Why Do Some People Tolerate Spicy Food?

  • Added:  3 months ago
  • Some people can eat raw jalapeños like they're apples. Why do some people have a high tolerance for spicy food while others can't stand it?

    Hosted by:Hank Green
    Support SciShow by becoming a patron on Patreon: www.patreon.com/scishow
    Dooblydoo thanks go to the following Patreon supporters—we couldn't make SciShow without them! Shout out to Kevin Bealer, Mark Terrio-Cameron, KatieMarie Magnone, Patrick Merrithew, Charles Southerland, Fatima Iqbal, Benny, Tim Curwick, Scott Satovsky Jr, Philippe von Bergen, Bella Nash, Bryce Daifuku, Chris Peters, Patrick D. Ashmore, Charles George, Bader AlGhamdi
    Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet?
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/scishow
    Twitter: www.twitter.com/scishow
    Tumblr: scishow.tumblr.com
    Instagram: instagram.com/thescishow
    books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=vvalCgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA77 book

    Image Sources:
  • EducationEducation
  • Runtime: 2:50
  • SciShow  science  Hank  Green  education  learn  Why do some people to;erate spicy food?  Chilli  Pepper  Spicy  hot  sauce  tabasco  shiracha  habanero  jarapeno  TRPV1  togue  protain  desensitization effect  capsaicin  tamale  curry  peppers  benign masochism  sentation seekers  chili-head  

Comments: 1 397

  • cat21860
    cat21860 3 days ago

    My mom ate a lot of spicy food while pregnant with me and now I barely feel the burn

  • calichef1962
    calichef1962 20 days ago

    Having been a chef I used to have a really good spice/capsicum tolerance, but not anymore. About five years ago I was taking a pill and I gagged/choked just as I was about to swallow the pill. Instead of going down into my stomach it went up... into my sinuses! After suffering with the pill drain taste for days I eventually rigged up a neti pot using my fat separator cup from the kitchen cupboard and some foil. It worked and washed the remnants of the pill down. However, the damage had been done and it completely changed my sense of taste. Before that my tastes ran to spicy, creamy, chocolatey, smokey flavors, but after the incident all I could really stand to eat were fruits and unadorned vegetables, proteins and tangy candies like Jolly Ranchers. I eventually got back most of my flavor preferences, but the preference for capsicums/spicy foods never came back. I can eat a bit of spice now, but not like I could before, and I'm pretty sure that the love of capsicums will never fully return to me. The other sort of spicy-- the kind found in mustard and horseradish never bothered me during my drastic change of taste.

  • Ghost?
    Ghost? 21 day ago

    i can't tolerate KFC... when you grow up on potatoes and fish.

  • Richard Abbott
    Richard Abbott 25 days ago

    I've always loved spicy food but my sister won't touch anything that is mildly spicy

  • Give me ads This is a living

    I just like it, that's it, no more science behind this

  • Calvin IsBougie
    Calvin IsBougie 29 days ago

    I like hot Cheetos and Takis so

  • MLP058 TwiDash
    MLP058 TwiDash Month ago

    I ate a ghost pepper and I only had to deal with some dierreha. my friend tried it, and she was crying for hours.. I felt so bad.

  • Danni Garland
    Danni Garland Month ago

    im afraid to eat spicy food, nandos mild chicken is spicy to me, l thought salt was a spice lol someone recommend a mild spicy dish for me

  • I couldn't think of a creative username

    The answer is simple, we're not white

  • Yuri Ashimatsu
    Yuri Ashimatsu 2 months ago

    What about Old Spice?
    I heard people like that stuff.

  • Volc.Bs
    Volc.Bs 2 months ago

    Tabasco sauce isn't that hot though.

  • Siddhartha Reddy
    Siddhartha Reddy 2 months ago +2

    laughs in Indian

    IT_IZ_PEANUTZ 2 months ago

    I just enjoy the heat

  • miles tails
    miles tails 2 months ago

    I hate a pork chop with crushed black peppers red crushed pepper and even putt hot sauce on it and it wasnt spicy jeez i need a challenge

  • laila lolita
    laila lolita 2 months ago

    I can drink a bottle of a hot souce and nothing happens to me

  • DragonFae16
    DragonFae16 2 months ago

    I can't handle any spiciness. Like at all. I can't even handle pepper on my food.

