Does water make spice worse?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Does water make spice worse?”. We will also discuss why water makes spicy worse, what causes the burning sensation, and if milk makes the spice worse. Moreover, we will also talk about the use of juice and bread with spicy foods.

Does water make spice worse?

Yes, drinking water while having spicy food can make things worse. One of the most common misunderstandings people have after eating spicy food is that drinking a lot of water will make them feel better.

Since capsaicin is an oil, drinking water will only spread it deeper into your tongue, activating even more pain receptors. Although cold water feels amazing in your mouth, the sensation does not last.

Why does water make spice worse?

Because water is made up of polar molecules, it cannot dissolve the capsaicin components that trigger the burning sensation in your mouth. 

It spreads the capsaicin molecules around your mouth, making you feel even hotter. Capsaicin molecules in peppers have extended hydrocarbon tails, indicating that capsaicin is a non-polar molecule. As a result, it only dissolves in non-polar compounds.

However, water is composed of polar molecules, which indicates that it won’t be able to dissolve the non-polar capsaicin molecules. This is the reason why you have a reverse effect when you drink water while having spicy food.

What causes the burning sensation from spice?

The chemical compound responsible for the burning sensation from the spice is capsaicin. It is a chemical found in all chili peppers. Their hotness or spice level differs in different varieties of peppers. The more capsaicin a pepper contains, the stronger the reaction will be. The spice level is usually measured by Scoville units which indicates how spicy a pepper is.

Capsaicin binds to TRPV1 pain receptors in your mouth, which alert your brain when something is spicy, hot, or extremely acidic. As a result, you feel a burning sensation in your mouth, which can get worse if you drink water. This may also cause a runny nose or watery eyes. You may even start sweating all over if the spice is too much.

Does milk also make spice worse?

No. milk does not make spice worse, instead, it helps you to get rid of the spice.  Milk contains a protein called casein, which is capable of breaking down capsaicin – the chemical compound responsible for the burning sensation in your tastebuds while you’re eating spicy food. Unlike water, milk neutralizes spicy food and also helps to build spice tolerance.

Drinking cool milk can help to bind with the capsaicin in your mouth and lessen the hot sensation due to spices. Most dairy products like cow’s milk, yogurt, cheese, or sour cream contain casein, so for these milk products instead of water.

Can I drink juice after spicy food?

Yes, you can also eat acidic fruits or drink acidic fruit juice to get rid of the spice. Since capsaicin is an alkaline molecule, its activity can be balanced by acid. This means that it works in a similar way as milk by suppressing the flavor of spicy foods in your mouth.

Drink acidic fruit drinks like lemonade, limeade, orange juice, or a tomato-based food item or drink to cool down your mouth or wash away all the spicy sensations. Find some acidic juice that can help you tone down the heat here.

Does a piece of bread help to cool down the spice?

Munching on a piece of bread can be a great way to cool down the spice. Bread is a starchy food that can be very filling, the volume provided by the bread can also act as a physical barrier between the capsaicin and your mouth when you’re having spicy food. So it soaks up all the spices in your mouth and tones down the spicy sensation.

You can also add other carbohydrate sources like pasta, rice, bread, couscous, tortilla, or grains. You can add these starchy foods between this false chemical and your pain receptors to get rid of the burn. So whenever you’re craving some spicy food, don’t forget to keep some bread or vinegar by your side.

Conclusion 

In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “Does water make spice worse?”. We have also discussed why water makes spicy worse, what causes the burning sensation, and if milk makes the spice worse. Moreover, we have also talked about the use of juice and bread with spicy foods.

Citations 

https://www.vice.com/en/article/jpaj7b/heres-why-water-is-the-worst-thing-to-drink-with-a-spicy-meal

https://www.vice.com/en/article/jpaj7b/heres-why-water-is-the-worst-thing-to-drink-with-a-spicy-meal

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