Reduce Burn from Spicy Foods with these Beverages

Reduce Burn from Spicy Foods with these Beverages

Even overwhelmed taste buds and exclamations of ‘too hot’ isn’t enough to dissuade people from braving spicy foods.

Since we can’t convince you, we can prepare you for such spicy situations. There are many different beverages you can leverage in case those chicken wings are Hot Ones level of spice.

If you watch the YouTube series, you’ll know that milk is a fine option. It’s backed by science, too: Researchers from Penn State University say it should be the top choice to help reduce the burn.

This conclusion came from a recent study, published in Physiology and Behavior, that searched for the most effective beverage to tame spicy foods.


The team invited 72 people to join tasting tests with five beverages. Each participant drank spicy Bloody Mary mix with capsaicin and were asked to rate the initial burn. As the drink starts to kick in, the participants were offered purified water, cola, cherry-flavored Kool-Aid, seltzer water, non-alcoholic beer, skim milk and whole milk.

After eight trials, they found the all the beverages helped curb spice. But, whole milk, skim milk and Kool-Aid made the largest reductions in burn.

Related: Eating Spicy Food Linked to a Longer Life

“We weren’t surprised that our data suggest milk is the best choice to mitigate burn, but we didn’t expect skim milk to be as effective at reducing the burn as whole milk,” Alissa Nolden, lead researcher and an assistant professor in the Department of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts, said in a statement. “That appears to mean that the fat context of the beverage is not the critical factor and suggests the presence of protein may be more relevant than lipid content.”

Nolden believes the fat, protein and sugar all played a part in reducing the spicy effect of capsaicin. She adds that further study is required to understand how these beverages work to reduce burn.

Photo Credit: lunamarina/; DONOT6_STUDIO/

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