We’ve all heard “you are what you eat,” but new research suggests that the saying might as well be “you can tell a lot about a man by what he eats.” A study from the University of Grenoble-Alpes in France found that men who like spicy foods have more testosterone then men who shy away from the Sriracha.
The study, published in the journal Psychology and Behavior and entitled “Some Like It Hot,” examined the spice preferences of 114 men, ages 18 to 44. Researchers measured the testosterone levels of participants through their saliva, and then sat the men down for a snack. The subjects were given potatoes and invited to spice them with mini bottles of Tabasco and salt packets. The study found that they men with the highest levels of testosterone flavored their potatoes with the most sauce, but found no correlation between salt and testosterone levels.
The researchers aren’t exactly sure what the results of the study mean. One theory is that men with higher levels of the hormone simply tend to prefer spicier foods. As an author of the study points out, testosterone is linked to “financial, sexual, and behavioural risk-taking," so a preference for spicy foods makes sense. Another theory is that the exposure to capsaicin (the chili pepper compound that makes hot sauce hot) could actually be raising testosterone levels. Though this link hasn’t yet been proven in humans, previous studies have shown a connection between capsaicin and testosterone in rodents.
Either way, men who can’t get enough hot sauce are more likely to be risk takers with heightened sex drives. So next time you’re on a date with a man, pay attention to how spicy he likes his burrito— you’ll find out a lot about him that way.