Heart racing, toes curling … and tongue burning? Chili peppers are another food that can get your motor running. Capsaicin, the chemical that gives you a burning sensation when you eat spicy food, is a thermogenic agent, meaning that it increases your metabolic activity. This gives you more energy and stamina and revs your body's calorie-burning capacity.
Capsaicin is also oil and fat-soluble, which means that it absorbs quickly into the skin or the mouth, creating a tingling sensation in small doses and heightening skin sensitivity. This increase can be used to your benefit -- try kissing someone a few minutes after eating a jalapeno. You'll feel the difference, and so will they as the capsaicin transfers. Just be careful where you kiss them -- experienced cooks know the danger of cutting chili peppers with their bare hands or touching any tender areas too quickly after seeding them. The increased sensitivity that capsaicin imparts can get out of control quickly and become even dangerously painful.