  • Joynal Miah
    Joynal Miah 2 months ago

    Yes, Yes I do like the burn

  • Okabe Rintarou
    Okabe Rintarou 2 months ago

    I think I'm a bit of the three,since I was a children I was more tolerant with spicy foods,until I learned to like the tingling sensation and as I was eating lots of peppers,I needed even more to feel the hotness.

    I eat peppers everyday:A weaker and way more dilute pepper sauce(sometimes homemade) in the lunch and dried peppers with bread,cheese,ham and oregano at dinner.I love the spicyness of the pepper combined with the "pizza-like" taste of oregano.

  • The UnorthodoxTutor
    The UnorthodoxTutor 3 months ago

    Wait... Siracha is spicy?

  • Whitney S
    Whitney S 3 months ago

    Decided to watch this while dousing my lunch in sriracha

  • Michael D'Augustine
    Michael D'Augustine 3 months ago

    I grew up eating spicy Mexican and Tex-Mex food. Then in college some of my Indian friends warned me to take it easy when eating their cooking because "Americans can't handle the spice" After eating an entire bowl of what was almost literally just pure spiciness, I said "where is the spice?"

  • killercloud345
    killercloud345 3 months ago

    Saracha...Spicy? I laugh in all your faces

  • Gerardo Garza García
    Gerardo Garza García 3 months ago

    I love habaneros, and can eat them raw. but I can only do 1, habanero salsa a lot. I'm weak. 😂 that's as far as I go for spicy.

  • forcitpotentiam :
    forcitpotentiam : 3 months ago

    spicy food >>> everything else

  • lightsidemaster
    lightsidemaster 3 months ago


  • Jonathan Dee
    Jonathan Dee 3 months ago

    then you get to look forward to curry bumm

  • DigestingGummyBears
    DigestingGummyBears 3 months ago

    I need Carolina reaper hot sauce because anything less isn't spice enough. even the reaper hot sauce doesn't satisfy me. I need some spicier

  • Kwandaioha O.o
    Kwandaioha O.o 3 months ago

    I used to be able to eat raw habaneros but then I developed gerd and even though I really really really liked hot peppers the horrible chest pains aren't worth it anymore :(

  • Joe Hanson
    Joe Hanson 3 months ago

    I enjoy the burn and the flavor. I have as far as I can remember. To get the same enjoyable level of heat I have to add more and more as time goes by. That's why it became more economical for me to go to the spiciest peppers to add heat to my food. Chopping up 15 Thai peppers to get a moderate burn in ramen is when I knew I needed a better way.

  • Shylas Canvas
    Shylas Canvas 3 months ago

    I agree with this and I disagree with this. My mom loves spicy food and I do too. But my brother cant handle spicy food nearly as well as my mom and I can. My dad doesn't handle spicy food like my mom does but he is pretty similar to how I handle it. So I don't think it's genetics that make my brother not like spicy food. My family also eats spicy food on a regular basis so it's not like he's not exposed to it. So I'm pretty sure my brother is just the weirdo of the family.

  • darkimpp
    darkimpp 3 months ago

    this explains the persons tolerance 2 spicyness. great info. my question is y its so sensitive on the return end and then sometimes not so intense. trying to b p.c. can u answer???

  • Tyclone
    Tyclone 3 months ago

    I love spicy food!

  • Jesse Ibarra
    Jesse Ibarra 3 months ago

    There are times I seek the spicy 🌶 sensational burn, like an endless craving of pure spiciness. The taste is simply just amazing. Stay Spicy my friends.

  • Sami Al-Abbar
    Sami Al-Abbar 3 months ago

    What's odd for me it that it feels like my mouth can tolerate it fine but my face and head just start sweating like crazy. Like I'll need a towel to dry off when eating Indian food. Does that make me a Benign Masochist?

  • The Akram Cat
    The Akram Cat 3 months ago

    As a spicy-food lover i can confirm both factors

    the more i eat spicy food the spicier i want it to be each time
    And eating spicy food just makes me happy and laugh, it's like getting tickled, it makes you laugh but you don't know why.

  • Luneytunes
    Luneytunes 3 months ago

    I lean more towards the desensitisation thing. Because when I was younger I hated spice, it hurt a lot. But over the years I've built up a decent tolerance so i can truly appreciate the wonder that is jalapeno and cheese (or monterey and chicken) tacquitos

  • Seth M
    Seth M 3 months ago

    Eating spicy food while watching this video

  • R MH
    R MH 3 months ago

    I've actually experienced that the more I eat spicy food the less I can tolerate it. I used to eat spicy chips but stopped because my tongue caught flame quicker and quicker, to the point where I didn't even taste the flavor anymore before feeling the burn. It waa just one bite = lava-mouth with a side of runny-nose.

