I’ve been told this is why Indian food is so spicy. Looks like science can explain what a billion people figured out intuitively.
So when you eat or drink something hot, these receptors get that heat signal, and that tells the nerve to let the brain know what’s going on. When the brain gets the message “It’s hot in here,” it turns on the mechanism we have to cool ourselves off: sweating. Yes, the hot drink makes you hotter … but it does something else, too. “The hot drink somehow has an effect on your systemic cooling mechanisms, which exceeds its actual effect in terms of heating your body,” says McNaughton. One other interesting thing. These TRPV1 receptors respond to hot heat, but they also respond to chemicals in chili peppers, which is why chili peppers seem hot. “That’s probably why chili peppers are so popular in hot countries because they cause sweating and activate a whole raft of mechanisms which lower the temperature,” he says.