How Does Brain Freeze Work?

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What is a Brain Freeze?

Ever had an awesome ice-cold drink in the middle of a hot summer day?

Yes, you’ve probably had a brain freeze before – not ever having one might not even be normal! It happens when you eat or drink something cold too quickly, and just about everyone has experienced this sort of things.

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What really goes on in a brain freeze though?

Well, a brain freeze is your body’s way of telling you to slow down or take it easy when you’re eating something extremely cold.

Our mouths and tongue are lined with so many blood vessels.

These blood vessels absorb the heat or cold, depending on the temperature of our food, to allow ingestion of food in temperatures much similar to our body.

Drinking something cold quickly might not give the mouth enough time to absorb the cold and regulate the food’s temperature first, though.

When you take a long slurp from a cold drink, the temperature at the back of your mouth changes too quickly.

The back of your throat also locates the hub between the internal carotoid artery and the anterial cerebral artery.

Both of these function to feed blood to the brain, and indicate the beginning of brain tissue.

So when you drink a cold drink too quickly, you’re really on the processes of changing the temperature of your brain.

Despite the brain not feeling any pain, however, it certainly doesn’t like the change in temperature you’re trying to cause.

But the pain associated with brain freeze is actually the contraction of the outer covering of the brain above the back of your mouth – it feels like pain.

It’s your brain telling you to stop drinking.

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Brain freezes and Headaches

This explanation, while simple, actually helps understand other types of headaches.

Research allows the induction of brain freeze without any long-term health problems. It might prove useful in the future.

However, one must then ask, what would happen if you continue to drink your cold beverage, whilst having a brain freeze?

The answer to that is: you will eventually run out of drink and have to get a refill.