Why people think this Chick-fil-A sauce might give you hiccups

There are many common reactions to Chick-fil-A. Some may cry out with delicious joy upon eating the chain's popular chicken sandwich, while others may grumble about the restaurant's controversial values. But some Reddit users have been reporting a uniquely peculiar reaction to Chick-fil-A — hiccups.

"Anyone else immediately get hiccups when you start eating a spicy chicken sandwich?" asked user Intro24 on the popular Chick-fil-A subreddit page, noting this phenomenon doesn't happen with the chain's regular chicken sandwich. While the comment wasn't met with droves of people sharing this experience, some Reddit users acknowledged Intro24 was not alone in their spice-induced spasms.

One Reddit user said they've gotten hiccups when adding sweet and spicy sriracha sauce to their spicy Chick-fil-A sandwich, while another notes the chain's tangy Polynesian sauce causes "a reaction" in some people. Seeing as the Polynesian sauce has a reputation for spontaneously exploding, it doesn't seem like too far of a reach to suggest it could negatively affect humans.

The connection between spice and hiccups

Of all the potential causes for hiccups when eating Chick-fil-A, one common thread emerged: spice. Even Reddit users who hadn't experienced Chick-fil-A hiccups acknowledged that spicy foods like raw jalapeños have caused hiccups. Though the spicy chicken sandwich that caused Intro24's hiccups doesn't have sauce on it, Chick-fil-A's website explains the chicken is "seasoned with a spicy blend of peppers."

According to Harvard Health Letter, hiccups occur when the brain causes the diaphragm to create a "sudden change in pressure," filling the throat with air. Hiccups come from that combination of pressure and air, which causes part of the throat to "temporarily snap shut."

Harvard Health Letter writes that hiccup triggers are largely unknown, but can include being too full. HowStuffWorks echoes that eating too much or too fast can result in hiccups, and mentions "hot and spicy foods" as a common cause. BuzzFeed News explains that spicy foods contain capsaicin, which can irritate a nerve near the diaphragm called the phrenic nerve.

While you don't have to stop eating Chick-fil-A's spicy chicken sandwich or slathering on their sauces, you may want to keep a glass of water nearby — just in case you need to drink it upside down.