What is the Link Between Testosterone and Cravings For Spicy Food?

Link Between Testosterone and Cravings For Spicy Food
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.

Testosterone is a hormone that is present in the male and female body, but the hormone is needed in much larger quantities in the male body. This is because testosterone is responsible for all of the features that are linked to masculinity and also helps boys turn into men during puberty. At a younger age, testosterone develops the penis, causes facial and pubic hair to grow, and it causes a teenage boy’s voice to deepen. Later in life, the hormone still plays an essential role in the male body and contributes toward the normal functionality of several systems within the body – including the central nervous system, the brain and more.

Normal levels of testosterone vary between 300 ng/dL to 1050 ng/dL. The specific level depends on the man’s age, but their testosterone scores should generally be within this range. If a man’s testosterone levels are below 300 ng/dL, then they have a condition known as andropause – some people refer to it simply as low testosterone. This condition can cause numerous symptoms to develop in the male body, including fatigue, a reduction* of lean muscle mass, an increase* of body fat and a loss of physical strength. Erectile dysfunction is also not uncommon in men who have lower testosterone levels.

When testosterone levels are higher than 1050 ng/dL, a man has high testosterone. While some may see this as a negative health effect, others have gained a lot of benefits from higher levels of the hormone circulating through their bodies. High levels of testosterone are often associated with the term “alpha male” as well. A strong, defined jawline, a deep voice, wide shoulders are all signs of high testosterone levels.

Testosterone Food Info

Craving Spicy Food May Be A Sign Of High Testosterone

A very interesting discovery was recently made after scientists noted that there is a link between spicy food consumption and high testosterone levels. The study found that men who crave spicy food, such as chilly, and men who take the risk of eating some of the hottest foods out there tend to have higher testosterone levels than men who avoid spicy food at all cost. The study had a total of 114 men participating. All of these men were between the ages of 18 and 44. The men were asked whether or not they prefer spicy food. Each participant was given a plate with mashed potatoes. In addition, they were also given a pepper sauce that was spicy and table salt – the participant, had the opportunity to choose between the two seasonings.

After the participants consumed the mashed potatoes, a follow-up study was conducted. The testosterone scores in each participant’s saliva were tested. The participants that consumed the mashed potatoes with a spicy hot sauce seasoning were also asked how spicy the food was. They found that the men who consumed the spicy seasoning instead of regular salt had higher levels of testosterone than the men who preferred to consume the mashed potatoes with salt. They also found that men who found the sauce to be less spicy had higher levels of the hormone than men who mentioned it was too hot for them.

Spicy Hot Food

This study provided solid evidence that testosterone is a hormone that tends to cause a risk-taking behavior in men. Previous studies have found that men with high levels of the steroid hormone tend to take more risks sexually, financially and with certain behavioral traits. This specific study proved that men who have an abundance of testosterone in their body are more likely to take risks when it comes to taste.

The fact that men with high testosterone are more likely to consume and crave spicy food isn’t the only finding of the study. The researchers behind the study also mentioned that the link might have a reinforcing effect as well. The spicy food may also contribute towards the higher levels of testosterone in the male body by stimulating the glands that signal the production of the hormone in the body. This causes the man to create a positive link between his own masculine features (high testosterone levels) and the spicy food; thus causing the individual to like spicy food more. This is only a speculation at the time as the specific effects have only been proven in studies that involved laboratory rats. Further studies are still needed to conclude whether or not spicy food can also raise levels of testosterone in human subjects.


High testosterone is a condition that can make a man more masculine and contribute various features that people associate with the “alpha male” image. New studies suggest that men who are more likely to eat spicy food or add hot sauces to their meals have higher levels of this steroidal hormone than men who do not prefer spicy food. The study also found that the spicy food may aid in the production of the hormone, but they are still doing research to verify if this fact is true in human beings.

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Expert Author : Dr. Ahmed Zayed (Consumer Health Digest)

Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. Other than his passion for writing, currently he is working as a Plastic surgeon and is doing his masters at Ain shams University.

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