• Question: how did you come up with the idea of chili maybe making people run faster

    Asked by orla to Ali on 13 Jun 2018.
    • Photo: Ali Hill

      Ali Hill answered on 13 Jun 2018:

      Hi Orla,

      Thanks for putting this on here! The official answer is that chillis are hot because they contain something called capsaicin. The hotter a chilli the more capsaicin it has. Capsaicin is used in creams you get for osteoarthritis to try and stop pain. So I wondered whether there was something we could use in sports. If you feel less pain you can push yourself further. So the theory is that chilli can make you run faster – I’ve put a bit more on it in a video on my profile but that’s the gist of it. And that’s something that I’d spend the prize money on, as I’d love to talk to school kids about it, to get them as enthusiastic about sports nutrition as I am.

      The unofficial answer is that I love spicy foods and it was a way I could use science to justify eating them πŸ™‚