How Much Wasabi Is Too Much? (And Potential Consequences…)

You know wasabi is good, but who makes the call as to how much is too much? Is this a personal thing, or could there be an actual answer?

How much wasabi is too much? This is a question that does not have a definitive answer, as it depends on the person’s tolerance for heat. However, consuming large amounts of wasabi may result in temporary discomfort, such as burning sensations in the throat and nose. In severe cases, it may cause vomiting and diarrhea.

If you want a more in-depth explanation, continue reading…

How Much Wasabi Is Too Much

Can you overdose on wasabi?

You could eat a ton of the stuff, but unlike many other foods and spices, it’s not toxic or addictive. So aside from the very real possibility of burning your mouth or throat and/or getting a runny nose and watery eyes, you can literally eat as much wasabi as you want.

Can you die from too much wasabi?

No, you can’t die from eating too much wasabi. We cover that question more in-depth in our article just about that.

According to Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D., Director of Consumer Safety and Sustainability at Consumer Reports, “Wasabi is considered generally safe, but people can have some adverse reactions to it, including diarrhea and vomiting. So overdoing it could possibly lead to some unpleasant symptoms.”

“People who are sensitive to spicy foods and those with very low stomach acid levels should avoid eating too much wasabi,” says Taz Bhatia M.D., an integrative health expert and founder of CentreSpringMD in Atlanta, Georgia.

If you have these issues and are worried about accidentally overdosing on this condiment, there’s a way around it: “You can always try incorporating grated horseradish instead of wasabi,” Dr. Bhatia says.

How much wasabi is bad for you?

Like most good things in life, too much wasabi can be bad for you. Even though there are many potential health benefits to eating wasabi, as with any other food, if you eat too much of it, it could have a negative impact on your health.

But how much is too much? That really depends on the individual and their tolerance level. More research needs to be done before we can say exactly the long-term effects of excessive wasabi consumption.

In the meantime, if you think that a teaspoon or two of wasabi might be too spicy for you (or a loved one), opt for smaller amounts instead. Use wasabi as a condiment—add it sparingly to your sushi or sashimi—not as an entrée itself!

What happens if you eat too much wasabi?

A wasabi overdose is rare, and it takes a whole lot of wasabi to induce one. However, you should be aware of how to recognize the signs of an overdose, just in case you or someone you know has eaten more than can safely be handled.

So if you think your friend might have OD’d after downing dozens upon dozens of sushi rolls, check out these symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache (both throbbing and dull)

The thing is that eating too much wasabi shouldn’t be really that dangerous. So usually, all you need to do is to wait for a bit. You can also take meds that relieve acid indigestion, heartburn, or upset stomach, such as Rennie.

eating too much wasabi

Can wasabi give you diarrhea?

You may be wondering if wasabi can give you diarrhea. It’s true that wasabi has been shown to have a laxative effect, but eating too much of the real condiment—not its lookalike impostor made from horseradish and green dye—is unlikely to produce diarrhea.

However, eating the actual stuff can irritate the stomach and cause severe abdominal pain. Some people have also reported experiencing diarrhea after eating large quantities of fresh wasabi root.

Can wasabi make you throw up?

When it comes to enjoying the cool, spicy heat of wasabi, too much is definitely too much. If you have a sensitive stomach, eating lots of wasabi can cause nausea and vomiting.

This is especially true if you tend to suffer from acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In addition, the active ingredient in wasabi is allyl isothiocyanate which can upset your stomach and trigger digestive issues.

Sometimes this happens as soon as you eat it, but it can also occur hours later.

Can I eat wasabi every day?

You may be asking yourself—how much wasabi is too much? The answer: as little wasabi a person can do.

A person can eat as little as one teaspoon (about half of what would typically fit on your pinky finger) per day and still have a positive experience.

However, if you start to feel even the slightest burning sensation, itching, or any other sign of allergic reaction such as slight swelling in your mouth or throat, you should stop eating it until the issue subsides.

Is wasabi addictive?

According to research, wasabi addiction is very real. The Huffington Post reports that the burning, peppery sensation produced by wasabi activates a certain area of the brain, which causes dopamine to be released. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for feelings of pleasure and motivation.

Some scientists speculate that eating wasabi is even more addictive than chocolate because it overloads your pleasure receptors with dopamine. If you’ve ever eaten too much wasabi in one sitting and found yourself unable to stop?

That’s why: the rush of dopamine makes you want more, so you keep shoveling the green stuff into your mouth until you’re red-faced and sweating.

According to Bustle, wasabi stimulates opioid receptors in the body—yes, those are the same receptors that are stimulated when an addict uses heroin or other types of opiates.

While eating wasabi will not get you high as opioids can, it does activate these receptors and cause the release of endorphins (the brain’s natural opiates) in your body.

This can produce a sense of euphoria similar to what an addict might feel after using drugs or alcohol, which explains why some people eat so much wasabi at one time trying to recapture this feeling over and over again.

What happens if you eat a spoonful of wasabi?

It can be hard to balance how much wasabi you should eat and how much it will hurt your throat and stomach. The main thing to remember is that wasabi will clear your sinuses, make you sweat, cause you to cough, turn your face red and make you cry.

The best way to deal with these side effects? Drink lots of water.

Summary

We’ve all asked ourselves, “how much wasabi is too much?” The answer, of course: not nearly enough.

A good rule of thumb to follow when consuming wasabi at a sushi bar is this: if you can’t feel your nasal passages passagifying (that’s a word), you’re probably OK. However, if you can’t feel your tongue or throat and have to take shallow breaths to quell the sensation that your head feels like it might explode, then take a pause.

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Image credits – Canva

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