Science Tells Us Men Who Like Spicy Food Are More Manly

It turns out the men who prefer spicy foods have higher testosterone levels than men whose taste buds prefer to settle on milder flavoring.

According to a study published in the journal Physiology and Behavior, men who eat spicier foods have more testosterone in their bodies, the hormone linked to increased sex drive and risk-taking behavior.

Researchers from the University of Grenoble-Alpes in France asked 114 men ages 18 to 44 whether they liked spicy food. The were given mashed potatoes and were allowed to add as much spicy pepper sauce and salt as they wanted.

After eating the spicy dish, the researchers found higher levels of testosterone in the saliva of the men. In the study titled “Some Like It Hot,” the researchers discovered men with higher testosterone levels preferred the taste of hot sauce and tended to use it more.

Preferring the taste of spicy food is linked to dominant and competitive traits. These manly men are more willing to take risks and have more “daring behaviors.” Guys who choose to keep it safe when it comes to ordering food may not be has happy either. “Conversely, low testosterone levels have been associated with lethargy or depressive mood,” the study author’s write.

While this link between testosterone and spicy food was proven, it’s still unclear what causes it. A wide range of factors, including genetic, physiological, psychological and social forces, influence the liking and consumption of capsaicin-containing food,” the researchers write.

A 2013 study also found males who prefer red have higher testosterone than those who like blue.