“Brain Freeze” is the intense headache people often get when they eat ice cream, popsicles, milkshakes, frozen drinks and other really cold foods. It is a very sharp, stabbing pain in the forehead and most of us have experienced it at one time or another.
Brain Freeze (sometimes called an “Ice Cream Headache”) is caused by the blood vessels above the roof of your mouth responding to prevent a loss of heat in your head and therefore protect your brain. The blood vessels in your head widen to let in more blood (more heat). This rapid swelling of the blood vessels, which contain sensitive nerves, is what causes the headache.
At one time it was thought that this phenomenon happened only in hot weather, but in fact, it can happen in any temperature. It’s the temperature of the food that you are eating that causes the effect.
7 Ways to Stop “Brain Freeze” in its tracks:
- Press your tongue against the roof of the mouth to warm the area.
- Tilt your head back for about 10 seconds.
- Drink a liquid that is warmer than the cold substance that caused the headache.
- Take small bites or sips and let them warm on your tongue before they touch the roof of your mouth.
- Make a mask with your hands and cover your mouth and nose; breathe quickly.
- Press your thumb against the roof of your mouth.
- Since Brain Freeze starts after you swallow, you can actually prevent it by holding the cold substance against the roof of your mouth before you swallow. But this technique seems so illogical most people won’t even try it!
- Give up all frozen treats (just kidding).
So, next time you reach for that Frozen Daiquiri, remember these 7 ways to prevent Brain Freeze, and enjoy!