Has it ever happened to you that eating something cold gives you a sudden and very familiar headache? It feels as if the brain freezes … or so it seems to be frozen.

You’ve probably experienced this mysterious feeling at least once in your life, and the funny thing is that at least 89% of people don’t know why a brain freeze occurs.

When we eat icy things our mouth is exposed to the feelings that this food causes. This part of our body contains many nerve endings well as taste buds causing the sensory part when we eat anything. That is why if something completely frozen touches your palate, you feel as if your brain freezes.

This is the reason why your brain freezes

If a frozen food completely touches your palate, the blood vessels in your head constrict and produce a numbing pain in your head. Our cerebral main artery usually becomes larger to maintain an ideal temperature in our brain, so when cooling is very sudden, the artery dilates and the pressure suddenly startles brain.

Sounds familiar right? But … What do we do when this happens?

The ways to prevent this from happening are very easy:

  • Drink cold liquids slowly, pausing to allow your mouth to get back to a natural temperature again.
  • You can stick your thumb on the palate: applying pressure with your thumb in the mouth for about 30 seconds until the pain goes away has worked for many people
  • Put your hands over your mouth and nose: and start to blow, that air can warm your nostrils and palate quickly.
  • Squeeze your nose: If your brain freezes, squeeze your nose with one hand until all the pain goes away.