Paqui Haunted Ghost Pepper Chip

How to Prepare for the One Chip Challenge

We have all heard about the One Chip Challenge, and as a spicy food lover, you have surely considered doing it.

If you love spicy food as I do, it is only a matter of time before you take up the challenge but before you do, make sure you are prepared.

Also, there is one thing you need to remember before trying out the challenge.

You should not do the One Chip Challenge on an empty stomach. The chip is made from the Carolina Reaper and the Scorpion Chili, with SHUs of 2 million and 1.2 million, respectively. Eating the chip on an empty stomach can irritate your stomach lining and cause severe stomachaches and cramps.

In this article, you’ll learn proper preparation so you can take on the One Chip Challenge safely. We’ll cover:

  • Should you do it on an empty stomach?
  • Potential side effects and risks
  • How to build your spice tolerance
  • What to have on hand before and after
  • Tips to prevent pain and discomfort

By the end, you’ll know how to prep your body and space to handle the One Chip Challenge like a boss. Let’s dive in!

Is Doing the One Chip Challenge on an Empty Stomach a Good Idea?

The One Chip Challenge involves eating a single chip made with Scorpion and Carolina Reaper peppers, two of the hottest chile varieties ever recorded.

This spicy snack clocks in at around 2,000,000 Scoville units. For comparison, a jalapeno ranges from 2,500 to 10,000 units. So this is seriously nuclear heat!

Many people wonder – should you take the One Chip Challenge on an empty stomach? The short answer is no. Here’s why:

  • Eating something spicy on an empty stomach can irritate the sensitive lining
  • Spice compounds may cause more stomach pain without food to absorb them
  • You need fuel to handle the intensity; running on empty makes it harder
  • An empty stomach could amplify nausea, indigestion and other side effects

The Paqui One Chip Challenge can be bought on Amazon or in some stores in the USA. The product is extremely popular, and most reviews say it delivers on its claims.

The challenge is to see how long you can go without eating or drinking anything after eating the chip. Here are the rankings taken from the official website:

  • 5 minutes – powerless
  • 10 minutes – powerful
  • 30 minutes – supercharged
  • 1 hour – invincible

Here is a fun YouTube video showing somebody doing the One Chip Challenge.

Side Effects of Doing the One Chip Challenge on an Empty Stomach

Eating the chip might be fun and give you a good laugh, but you might experience some side effects.

There is a big warning on the box, which reads as follows:

“Do not eat if you are sensitive to spicy foods, allergic to peppers, nightshade, or capsaicin, or are pregnant or have any medical conditions. Keep out of reach of children. After touching the chip, wash your hands with soap and do not touch your eyes or other sensitive areas. Seek medical attention should you experience difficulty breathing, fainting, or extended nausea.”

Carolina Reaper Pepper

Here are the ingredients for the 2021 chip:

There isn’t an official Scoville rating for the chip, but it is easy to understand from the ingredients that it is super hot. The challenge might seem fun, but be careful because eating the chip can have some side effects.

Some people build up a tolerance to spicy food because they eat it often but even if you like spicy food and can handle the heat, make sure not to do the One Chip Challenge on an empty stomach.

Some people’s heart rates skyrocket, while others throw up after eating the chip. If you eat the chip on an empty stomach or are sensitive to capsaicin, the lining of your stomach can become inflamed, which can cause pain and bleeding in extreme situations.

There are various adverse reactions to eating super spicy food made from hot chilis on an empty stomach or even on a full stomach if you are sensitive to capsaicin. These include:

  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Stomachache
  • Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain and burning in the digestive tract
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Sweating
  • Runny nose
  • Hyperventilation
  • Hiccups
  • Belching
  • Bloating

Children shouldn’t eat chilis or super spicy food as the side effects can be traumatizing.

Serious medical complications from eating chilis or super spicy food are possible but are rare. Most people who suffered serious issues were taking part in chili eating contests. This being said, the One Chip Challenge is super hot, so be careful. 

Many people are still rushing to the emergency room after consuming super spicy food. Some of the main reasons people go to the hospital after eating such foods are as follows:

  • Panic and anxiety. Some spice-lovers might think that they are capable of eating spicy food, but after eating it, their chest and stomach feel like they are on fire. They start to panic, thinking that they are experiencing an allergic reaction. The panic makes everything worse as the patients are already breathing heavily, coughing, tearing up, and in pain.
  • Excessive vomiting. After eating spicy food, some people might vomit excessively, which is one of the body’s defense mechanisms to expel possible toxins from the stomach. However, it can lead to dehydration, which can be severe if not treated, so going to the hospital is the right thing to do.
  • Severe stomachache, cramps, and fever. If someone eats super spicy food on an empty stomach or is sensitive to chilis, they can suffer from severe complications in their digestive system and will have to go to the hospital for some pain medication.

Some people who have done the One Chip Challenge describe it as the worst thing they have ever eaten as it caused terrible stomachaches, shivers, and nausea.

How to Build Your Spice Tolerance

If you’re new to extreme heat, jumping right into the One Chip Challenge could be an unpleasant shock. You can prep your palate by gradually increasing your tolerance to spicy foods.

