Slurpees, popsicles, ice cream sundaes… We love frozen treats, but brain freeze? Not so much.
A recent study led by Jorge Serrador, M.D., of Harvard Medical School recently investigated exactly what causes the dreaded freeze, and even discovered some possible cures.
According to the study, when an extremely cold substance touches the roof of your mouth, it triggers a nerve to alert your brain of a temperature change which increases blood flow to the frontal lobe. This in turn increases pressure to the skull, causing the painful cold sensation – Our head hurts just thinking about it!
Here are the tips the study suggested for avoiding the feeling:
- Slow down! Brain freeze only happens when we’re ingesting cold food or beverages quickly, so as long as you ingest at a relaxed pace, you’ll be okay.
- Curl your tongue and stick the bottom to the roof of your mouth – this will warm your palette and help normalize blood flow in the brain.
- Trap warm air in your mouth by cupping your hands and breathing into them (like you might do to warm up on the ski slope). This will also help warm up your brain to get rid of brain freeze fast.