How to get rid of the burn! Why would you want that?
So, now that you’ve either bitten into a hot pepper, poured a bit too much of that “death sauce” on your tongue, or ate too many Nuclear wings where you have to sign a waiver, you might be thinking to yourself, “How can I stop this burn in my mouth as quick as possible?” Why are you going to do that now? You’ve just spent some money on some quality pain and you want to put out the fire? I just don’t get it.
Just kidding. My 44 year-old tongue can’t handle it anymore either. My claim to fame once was being able to chug a bottle of Tabasco straight. Might not seem too incredibly adventurous, but hey, I wasn’t out there trying to burn a hole my stomach. I just wanted to feel the burn, enjoy the taste, and maybe, if I was lucky enough, enjoy an endorphin high.
Ok. So, you’ve decided to call it quits. Throw in the towel. Admit defeat. What do you do? Do you pull a rookie mistake and just grab water? While it might provide seconds of relief, you won’t find any long-lasting burn-quenching benefits. And why is that? In a previous post, I noted that hot peppers contain capsicum, an alkaline and oil-based molecule. It triggers the temperature-sensitive pain receptors to feel a burning sensation even though there is nothing burning.
What are some go-to fire putter-outers?
Most milk-based products contain a protein called casein, which helps break down the capsaicin molecule. It acts by attracting, surrounding and washing away capsaicin molecule that are currently building a stronghold in your mouth. Types of milk products include cow’s milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, or sour cream. The main idea is that it needs to contain casein if it’s going to have any benefit.
Remember that capsaicin is an alkaline molecule. So, why not do some yin-yang and drink something acidic. By drinking something acidic, you end up neutralizing the molecule’s activity. Such drinks could include lemonade, limeade, orange juice, or a tomato-based food or drink. Soda is acidic, but the carbonated bubbles can accentuate the burn and negate the effects of the acidic pH of soda- so steer clear if you want to lessen the pain.
Carbs are good for many reasons. One of them is that they are a voluminous food. It can act as a physical barrier between capsaicin and the insides of your mouth. To accomplish this, try eating a piece of bread, rice, cracker, or tortilla. You are looking for a food product rich in starch.
Now that we’ve armed you with the best methods available to take down anything spicy, we hope you won’t back down on the next challenge that awaits you.