  • Yasin Coban
    Yasin Coban 3 months ago

    sriracha isnt spicy at all...its just sweet

  • Favour Olufemi
    Favour Olufemi 3 months ago

    the reason why some people tolerate spicy food is because some people in this world are Hispanic, black and indian

  • Matt Brine
    Matt Brine 3 months ago

    As a Canadian I love spicy food, I put hot sauce in almost everything. A grilled cheese sandwhich with kethcup and hotsauce is very tasty.

  • Stephen Shaw
    Stephen Shaw 3 months ago

    weakness disgusts me ~ Madara

  • Mr Mizer
    Mr Mizer 3 months ago

    I love spice food. Hot peppers, Wasabi, etc. Jalapenos are nothing to me nowadays. When I first started eating hot peppers, Jalapenos used to be too much for me to handle. After eating the Carolina Reaper, less hotter stuff like Habaneros don't affect me much either. My taste buds are still strong as ever though.

  • JurisKankalis
    JurisKankalis 3 months ago

    you know that apart from all the wise stuff you say, it's good for the stomach lining, right?

  • Here's where I'd put my name

    Is it possible to get so used to extremely hot peppers that it could desensitize your ability to actually feel heat in your mouth or on tongue?

  • DarkShadows713
    DarkShadows713 3 months ago

    White people killed millions in the search for spice, but now they all, "this ice cream's too spicy"

  • Leah Bana
    Leah Bana 3 months ago

    jalapenos aren't spicy 😂😂😂😂 wtf

  • She Wolf
    She Wolf 3 months ago

    My son when he was a baby, in his highchair, he dipped his fry in the hot sauce bowl so quickly and gobbled it up without any reaction. He is the only one in the family that cannot taste spicy heat. I often thought he could make money with this amazing ability XD

    • She Wolf
      She Wolf 3 months ago

      I think you have a very special boy right there!!! My son is a teen now and still the same thing!!!

    • Sara Hobson
      Sara Hobson 3 months ago

      She Wolf I sometimes wonder if my 1.5yo son even has taste buds... he eats tabasco sauce, wasabi, Thai curries etc without even blinking!

    • Sara Hobson
      Sara Hobson 3 months ago

      She Wolf I sometimes wonder if my 1.5yo son even has taste buds... he eats tabasco sauce, wasabi, Thai curries etc without even blinking!

  • Ryan Ballantyne
    Ryan Ballantyne 3 months ago

    Science may not know in a general sense, but anyone who actually eats spicy food will tell you that it just takes practice. Why bother? IMO, a little capsaicin can deepen and enhance the flavor of food. If you never learn, you'll never experience those flavors.

  • Angela Asuzu
    Angela Asuzu 3 months ago

    nice job

  • John Hall
    John Hall 3 months ago

    This is why I eat spicy food with my hands up in the air yelling "Wooooooooooooo!!!!"

  • Parker Raines
    Parker Raines 3 months ago

    Yeah, I'd say I have a pretty high resistance to spicy foods.
    Sometimes I tap the green Tabasco sauce on my eggs TWO whole times.

  • Blazi Ken
    Blazi Ken 3 months ago

    i like spice, but i can not eat a chili whole. I usually have to cut it up

  • Patrick McCurry
    Patrick McCurry 3 months ago

    My parents never liked heat so I wasn't exposed to it as a kid. But as an adult I love making small bowls of salsa using over half a dozen habaneros et. al. without any sweating. I'm also very introverted and anxiety ridden, and don't like those overly bitter peppers. Heat for heats' sake and no good flavor seems silly to me. That just leaves genetics, for me at least.

  • Josh McReynolds
    Josh McReynolds 3 months ago

    I love Habaneros.

  • The Platinum Tugboat
    The Platinum Tugboat 3 months ago

    Hey girl, do you like the spicy peppers? Cause ill be jalapeno ass

    lol... had to

  • Jazzmen Hamilton
    Jazzmen Hamilton 3 months ago

    now I want to eat jalapenos....

  • Richard Lane
    Richard Lane 3 months ago

    tolerate? spicy foods are at least 50% of my diet. I like the burn, because IM A MAN

  • li wall
    li wall 3 months ago +1

    You've missed the part where the capaicin triggers endorphins, first the pain then the pleasure

  • Gnouveli
    Gnouveli 3 months ago

    how scientists measure spiciness? what is the unit of measurement?