Here are some tips to safely build up your capability to handle hot spices:

  • Start with milder varieties like jalapeno and work your way up.
  • Add a pinch of cayenne or chili flakes to meals.
  • Snack on spicy nuts and seeds to acclimate your mouth.
  • Sip vegetable juice spiked with hot sauce to condition your stomach.
  • Eat spicy ethnic dishes like curries, tacos, and buffalo wings.
  • Try Paqui brand chips in increasing levels of heat.

Taking it slowly allows your mouth and digestion to adapt. Aim for incremental heat increases versus overnight immersion. With patience, you can steel your stomach for the One Chip Challenge.

How to Prepare Immediately Before the Challenge

When the big day arrives, smart preparation is key. Here are some tips for the hour before go time:

  • Eat a large meal – Chow down on something substantial with carbs, protein and healthy fats. Mac and cheese is a top choice.
  • Avoid problem foods – Skip anything likely to aggravate your stomach like dairy, greasy or acidic foods.
  • Hydrate with non-carbonated drinks – Water and juice are safer bets than soda. Caffeine can amplify stomach irritation.
  • Take an antacid – Calm your stomach with a buffering tablet. Tums or Pepto can help defend against discomfort.
  • Wear gloves – Direct contact can burn skin. Use disposable gloves when handling the chip.
  • Have a timer ready – Clocking how long you last without relief is part of the challenge.
  • Clear your schedule – Don’t plan anything important for a few hours post-challenge. The aftermath can be…ugly.

Pre-gaming properly makes all the difference in how your One Chip experience goes down.

What to Have On Hand for After the One Chip Challenge

You swallowed the chip – now what? Be prepared for the impending inferno with these supplies:

  • Ice cold milk – Dairy is the best antidote for cooling capsicum heat. Gulping milk beats back the fire.
  • Ice packs – Applying something frozen directly to your stomach can soothe spice-induced aches.
  • Pepto Bismol – Keep this OTC drug on standby to relieve indigestion or nausea.
  • Tums or ginger chews – Help neutralize stomach acid and calm inflammation.
  • Honey – This viscous sweetener also coats and soothes irritated membranes.
  • Fresh citrus – Sucking on lemon or orange slices helps cleanse the palate.
  • Peppermint tea – A minty brew calms digestion and provides relief from bloating.
  • Peppermint essential oil – Inhaling peppermint oil can temporarily numb tastebuds.

Having an arsenal of cooling, soothing remedies close at hand makes all the difference in recovery.

How Long Should You Wait to Eat or Drink?

A key part of the One Chip Challenge is seeing how long you can go without drinking or eating anything after consuming the chip. This intensifies the heat and torture!

While a valiant show of strength, don’t push past your limits. Here are some signs it’s time to throw in the proverbial towel:

  • The inside of your mouth feels blistered or raw
  • You’re experiencing heartburn or stomach cramps
  • You’ve broken into a full body sweat
  • You feel lightheaded or shaky
  • You’re experiencing nausea or vomiting
  • The chip residue won’t wash away or dilute

Listen to your body over macho motivations. Getting sick and injuring yourself defeats the purpose.

Rehydrate and soothe your mouth as soon as the pain becomes unbearable. Don’t cause yourself harm just to seem “tough.”

Tips to Minimize Pain and Discomfort

While a certain amount of agony is expected, you can minimize One Chip consequences with smart strategies:

  • Chew thoroughly – The finer you grind it up, the quicker you’ll swallow remnants. Minimize contact.
  • Hold it in your mouth – Let saliva dampen the chip to extract full flavor before swallowing.
  • Eat some bread – Carbs are great carriers to sweep fragments out of your mouth faster.
  • Swish with oil – Coating your mouth with olive oil helps dilute lingering spice.
  • Suck on crushed ice – The cold shrinks capsaicin-inflamed tissues. Ice chips provide localized relief.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes – Splashing your eyes during a challenge is easy – but extremely painful!
  • Breathe through the worst waves – Deep breathing distracts you from the heat and calms physical reactions.

Are There Risks to the One Chip Challenge?

For most people, attempting the One Chip Challenge poses no lasting health risks if done safely. But a few factors may make it seriously inadvisable:

  • Allergies to nightshade vegetables – The One Chip contains hot peppers, a nightshade. Don’t risk anaphylaxis!
  • Digestive conditions – Those with IBS, GERD, ulcers or chronic stomach issues should avoid.
  • Pregnancy/breastfeeding – High concentrations of pepper compounds may be harmful.
  • Medication interactions – Capsaicin may increase absorption of certain drugs.
  • Underlying health conditions – The spike in heart rate and stress could be dangerous depending on medical status.

When in doubt, talk to your doctor before trying the One Chip Challenge – especially if you have chronic health or digestive problems. Don’t let machismo push you into harm’s way.

Final Thought

Doing the One Chip Challenge on an empty stomach is not a good idea. The chip is super hot as it is made from Carolina Reaper and Scorpion Chili peppers. However, if you are curious and brave enough, it is always best to go into it prepared.

Eat something fatty like mac and cheese with a glass of milk an hour before doing the challenge. The fat will help line your stomach and absorb the capsaicin from the chip. If you are sensitive to chili, it is best not to do the One Chip Challenge. 


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Bill Kalkumnerd
Bill Kalkumnerd

I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click

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