What Makes Hot Sauce Spicy?

What Makes Hot Sauce Spicy?

You love Kirk’s Hot Sauce for its smooth, balanced heat, but have you ever wondered what makes hot sauce spicy?

Hot peppers - think jalapeno, cayenne, habanero - all contain capsaicin, an oil-based alkaline molecule. Capsaicin binds to the temperature-based pain receptors on your nerves, fooling your brain into actually thinking your mouth is on fire. 

Once your brain has detected FIRE, it immediately sends the sensations of burning and pain to your mouth to force you to stop eating the spicy hot sauce and prevent physical damage.

None of that sounds fun - so why do people love spicy food? Who wants to trick their brain into feeling pain? The answer lies in the chemicals produced after the initial burn.

Your brain knows you hate feeling pain - even if it is fake pain - and it wants to help! Once pain has been signaled, your brain releases a flood of endorphins and dopamine. These feel-good chemicals induce a sense of euphoria, similar to a runner's high.

These happy chemicals are one reason hot sauce lovers can’t get enough. Over time, pain receptors even start to get used to that chili pepper heat, and you need a bit more of the hot stuff to get the same satisfying feeling.

Bottom Line: If you are a spicy food fan, and you find yourself having to reorder from Kirk’s a little more often, do yourself a favor & just grab the 6-pack.

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