Why Do Spicy Foods Make You Sweat? Here Is 1 Best Answer

Do you believe that spicy foods can trick your body into sweating? It is a common question that is asked by people who sweat excessively. They are looking for ways to reduce sweat and will most certainly stumble across the fact that certain foods trigger sweating more.

So, why do spicy foods make you sweat?  There is science behind the fact and I am going to outline that in this article.

Spicy food can make one sweat a lot
Spicy food can make one sweat buckets and turn their faces red.
Photo by Gabrielle Cepella on Unsplash

You’re not alone in dealing with sweat-related problems. I have been managing and dealing with hyperhidrosis for over 2 decades now so I do know how hard it is. Read my story here.

What Do We Find In Spicy Foods?

Spicy food, for example, jalapeños and peppers, contain capsaicin, a chemical that produces a sense of burning in animals and humans when it comes in contact with their tissue. It is most likely a deterrent for animals and kills all kinds of fungi.

Capsaicin is used to “spice” things up and it is considered to be a chemical that releases heat. You get the burning sensation when it comes in contact with eyes, hands, mucous membranes, and other sensitive organs. When consumed in large quantities it can also have an effect on the stomach and digestive system.

This chemical does trick the human brain to believe that this sensation of burning is elevating our body temperature. That is exactly when sweating kicks in and works toward lowering the body temperature, which is actually not going up at any moment.

Consuming spicy foods can also make you flush: You turn read on your whole face and neck region. Our hypothalamus sends signals that blood vessels have to be dilated so that the sudden temperature rise can be cooled off by transporting blood through the vessels, which makes you flush.

Sweating all over your face and on top flush is not the ideal situation for a romantic dinner or an elegant festivity at a family member’s house.

What Is Gustatory Sweating

Gustatory hyperhidrosis, a term used for excessive sweating because of foods, is known as excessive sweating in the forehead, upper lip, around your mouth and chin, and also on your chest. This is known as a local hyperhidrosis because it is triggered in many (not to say most) cases by foods.

As stated before, capcaisin, a leading chemical in spicy foods, does not elevate your body temperature, but it signals the brain to believe that something has to be done to reduce the temperature quickly.

People that experience heavy sweating moments after consuming spicy foods have this condition.

If you are an excessive sweater, you might want to consider cutting down on spicy foods to avoid more triggers.

I am a heavy sweater, but more profusely in my armpits. Spicy foods are among my favorites and I rarely sweat heavily because of foods moments after eating spicy foods. This could also because I am used to spicy foods ever since and maybe my body does not react as much to it.

However, whenever I take foods that are spicier than usual, I also start to drip with sweat all over my face, which is not cool when being out with friends or family or at a meeting where spicy foods are served.

There is also a condition known as Frey Syndrome, which is when people sweat excessively because of damage that was done to the parotid gland during surgery or another trigger, such as diabetes.

In that case, the condition is known as secondary hyperhidrosis, which is when people sweat due to health issues.  You should seek medical advice as soon as possible if you suffer from it.

What Foods Contain Capsaicin?

There are many foods that have a high number of capcaisin, which you might want to avoid to not be completely sweaty by the time you walk out of the restaurant or by the time you have to do the dishes.

1) Chinese food: There is a list of Chinese foods that are very spicy, for example, Tso’s Chicken, which is a dish that is common in most Chinese restaurants across America. Other dishes that are spicy are ma po Tofu, dan dan noodles, saliva chicken, hot and sour fish soup, and the list goes on.

Sichuan dishes are often made with dried red peppers and red pepper oils which make the Chinese cuisine among the spiciest in the world. Although their foods taste really good, you want to stay away from them if they cause you embarrassment by sweating excessively.

2) Mexican cuisine: This is not new. Mexican food is known to be very spicy. (By the way, Mexican food is my all-time favorite). Most of their dishes are spicy with all those good salsas to accompany any type of dish.

Mexicans use lots of peppers for almost everything they make: Enchiladas, tacos, chilaquiles, huevos rancheros, etc. Oh, and did I mention chile rellenos and chile en nogada? What about chipotle sauces?

Again, if you prefer not to be in a sweaty mess when going out with friends to a local restaurant, just avoid the highly spicy foods.

3) Indian dishes: The signature green finger pepper is well-known to spice up Indian recipes and give you a burning sensation right where you wanted it. Being a close neighbor to China, it is no wonder that the traditions of spicy foods have found their ways in both directions.

Dishes like chilli pakoda and lamb or chicken vindaloo are very spicy, but also tasty, yet they kick up the sweat glands to give you a sparkly face before you can even do something about it.

4) Other Asian cuisines: Japanese, Korean, Tibetan, and Thai foods are also known for their high content of spices in them. Almost wherever you go vacationing you will find all these wonderful cuisines present and you will have to decide whether to go for these dishes or prevent sweaty embarrassments.

The list of foods that contain continues and there are many other countries that are well-known for signature foods that are very spicy.

As I said before if you have detected gustatory hyperhidrosis within you, stay away from these foods. It can be really embarrassing to sweat all over in no time after you start eating.

What Can You Do About Gustatory Sweating?

There is not a magical recipe as to what you can do to reduce gustatory sweating except for cutting down on spicy foods or foods that trigger excessive sweating.

If you have seen excessive sweating on the above-described parts only recently, it is highly important that you check first if it is gustatory sweating (which is local) or if you have secondary hyperhidrosis, in which case you should see a doctor immediately.

Also, if you sweat regularly, not especially right after you eat, you could as well have primary hyperhidrosis, in which case you need to find a solution to what can become a lifelong struggle, yet not a dangerous disease.

I hope you found this article informative and helpful. For comments, please leave them below. Don’t forget to share with friends, family, and colleagues by clicking the social media buttons.

If you should have questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.


Ready to Make a Change Now?

My name is Oscar and I am the founder and director of Stop-Sweating-Now.com and have been researching and writing about hyperhidrosis for many yearOscars.

I have been sweating excessively for the better part of my life.  I looked for solutions for well over a decade, but I never found anything that lasted.

It all started when I was around 14 years of age, when I suddenly found out that I was sweating more in my armpits than I should.  At first I thought it was something that would go away soon, but I was wrong.

I had given up hope and accepted to live the rest of my life being embarrassed with ugly sweat stains in my armpits.

However, after a few years of not searching for any solutions anymore, I gave it another shot.  And I found what finally gave me the freedom I had longed for so many years. 

After finding a solution to my problem, I decided it was important to shout out my message to those that are suffering from what I had lived with so many years.

My goal is to help people find their freedom from sweating by sharing my expertise because hyperhidrosis is an underdiagnosed condition.

People don’t know that it is a medical term and can be treated effectively.

That is why I am here: Sharing with you what I know, what works and what does not work.

Want to learn more about what I did? Click below!

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