It’s that time of the year again. We’ve all opened our windows to let in the fresh air. In a matter of days, it will be time to dust off the grill. Summer concerts are lining up as we make our summer plans. And that means it’s time for chili pepper eating contests. You’ll find them all summer long, no matter where you live in the country.
Perhaps it’s time to begin preparing yourself for the challenge.
Practice Makes Perfect
Okay, there’s no such thing as a perfect performance at a chili eating contest. It’s a nasty business, and you’re sure to make a fool of yourself – no matter how many chilies you consume. You will sweat and cry (and there’s a possibility your stomach will turn on you).
You should still practice before the big day, though. The very last thing you want to do is move from eating the odd Habanero to attempting a Ghost Pepper in front of a crowd of people. Experiment with chili peppers beforehand (and make sure there’s someone to call 911 if you react adversely!).
Line Your Stomach
It’s true; you won’t have so much to vomit if you have nothing in your stomach. But, your belly is not going to dig it if you hit it with a few million Scovilles and there’s nothing else to counter it.
The best foods to eat include carbs, such as bread or potatoes or yogurt and other capsaicin-countering dairy products. You may even want to add an apple to the mix. But, don’t overdo it. You don’t want to be bursting before you step on stage, as you’ll almost surely bring it all back up.
Prepare for the Aftermath and the Morning After
You know that your body is going to react somehow, so you may as well prepare for it. Your stomach will burn, and you may feel a little queasy for awhile. If you feel you need an antacid, go for it – though natural dairy products are better for you and more likely to treat the symptoms.
Let’s be honest, though; you’re going to feel the burn most when the chilies have broken down and are on your way out of your system. Make sure you’ve got some soothing remedies in your medicine cabinet before the contest… you’ll have a difficult time waiting until you get to the shops.
And finally, remember to build yourself up mentally. We don’t mean “you the man!” rhetoric. You want to remind yourself that capsaicin messes with your mind and body. Too much can definitely take its toll, but you can talk yourself through a lot of the pain – and you’ll probably need to do just that.
Good luck this chili eating season!