My dad and sister put hot sauce on EVERYTHING! Sometimes, I wonder if they actually taste food through all the heat. Hot sauces have become one of our favorite condiments and come in various flavors and heat levels. But, do they have metabolism boosting benefits?
Lots of people add hot sauce or peppers to meals hoping to speed up the metabolism for weight loss. Capsaicin gives chili peppers their spice. Have you ever seen “that guy” doing the hot wing challenge dripping in sweat? He has Capsaicin to thank for that (and for the possible extra Calories burned)!
There are 3 processed that burn Calories:
1. Resting metabolic rate: Calories burned at rest accounts for 60-70% of daily Calories burned
2. Physical Activity: Calories burned with planned movement varies (ranging from 100-3000 Cals per day!)
3. Thermogenesis: Calories burned to increase body temp accounts for 10% of Calories burned
So, if we think about what happens when we eat spicy foods (sweating, heat, etc.), it makes sense that thermogenesis may increase. Actually, spicy foods with capsaicin do enhance and prolong thermogenesis, meaning that we burn more Calories for a longer time after eating!
The thermogenic rate can increase as much as 33% with intake of spicy foods and lasts up to 3 hours after eating. Now, the actual number of Calories burned varies from person to person, but we can confidently say that spicy foods increase Calories burned.
More Capsaicin = more heat is produced = more Calories burned; but, be careful! Too much of anything is never a good thing, and there is such a thing as “too spicy” (and your body will let you know!). Foods high in Capsaicin include, but are not limited to (in order of most heat to least heat):
1. Habanero pepper
2. Jamaica pepper
3. Thai pepper
4. Cayenne pepper
5. Jalapeno pepper
Anything that tastes spicy increases thermogenic effect, and it happens whether or not the pepper is raw, cooked, dehydrated, dried, or ground. Research tells us that this may not lead to significant weight loss, but we do know that we burn more Calories eating spicy food. Great news for all of you hot sauce/chili pepper/chili powder lovers!