After reading all about the depressed freezing point of the sugar solution in ice cream, you just had to get a closer look, right? There you were, happily shoveling ice cream into your face when all of a sudden… brainfreeze! Arrrgh! Also called ice cream headaches, these sudden pains can be triggered by any excessively cold food or drink.
The cause of this shooting pain is a chilled palate. That’s the roof of your mouth. When you eat your ice cream or slushy drink too fast your palate doesn’t have time to warm up between bites. It eventually drops to the critical temperature that causes the reaction.
The blood vessels in your head contract and dilate causing the rather serious pain at the “back of your nose” or behind the eyes. No matter how much you jump around, the feeling will pass in 30 seconds or so when things warm up again.
Apparently that’s the same feeling as a migraine headache. Thinking back to my last painful brainfreeze moment, it gives me new empathy for migraines sufferers who have to deal with that for hours on end.
Personally, I’m going to put this new knowledge to good use. Being aware and cautious of my sensitive palate means I’ll never have to experience this terrible sensation ever again. It’s a good thing.