Spicy Food makes man, manlier!

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Spicy Food makes man, manlier!

Men who like to load their food in hot sauce may be biologically ‘manlier’ than their counterparts, new research suggests.

A new study by French scientists shows that there’s a link between a male’s preference for spicy food and his levels of testosterone – the hormone linked to typically “manly” traits, such as aggression, high sex drive and risk-taking.

The researchers from the University of Grenoble gave 114 men aged 18 – 44 a plain bowl of mashed potato, and told them to season it with as much hot sauce and salt as they liked.

After that, researchers took saliva samples and found that the men who loaded their mashed potatoes with hot sauce had higher levels of testosterone. The researchers, however, didn’t find a correlation between the amount of salt eaten and the hormone.

What it means: Men crave testosterone because the hormone drives them to seek new thrills and risky experiences.

“These results are in line with a lot of research showing a link between testosterone and financial, sexual and behavioural risk-taking,” study author Laurent Begue said. “In this case, it applies to risk-taking in taste. It is also possible that the regular consumption of spicy food contributes to increasing testosterone levels, although so far this has only been demonstrated on rodents.”

It’s hard to draw conclusions about the hot sauce-testosterone connection. The link could be biological, if spicy food raises testosterone levels. A 2013 study found that mice exposed to capsaicin, the chemical that makes food hot, had higher testosterone levels than a control group.

Or it could be environmental. In cultures that associate spicy foods with masculinity, alpha males might feel pressure to go heavy on hot sauce.

Another possible explanation is the condiment’s colour: A 2013 study found that men who preferred red, the colour of the sauce used in this study, tended to have higher testosterone than those who liked blue.

Men might feel pressure to consume a lot of spicy food to prove they’re worthy. Is it worth it trying to show off? Just maybe don’t try Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, you’ve been warned.


Tina is a DailyStar senior writer. She graduated from Edith Cowan University. Writing has always been something she enjoyed. Her positive outlook colours every aspect of her life. Her motto -Life’s too short so get living.

When she’s not busy writing, Tina is exploring the city she adores, running in her local Park every day, drinking an absurd amount of coffee, taking care of an adorable pup, kids and traveling.

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