Who can resist a good challenge? Whether or not spicy food is your thing, you may have heard about people who are big on challenges to eat spicy food and then do their best to act like it doesn’t bother them. The Paqui Chips brand has come up with a challenge for those who like to show off by consuming the spiciest things imaginable. Media personalities like Joel Embiid and U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have fueled the fire (pun intended) by participating, but you should be careful about jumping into this challenge feet first.   

a box of Paqui chips - Is There a Good Reason To Do the Paqui One-Chip Challenge?

“No guts, no glory” is a daring motto to live by, but maybe it’s not the best idea to take it to the extreme!

What Is the Paqui One-Chip Challenge?

Paqui has created and branded this “One-chip Challenge” to involve eating one single chip made with “the hottest peppers on the planet” (aka the Carolina Reaper Pepper and the Scorpion Pepper). Paqui’s website ups the ante by claiming an additional twist: that the chip will “turn your tongue blue.”

You’re challenged to eat the single chip, then see how long you can hold out before eating or drinking something else to take the edge off of the flavor intensity.

The One-Chip Challenge will encourage you to wait at least a full hour before trying to put out the fire in your mouth by washing the chip down with something, though you’ll find plenty of videos on TikTok showing people who fall short and out of desperation grab for the nearest relief.

Paqui is so confident in the difficulty of their challenge, that they cleverly suggest you “build up your tolerance” by eating other varieties of their spicy chips first. But the Challenge is not without its perils.

How Much Does the One Chip Challenge Cost?

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

The Paqui One Chip Challenge will set you back different amounts depending on how many of the fiery, individually-packaged chips in the little “coffins” you want. You can find them on Paqui’s website, Amazon.com, and at participating retailers, if you don’t want to wait, or if you want to save yourself some money on shipping.

Why You May or May Not Want to Compete In the One-Chip Challenge

You may love taking someone up on a good dare as much as the next person, but beware. The Paqui One-Chip Challenge has resulted in adverse reactions by some participants, even sending some to the ER. Many school districts have sent out warning to make sure parents are aware of the Challenge’s dangers.

“What could go wrong?” I’ve asked myself. Many participants have reported reactions to the hot peppered chips that can last up to a full 24 hours after consumption. Complications include nausea, acute stomach pains, vomiting, and even difficulty breathing. These types of reactions, if not bad enough, can possibly lead to even more serious health risks.  

Real People with Real Reactions to the One Chip Challenge

These people are dying! That would be me.

Who Is the Paqui Spice Council?

Meet the Paqui Spice Council. The Paqui chips brand has introduced their internal group that has been experimenting and making recommendations for years behind closed doors.

They’ve tested, tasted, and created several well-known Paqui chip varieties, and the One-Chip Challenge is this group’s beloved brainchild.

Paqui’s Spice Council comprises several Paqui employees, coming from departments like sales, marketing, and R&D, along with several other spice loyalists. This council works with spice vendors to come up with the most interesting and flavorful combinations of seasonings and heat to come up with the spicy chips that so many people love. 

But is That Chip Really That Spicy?

In the next video, there is a guy who handles it pretty darn well. I wouldn’t do that well for sure.

In the video above is Bryan from GenerationalAquatics.com. He handles it so well!

How Can You Prepare For the One-Chip Challenge?

Prepare, you say? Don’t be deceived by the innocent, fruity smell of the One-Chip Challenge chip. The spice will come on you fast! Here are some prep recommendations from the Paqui Spice Council for you to keep in mind, should you decide to accept this challenge:

1. Condition Your Taste Buds: Work your way up the spice hierarchy, as it were, by trying other spicy chip varieties to help yourself get used to the extreme heat in question. The Council recommends starting with Paqui’s Mucho Nacho Cheese flavor, then working your way up to the Haunted Ghost Pepper flavor. If you’re already a spice connoisseur, you might be OK just starting out with Paqui’s Haunted Ghost Pepper chips. 

2. No Carbonated Drinks Beforehand! Don’t consume carbonated beverages before you undertake the challenge, and don’t eat the chip at night before going to bed. Also, don’t eat the chip before going to work, and NEVER on an empty stomach. 

