will argue that those can help, but there isn't any science behind it. In addition to that, as we mentioned, water won't do much in helping either as capsaicin is an oil-based molecule.

The Real Low Down

Now that we've provided you with what science says about cooling down your mouth from spiciness, we're going to share with you some bad news... the real low down on it.

Real chiliheads know that there isn't much you can do. Consuming these items will most likely only give you temporary relief before the heat comes right back. The only thing you can do is wait it out. Your mouth will eventually adjust and return to normal.

So, the best thing to do is pace yourself if you're looking to try a new hot sauce or spicy dish. Take small bites and sips at first so your taste buds can adjust accordingly. If you think it's still too much, you can always take advantage of the options we provided above!

mikey v's hot sauces


There's no clear-cut solution to counteract hot sauce's spiciness. According to science, consuming acidic or dairy products may help for a short time, but there's no guarantee.

Waiting it out may be your only option, but don't worry, the sensation will pass eventually.

Hot sauce may be a love-hate relationship, but it's worth the burn for the fantastic flavor it brings to our taste buds!


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