All About Brain Freeze: Here’s Why We Get The Ice Cream Headache
Brain Freeze 101: Understanding The Ice Cream Headache (And How to Stop it)
It happens to the best of us: you’re enjoying your ice cream, shoving heaping spoonfuls of rocky road into your mouth, when suddenly, with no warning at all, that all-too-familiar sharp pain kicks in.
Everyone has experienced the pain of an ice cream headache, or brain freeze, at least once in their lifetime. If you haven’t, consider yourself one lucky person and help yourself to another ice cream cone!
Brain freeze makes our eyes water, our heads hurt, and our mouths frozen.
However, not many of us really understand why we get brain freeze in the first place.
Here’s a rundown of the dreaded ice cream headache, and why it happens to us right as we’re treating ourselves to a delicious bowl of ice cream. We’ll also show you some little tips and tricks you can try to stop brain freeze in its tracks.
What is an Ice Cream Headache?
Ice cream headache, also known as brain freeze, is something we’ve all experienced at one point or another.
It’s a sharp pain that suddenly appears in your head when you’re eating something really cold. Once it starts, it comes in full-force really quickly.
The scientific name for brain freeze is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. Now that’s a mouthful!
It’s named after the group of nerves at the back of your throat that trigger brain freeze headaches. More on that below!
Some of the most common food and drinks that can trigger brain freeze, aside from ice cream, include ice water, ice cubes, popsicles, and slushies.
Why do we Get Brain Freeze?
Here’s how it happens.
First, when you eat or drink something frozen, like ice cream, it hits the back of your throat and changes the temperature there.
It’s at this spot that two arteries meet: the internal carotid artery and the anterior cerebral artery. The internal carotid artery is what sends blood to your brain, while the anterior cerebral artery is full of brain tissues.
Still following? Okay, good.
When the cold hits these arteries, it sends a signal to your brain that you’ve lost heat. Since your brain thinks that it’s panic time, the blood vessels in those arteries begin to contract to protect your brain and let in more blood.
The contracting vessels is what specifically causes your headache.
Generally, when there’s a sudden change in temperature, this is a red flag for your body and brain. It’s how your body knows to release its defence mechanisms in case of an emergency. That’s why frozen foods trigger this.
Interesting Facts About Brain Freeze and Ice Cream Headache
Here are some interesting facts about the brain freeze headache.
- Many people believe that brain freeze only happens in the summer. However, brain freeze and ice cream headache can happen at any time, to anyone.
- The average brain freeze headache lasts for about 5 minutes.
- People who suffer from migraines or chronic headaches are more likely to experience a brain freeze headache.
- It’s just like a regular headache- the group of sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia nerves that cause brain freeze are the same nerves that cause migraines and cluster headaches.
- Even though no one likes brain freeze, we all still suffer the ice cream headache to enjoy our favorite ice cream flavors!
- Giving yourself a brain freeze might actually help to stop a migraine. Researchers at Texas A&M University have found a link between migraines and brain freeze headaches, and they stay that it is possible to stop one with the other, but it’s not guaranteed to work every time.
Check out this article to learn some more fun facts about ice cream!
How to Stop Brain Freeze
The only way to stop brain freeze from happening in the first place is to stop eating ice cream. But that’s never going to happen!
Instead, the best thing you can do is try a brain freeze remedy as soon as you start feeling that familiar pain creeping into your brain.
Here’s a little trick you can do when you get brain freeze. Just press your tongue against the roof of your mouth and hold it there. It will begin to warm the area and stop the panic signals going to your brain.
There are a few other little brain freeze remedies people have tried over the years. Use these ones at your own discretion:
- Drink a warmer liquid than whatever it was you ate.
- Hold the cold substance against the roof of your mouth before you swallow. Since brain freeze happens after you swallow and the food hits the back of your throat, this could help prevent it from happening.
- Tilt your head back for 10 seconds.
- Cover your mouth and nose with your hands and breathe rapidly.
- While eating, take small bites at a time and don’t swallow them until they’ve melted in your mouth a little bit.
- Press your thumb against the roof of your mouth. This has the same effect as doing this with your tongue.
- Add warmer substances to your ice cream, like whipped cream or warm chocolate sauce.
Now That You’re Safe From Brain Freeze, Trust The Ice Cream Experts at Stanpac to Get Your Product Out There
There’s a reason that the ice cream headache is so common: because everyone loves ice cream! That’s why we want your ice cream brand to succeed.
Stanpac is a leader in the dairy food packaging industry, and has been for over 60 years. We are experts at dairy product packaging, glass milk bottle production, and glass bottle “tattooing.”
Our tamper evident ice cream product packaging will help keep your product safe as you send it home with your customers. In addition to that, we use state of the art technology and machinery to produce the best products for you.
We pride ourselves on producing the most high-quality, beautiful packaging for all of your dairy and ice cream products. Choose the best of the best for all of your ice cream packaging and dairy container needs and see the difference high quality can make.
Visit the online shop now to find ice cream packaging at wholesale prices, or get in touch with us to talk about some custom products for your brand.