3. Have Remedies Onhand. Start out by ingesting a healthy spoonful of olive oil before eating the chip. The most effective washdown remedies that the Spice Council swears by include high-fat products like chocolate, ice cream, and coconut milk. If all else fails to bring relief after undergoing the challenge, see if you can doze off for a nap. 

How Many Scoville Units Are Paqui Ghost Pepper Chips?

Paqui chips do not have official Scoville ratings, but their Ghost Peppers are ranked at around 1 million Scovilles. 

The One-Chip Challenge Chip is made with two of the hottest known peppers, the Carolina Reaper Pepper (~1.7 million Scoville Units) and the Scorpion Pepper (~1.2 million Scoville Units).

What Happens When You Eat the One-Chip Challenge?

If you do decide to take the Paqui One-Chip Challenge, hopefully, you come out relatively unscathed. Be prepared for extreme flavor heat, however. EXTREME. Many people have experienced nausea, severe stomach pains, difficulty breathing, and even vomiting. After-effects can last up to 24 hours, too. There have been several reports of people having to go to the ER after taking the challenge. Don’t take it lightly or casually.

Have There Been Any Deaths From the One-Chip Challenge?

The Challenge has been known to cause health complications in some participants that have resulted in death or at least near death, including among Paqui employees. 

On a related note, there is a relatively recent online documented case of a young man from Batam (Weky Chandra, 27 years old) who ate the reported “hottest chili in the world,” and who later died. The event was videoed and the 2 minute 50 second video was circulated around the internet.  

Can the Paqui One-Chip Challenge Harm You?

Consuming extremely hot peppers is not a light matter. Many One-Chip Challenge participants have experienced severe reactions resulting in nausea, acute stomach pain, vomiting, and difficulty breathing. After effects can last as long as 24 hours, too. There have been several reports of people having to go to the ER after taking the challenge. Proceed with caution.

How Long Do the Effects of the One Chip Challenge Last?

The after effects of consuming the One-Chip Challenge chip have been reported to last anywhere from hours to up to a full 24 hours after consumption. Paqui Spice Council members have been known to take a full week to recover fully after taste testing for spicy new products. Extreme reactions to the challenge have caused vomiting, nausea, difficulty breathing, and severe stomach pain.

How Do You Recover From the One Chip Challenge?

First rule: Take it Easy! Paqui One-Chip Challenge after effects can last up to 24 hours afterward. Paqui Spice Council members can take a full week to recover fully after spice testing. Extreme reactions to the challenge have caused vomiting, nausea, difficulty breathing, and severe stomach pain, so be careful!

Consumption of high fat products such as ice cream, whole milk, chocolate, and coconut milk are effective at taking the edge off of the flavor burn. If nothing like that works for you, lie down for a nap! 

Does the Paqui One Chip Challenge Really Turn Your Tongue Blue?

There does exist documented evidence of One-Chip Challenge participants’ tongues turning a shade of blue.

Will The One Chip Challenge Cause Stomach Pain?

Most people who attempt the challenge experience stomach pain. However, this can be temporary. The degree of pain depends on an individual’s medical conditions, genetics, what they consumed before the challenge, what they ate before they took the challenge, etc.

Some people can eat spicy chips with little effect, while others become incapacitated. You may feel a great deal of discomfort when your stomach digests the spicy chip due to the capsaicin.

However, the oils will not damage you long-term. For most people, it will pass with time.

How long is the stomach pain from the One Chip Challenge?

It’s normal to experience severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing. If those symptoms last longer than 24 hours it’s possible they are suffering from more severe health complications. At that point, it is good to speak to a qualified medical professional.

So, Is There a Good Reason to Do the Paqui One-Chip Challenge?

Proceed with caution, should you decide to take this challenge, as the consumption of extremely hot peppers is never a casual matter. Remember that several One-Chip Challenge participants ended up experiencing severe reactions to the peppers in the chip, resulting in extreme nausea, acute stomach pain, vomiting, and difficulty breathing. After effects can last as long as 24 hours, too.

Maybe you want to consider other ways to spend $9.00 that won’t land you in the ER?

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