Hot sauce is the perfect addition to any dish to give some zest and flavor, but is it true that it makes you poop more? Here’s what I discovered.
According to Healthline, spicy foods such as hot sauce are one of the most common causes of food-induced diarrhea. This is because it contains a compound called capsaicin which triggers TRP1 receptors in your digestive tract, causing irritation. This is why some people experience cramps or diarrhea after eating something particularly spicy.
Keep reading to learn how you can prevent diarrhea as a result of hot sauce, as well as some interesting side effects and benefits!
How To Prevent Diarrhea From Hot Sauce
Diarrhea is never a fun experience for anyone, and this rings particularly true if it is caused by something spicy! The most logical option for preventing this would be to avoid trigger foods altogether, but this isn’t always easy. If you’re still tempted, here’s some tips you can try:
- Eat spicy foods with some dairy, such as milk. Dairy has been shown to neutralize any negative effects.
- A small snack of something sweet can also help to bind the body’s receptors, minimizing the burning sensation.
- Grab yourself some Metamucil. and throw some down just before you plan on eating something spicy. The fiber will absorb the fatty acids in your gut that cause the irritation when you poop.
- This may sound counter-intuitive, but try eating more spicy food. You can develop a tolerance for capsaicin after eating spicy food regularly for about three weeks.
If none of the above steps help in any way to alleviate stomach upset, then it may be a sign that you should limit your intake of hot sauce to give your stomach a break!
How Much Hot Sauce Is Too Much?
The American Heart Association advises that you limit your sodium intake to less than 1,500 milligrams per day. In terms of hot sauce, this equates to less than eight teaspoons of the stuff. While this may seem like quite a lot, many people carelessly pour hot sauce on their plates for multiple meals throughout the day.
Certain brands can contain up to 190 milligrams of sodium per spoonful, which can add up to a huge chunk of your daily sodium intake. This means that your intake can add up rather quickly!
This is particularly true if you are adding hot sauce to a dish already rich in sodium, such as a burrito or a taco. You may need to find the nearest bathroom as soon as possible!
It is also important to remember that hot foods affect every person differently, and some people may have a higher or lower tolerance compared to other. You should monitor your body’s reaction to small amounts of hot sauce and moderate your intake accordingly.
Additional Side Effects of Hot Sauce
Spicy peppers are most commonly used as an addition to many hot sauces, and this can increase your stomach’s acidity. This in turn encourages the inflammation of your stomach lining. When your stomach lining becomes inflamed, food moves much more quickly through your system.
When most people eat spicy foods and find it to be too overwhelming, they tend to gulp down as much water as possible to quell the burning sensation. What they don’t know, is that doing this on top of having an inflamed stomach, can be a major cause of diarrhea.
Acid reflux & Heartburn
According to EveryDayHealth, spicy foods such as hot sauce can result in unpleasant flare-ups of fiery acid reflux if you don’t monitor your intake. Acid reflux is typical when your stomach has an imbalance or disruption, which results in your stomach acid traveling back up your esophagus.
In fact, in many cases this is actually caused by the capsaicin in the hot sauce binding to receptors in your esophagus, and thus causes a burning sensation similar to heartburn.
While this may not happen to everyone, some people are prone to cramps and aches after they have eaten hot sauce. This is because there are pain receptors that line your small intestine, and when exposed to capsaicin, can result in neurotransmitters being released. These neurotransmitters can cause stomach contractions, hence the cramps.
If you regularly suffer from stomach cramps after eating hot sauce, then it may be a good idea to avoid eating too much in the future so you don’t have to experience painful cramping or diarrhea.
May irritate ulcers
If you already have the misfortune of an ulcer, eating spicy foods will only make them feel a whole lot worse. With that being said, hot sauce does not cause an ulcer, it will only irritate it and possibly make it worse.
7 Amazing Benefits of Hot Sauce
While too much hot sauce can have some pretty nasty side effects, eating it in moderation with a balanced diet can have many health benefits. Here are some of the most notable ones:
1. Can reduce inflammation
While eating too much hot sauce may cause inflammation, especially for people who are very sensitive to spicy foods, eating moderate amounts may actually reduce inflammation! According to studies, spicy foods may actually treat gastric infections by reducing inflammation. Who would have thought?
2. May reduce duration of colds
Surprisingly, many hot sauces are actually a great source of vitamin C which can effectively reduce the duration of a common cold. It can also help to ease a congested nose, help with breathing problems (from bronchitis), and can also relieve flu symptoms.
3. Could reduce risk of colon cancer
According to MedicalNewsToday, capsaicin, the active ingredient found in hot sauce, could reduce the risk of colon cancer. The researchers discovered that the capsaicin activated a pain receptor called TRPV1 in mice, which reduced the development of tumors in their gut.
TRPV1 was initially discovered in sensory neurons, where it works to protect the cells against potential damage from acidity, heat, and spicy chemicals found in the environment.
4. Heart health
Studies have shown that cultures that consume the spiciest foods, including hot sauce, have a much lower incidence of heart attacks and strokes. Chili peppers can actually reduce the damaging effects of bad cholesterol and the capsaicin fights inflammation which is a known risk for heart problems.
5. Lower blood pressure
Vitamins A and C are known to strengthen the heart muscle walls, and the heat of the pepper increases the blood flow throughout your entire body. This result in a much stronger cardiovascular system!
6. Weight loss
Surprisingly, hot sauce can actually help you to stick to your weight loss plan! Studies have shown that the main compound in chilies, capsaicin, has thermogenic properties, causing the body to burn extra calories for up to 20 minutes after you finish your spicy meal.
7. Hot sauce makes you happy
Spicy foods actually boost the production of feel-good hormones such as serotonin. This can help to alleviate stress and depression. So, if you are feeling a little under the weather, add some hot sauce to your next meal!
Does hot sauce clean out your system?
Hot sauce raises your body temperature by a process known as thermogenesis. As a result, your body will sweat, turn reddish as your capillaries dilate, and your nose runs as your mucous membranes attempt to flush out the cause, and this includes any toxins.