Sweating While Eating Spicy Food: Its Causes And How To Stop It?

The moment you eat something pungent and spicy, those little beads of sweat pop up on your forehead. The heat you’re feeling comes from capsaicin found in the hot peppers. Spicy foods are pungent because of peppers. Peppers are packed with a compound known as capsaicin.

Capsaicin, the chief spicy chemical present in peppers makes the body respond as if it is in a hot environment.

Capsaicin sets off certain chemical receptors to cause a reflexive cooling reaction and consequently triggers sweating.

What Causes Sweating When You Eat Spicy Food?

Capsaicin, the most important spicy component in peppers is a molecule which is responsible for the spicy taste. The body also has a capsaicin receptor found on certain nerves that are heat-sensitive. When these nerves get activated, they send off messages to your brain and spinal cord to be aware of heat-related pain. Your brain and spinal cord react by triggering chemical reactions to bring about cooling of the body, such as the sweat response.

Capsaicin arouses the nerve receptors in your mouth and basically confuses the nervous system into thinking you are feeling very hot.

Your body then responds like it would when you are outside in a 90 degree environment. Your internal thermal regulation center i.e. the hypothalamus in your brain gives out messages to activate the sweat glands. Sweat then reaches your skin and evaporates, consequently taking away the heat from the body.

Spicy foods stimulate the receptors in the skin that normally react to heat. Those receptors are pain fibers, which respond to extremes of temperature and to severe mechanical stimulation, such as cutting or tweaking; they also respond to certain chemical influences. The brain gets confused when these pain fibers get excited by a chemical, like capsaicin, which sets off an unclear neural response.

Since capsaicin sends messages of overheating to your brain, the brain attempts to cool the body via specific mechanisms. The hypothalamus is the thermostat of your body; it stimulates the sweat glands in the body to begin manufacturing sweat after you have ingested capsaicin. Sweat is released from sweat glands and in due course evaporates to cool your body. On the other hand, since the temperature in the environment may be cool, sweat may take longer to evaporate.

In addition to sweating, you may also begin to flush after you consume spicy foods. This occurs because the hypothalamus directs messages to the blood vessels beneath the skin to dilate. Dilation of blood vessels helps warm blood to disperse heat, consequently cooling your body. Hence, flushing is another cooling response to capsaicin ingestion, which could take place in a cool environment as well.

How To Stop Sweating While Eating Spicy Food?

By and large, not much can be done to this innate response of the body to capsaicin. On the other hand, experts recommend neutralizing the effects to cope with the condition better. Neutralizing the effects of capsaicin helps control and manage the sweat response to some extent.

Drinking water is known to proffer provisional relief, however, capsaicin is not soluble in water, and thus it will not provide you with lasting relief. Experts say, capsaicin is soluble in alcohol and fat. Given that, it would take strong alcohol to allay the effects of capsaicin, drinking a fatty substance, such as milk, will assuage your symptoms successfully.

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