Capsaicin: The Burning Truth Behind The Spice


Capsaicin is an active compound in chili peppers that gives them their characteristic heat. This compound has many health benefits, including boosting thermogenesis, increasing fat oxidation, and improving cardiovascular health.

Recently, it has been shown that Capsaicin can promote strength gains and muscle hypertrophy, making it an exciting and valuable compound for bodybuilders and beyond.

This article will explore the burning truth behind the spice, including its health benefits and potential side effects.

About Capsaicin - Photo by Wouter Supardi Salari on Unsplash
Photo by Wouter Supardi Salari on Unsplash

What is Capsaicin?

This compound is responsible for the burning sensation that chili peppers create when ingested. Capsaicin is a capsaicinoid, a class of organic compounds structurally similar to Capsaicin. These compounds are found in various plants, including chili peppers, bell peppers, and tomatoes. 

How does Capsaicin work?

Capsaicin works by binding to a receptor in the body called TRPV1. This receptor is responsible for sensing pain, heat, and itch. When Capsaicin binds to TRPV1, it activates the receptor and causes the sensation of heat. Capsaicinoids, like Capsaicin, work by binding to TRPV1 and activating it. This activation of TRPV1 causes an influx of calcium into the cells, and the calcium then triggers a series of reactions that lead to the sensation of heat. Capsaicin also can desensitize TRPV1, which is why repeated exposure to Capsaicin can result in a reduced response.

What are the benefits?

Capsaicin has a host of health benefits and can boost thermogenesis, which produces heat in the body. Thermogenesis is a process that helps to regulate body temperature. This increase in thermogenesis can increase calorie expenditure, aiding in weight loss. Capsaicin has also been shown to increase fat oxidation. Fat oxidation is the process by which the body breaks down and uses fat for energy. This increase in fat burning can aid in weight loss too. 

Capsaicin also can improve cardiovascular health and has been shown to reduce blood pressure and heart rate and has also been shown to improve blood flow. These effects can lead to a reduction in the risk of heart disease.

Capsaicin also has the potential to enhance muscular hypertrophy and strength gains. A recent study showed that capsaicin supplementation increased muscle size and strength in a group of trained men.

Are there any risks associated with Capsaicin?

Capsaicin is generally safe when consumed in small amounts. However, some potential side effects can occur. Capsaicin’s most common side effect is digestive upset, which can include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Capsaicin can also cause skin irritation, most commonly seen in those who handle chili peppers regularly. Capsaicin can also cause a burning sensation when it comes into contact with the eyes or mucous membranes. Capsaicin is also a potent irritant. This means that it can irritate the stomach, intestines, and skin. Capsaicin should be used with caution in those with a history of stomach ulcers or other gastrointestinal issues.

How can I include Capsaicin in my diet?

Capsaicin can be included in the diet by consuming chili peppers, and chili peppers are available fresh, frozen, canned, and dried. Capsaicin can also be found in various products, including pepper spray, pain relievers, and topical creams.

Final word

Capsaicin is a potent compound with a host of health benefits. However, it is also a powerful irritant and should be used cautiously. Capsaicin can be included in the diet by consuming chili peppers or using products containing Capsaicin.

Bruno Tavares
Bruno Tavares
My goal is to provide my readers with valuable information and insights that they can use to make the most of their lives.


  1. Love spicy food. As a Jamaican, chilli peppers are like sweet peppers compared to our scotch bonnet peppers, the heat is out of this world. I appreaciate you sharing the health benefits of capcaisin. I find the study you shared that shows the correlation between consuming capsaicin and building muscle to be very intriguing. It would be interesting to read the study design. As always Bruno, another great post.

  2. Every time I read one of your articles I learn something. I will certainly up the capsaicin in my diet – won’t be hard to do since I already consume a bit.

  3. Very helpful and interesting post. I love learning new information and I had no idea about capsaicin. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thanks a lot for sharing! I would also add that it has also been shown to alter the expression of several genes involved in cancer cell survival and growth. Consumed in moderation, it does wonders to the body! One extra piece of advice: the other day, I read about a guy hospitalized after eating a lot of chili peppers; his mouth and throat were burning and he thought drinking water would help.. well, no; milk is the best option here. Water would make things worse. Cheers!

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