  • Mason Westphal
    Mason Westphal 3 months ago

    @SciShow do sidewalks increase earthworms likelihood of survival in a rain storm?

  • monkeyman522
    monkeyman522 3 months ago

    One of my Mexican friends said her Grandfather lived to be 92 years old and attributes it to his eating a raw habanero pepper wrapped in a tortilla every day. She said by eating something this hot that it killed any bacteria or virus that could get into his system so he was healthy his entire life. Is there any truth to this?

  • Jessa Shu
    Jessa Shu 3 months ago

    Hello sharing some insight here, actually I think it's a really good point that people from more humid/tropic environments tend to enjoy spicy food more. What cultures do you know that enjoy spicy food? I've seen mexican and indian in the comments. But Southern China and I think maybe southeast asia too enjoy it (I'm from the north so not so much). These are all warmer, humid environments. Apparently eating spicy foods helps with..... something.... I'm not too sure, no I don't have research to back it up but @Scishow, maybe you could look into this or something

  • Salim Sahir
    Salim Sahir 3 months ago

    Why the fuck not?

  • ReZisT Lust
    ReZisT Lust 3 months ago

    lol is what I think when people say sriracha is hot 😹

  • 911gp
    911gp 3 months ago +1

    Because they are Mexicans.

  • Tijnoss
    Tijnoss 3 months ago

    liking and enjoying spicy food because you've learned to sounds like a severe case of stockholm syndrome.

  • Pepper Gipper
    Pepper Gipper 3 months ago

    Don't you mean "Why Do Some People With Taste Buds Tolerate Spicy Food?"

  • Everlong Raider
    Everlong Raider 3 months ago

    I like spicy food, my asshole does not!

  • 1959Edsel
    1959Edsel 3 months ago

    A guy I used to work with once said, "I'm an Irish boy. Red jello is too spicy for me."

  • WhiteNoise0093
    WhiteNoise0093 3 months ago

    This Thai here would like to add a few things, since this is very, very relevant to Thai cuisine.

    First, a lot of Thai foods are quite spicy. In fact, that bowl of curry shown in the video? Thai's don't even call it spicy.
    The famous Thai spicy shrimp soup "Tom yum goong" known to the west is actually a lot more spicy in Thailand. Most Thais would consider Tom yum goong made in Thai restaurants in the west actually quite bland.

    And that's the central Thailand food. Both southern and northeastern Thailand foods are even more spicy than central Thailand stuff. In fact, Som Tam (usually translated as "papaya salad") has the same stereotype here as Mexican foods in America: Painful going in and Painful coming out.

  • Leong Li Yang
    Leong Li Yang 3 months ago

    I love spicy anyone ?

  • Dr. Kaii
    Dr. Kaii 3 months ago

    Am I being arrogant or did this video teach me nothing I hadn't guessed already? I guess I learned about TRPV1

  • Além do Sol
    Além do Sol 3 months ago

    I couldn't stand spicy food as a kid but I love it now. I order the "super spicy!!!" dishes at restaurants with an air of caution because I'm worried I'll be disappointed with how mild it is, haha

  • LS Zoologist
    LS Zoologist 3 months ago

    I can eat pretty spicy things maybe it's because I lived Korea and they have some spicy food I love spicy but the only reason I don't like some spicy foods like jalapeños is because of the ducky taste and maybe textured

    KOU IZZLE 3 months ago

    Spice if life. Simply put, spicy food is BOMBBBBBBB!!!!!!!!

  • ItDoesn'tReallyMatter
    ItDoesn'tReallyMatter 3 months ago

    what about spicy memes?

  • ToastAndJellyfish
    ToastAndJellyfish 3 months ago

    Some people get all excited about the Hot Noodle Challenge. I just call it eating lunch.

  • jon peck
    jon peck 3 months ago

    To quote the movie "Lawrence of Arabia", the trick is not minding that it hurts.

  • Neto Mitre
    Neto Mitre 3 months ago

    You people should try mexican food ;)

  • Andee P & Company
    Andee P & Company 3 months ago

    My spice tolerance came with age...now I'm curious if that's a normality among other people too?

  • Alex Flores
    Alex Flores 3 months ago


  • Chai Tyto
    Chai Tyto 3 months ago

    I know that it's not genetic in my case because I am the only one in my family who cannot tolerate spicy foods at all. Once my mother was making homemade hot sauce and I had to leave the house for several hours because I couldn't breathe.

