“Drinking water after eating a hot pepper is like mixing oil and water. It won’t work out that well,” explains The American Chemical Society .
Hot peppers can make you feel like your mouth is on fire. The American Chemical Society explains the science behind that burn and why drinking water is one of the worse things you can do to ease that pain.
The chemical compound responsible for the burning sensation you can get when eating spicy foods is called capsaicin. It binds to pain receptors in your mouth, which then can trigger a reaction like your eyes tearing up or your nose running.
The video explains that capsaicin is a non-polar molecule and dissolves in other non-polar molecules, so drinking milk, which contains non-polar molecules, will give you relief.
The molecules in milk (and other dairy products) are non-polar which help to actually dissolve the capsaicin molecules in your mouth. The casein protein in milk helps dissolve the capsaicin, too.
Water on the other hand? It’s a polar substance and it will just spread the capsaicin around your mouth making the heat even worse.
So next time to you bite off more spice than you can chew, try to get a class of milk at the ready and just say to water until the stinging subsides.