Sriracha: the Science of Pain and Pleasure

The red chiles in Sriracha contain molecules that pack a blistering punch, triggering a protein in our mouths that typically responds to scorching temperatures, researchers explain. But then something unexpected happens next.

Sriracha, the chile sauce, burns but it makes you feel so good.

Wonder why?

In this cool video, the American Chemical Society explains the correlation between the smoldering sensation in our mouths and the feeling of elation after indulging in "rooster sauce", a combination of red chiles, garlic, vinegar, salt and sugar.  

The red chiles in Sriracha contain molecules that pack a blazing punch, triggering a protein in our mouths that typically responds to scorching temperatures.

The body then reacts by releasing a rush of endorphins that destroys the pain, similar to the feeling felt by a jogger after a long run, the American Chemical Society explains.

So the next time you're debating whether to reach for the rooster sauce, keep in mind that the immediate pain will give way to pleasure.

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