Nearly everyone on earth has experienced what is called a “Brain Freeze” on more than several occasions in their lives. Depending on how often you like to eat ice cream, Popsicle’s, Mr. Freezes, and other really cold foods you might get them more often than others. The headaches caused by “Brain Freezes” are extremely sharp and painful, like a knife stabbing into the base of your brain, so they are to be avoided at all cost. Below, Stax Ice Cream (staxicecream.com) explains the reasons why they happen, how to avoid them, and how to make them go away quickly.
The “Brain Freeze” Is The Body Warning You
There are some very large blood vessels that pass through the roof of our mouth and go on up to the brain. When these blood vessels experience extreme cold, they contract sharply to prevent that cold from getting directly up to your brain. The brain likes to hold itself at an even temperature, never varying more than a degree up or down if possible.
When your brain realizes there is some freezing cold blood on its way up, it then opens other vessels that have warm blood in them to even out the temperature. These two factors, the constriction of one set of vessels and the dilation of others is what causes the headache pain that you experience during a “Brain Freeze” episode.
Here Are Some Quick Tips On Preventing The “Brain Freeze”
The most intelligent thing to do when you have extremely cold food or beverages is to eat very slowly and let the warmth of your mouth heat up the cold food before you get a headache. Since the large blood vessels are in the roof of your mouth, keeping the coldness away from that part of your mouth is also very helpful.
Of course, if you’re gulping down a frozen drink because you’re super hot and thirsty, you’re going to have problems. Take your time, eat smaller bites or take smaller sips of your drink so you don’t overwhelm the blood vessels all around your mouth, let them catch up with the cold as you eat.
Once You Get A Bad “Brain Freeze” Here’s How To Cope
The absolute quickest way to stop the pain is to put your warm tongue on the roof of your mouth to warm the area up. The roof of the mouth, back about 2 inches from the front teeth is the optimal spot for the tongue for best results.
If you have some other beverage that is warmer than the cold one you can drink that, plus, it helps to force it to the roof of your mouth where it will do the most good. Almost any drink that’s warmer will help fairly rapidly, even if it’s a coke with ice in it, but avoid the ice.
Another tip that isn’t often thought of is that your breath as it’s leaving your lungs is also quite warm. In order to get the maximum benefit of its heat you’ll need to cup your hands over your mouth and nose and breathe in and out quickly. The air exiting your lungs is close to 98 F and will do a good job of warming up the blood vessels in your mouth.
If your tongue is so cold that it’s not effective and your breath isn’t working, you can also use your thumb pressed against the roof of your mouth towards the back. Once you’ve tried several different ways and you’re still having a headache, you’re most likely near the end of it anyway, they never last too long.
Now that you know all of the best ways to avoid “Brain Freeze, and also quickly eliminate it, you’re an expert. You’ll have to tell all of the kids in your family since they’re just one cold drink away from getting their own headache and need all the help they can get.