  • Aqua Emerald
    Aqua Emerald 3 months ago

    When your friend can't even eat hot cheetos 😂

  • Varuna Heart
    Varuna Heart 3 months ago

    I'm slightly allergic to spices. My brother and I grew up eating the same foods and we're less than a year apart. He can handle spices while I can't as well even though I like eating spicy foods.

    That said, I get really itchy when I start eating spices and it makes me sweat. He says it isn't as bad and he doesn't get itchy or sweat. So I get the feeling it has to do with genetics.

  • gleep
    gleep 3 months ago

    I know for a fact that my spice tolerance has changed, whether it be because I learned to like it or because I actually built a tolerance. I didn't grow up on spicy food as a little kid, but when I was around 7 I started eating sushi regularly, and I remember everything being too spicy for me. Now I douse everything in sriracha.

  • ThatGuy
    ThatGuy 3 months ago

    Go India! Jai Hind and bless our mangoes and chilies!

  • TheOzumat
    TheOzumat 3 months ago

    1:29 This is what I, as a spice lover, wanted to say when I read the title. Hot food also temporarily makes me a bit more alert.

  • Susan Sheehan
    Susan Sheehan 3 months ago

    Spicy food is fine. What I can't handle is soy sauce or general umami taste sensations. I can detect the slightest hint of it in food-it's intolerable to my taste buds.

    Does anyone know how that happens?

  • Michael King
    Michael King 3 months ago

    yea I've noticed that when i eat more spicy, i can tolerate it more

  • Atratzu
    Atratzu 3 months ago

    I learned to like spicy food.

    Hello Hank it's 04/25/17, in highschool our family hosted several Korean Students, and they brought their food along with them. Specifically Spicy Kimchi ramen noodle cups.
    Now up to this point I wasn't much of a "Ramen person", I just ate whatever was in the fridge or mom made for us... but the revolutionary discovery of "just-add-water-noodles" blew my world. (I'm a simple man, frozen pizza's still impress me)

    I really wanted to eat this ramen, but it hurt my mouth so baaaaaddd. Being of German and Norwegian decent there wasn't much helping me by way of culture. But I kept trying to eat the ramen noodles, my eyes would water up, and I would drain glasses and glasses of water and milk to try to stop the burning. (but the noodles were still delicious!)

    After about a month of self-inflicted torture (I'm not a masochist, I swear. the ramen was just worth it, okay?) I started to make progress, and now years after developing spice tollerance my brothers and I can eat much more spicy food. So when mom accidentally gets spicy shrimp, I get a bonus dish of spicy (not really spicy) shrimp!

    Fin. /bows See you next video.

  • Nin10
    Nin10 3 months ago

    These buttery noodles are too spicy!

  • Gary Green
    Gary Green 3 months ago

    Maybe just some of us aren't such delicate snowflakes. 😉 In New Mexico I went from boring to bonfire. 20 years in SE Asia and I can't stand bland food. got to have some burn.

  • Mike
    Mike 3 months ago +1

    My friend said he loves super spicy food so I made him 12oz my spicy salsa and added 4 chopped scorpion peppers(hotter than ghost peppers) as a joke. And he thought it was fantastic.

  • Red Russian
    Red Russian 3 months ago

    Idk, when I was young, my family never had any spicy food, but after I moved to Asia, I learned to enjoy spicy food, now I can't stand bland foods that I used to enjoy as a child. Everything has to have some hot sauce in it, however my mom and other relatives always ask me to cook less spicy meals.

  • tdwebste3
    tdwebste3 3 months ago

    embrace the pain, as true lover and friend who doesn't flee during the difficult times,

  • Aaron Qian
    Aaron Qian 3 months ago

    When I eat really spicy food, I also get a bit of a high.

  • hipnyah
    hipnyah 3 months ago

    I'm in a weird category ten, afoot a year ago anything spicy pig any sorry was of the table but now (without any major change) I enjoy it like it's literally less hot than it was by a lot

  • Aaron Qian
    Aaron Qian 3 months ago

    Started eating and enjoying spicy food very young in China, so I had very high tolerance. When I got to US, there are less spicy foods available, so I ate less spicy. When I went back to China later, I felt the food was much more spicy than I used to feel, but over the course of a few weeks I got used to it again. So yeah, desensitization is the key for me at least.

  • HeyHay
    HeyHay 3 months ago

    I like the burn and numb feeling. I miss spicy food. Can't have it because my ileostomy won't tolerate it. The mouth willing but the tummy is not.

Analyse website