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Can You Stop a Brain Freeze?

A person clutches their forehead while drinking ice cold water.
Opat Suvi/Shutterstock.com

Whether you’re on a patio sipping a frozen margarita or you’ve just finished working out and are chugging down a glass of ice-cold water, a brain freeze can happen. But when it does, can you stop it?

While you technically can’t stop a brain freeze from happening once you feel it coming, you can shorten its duration with a clever hack.

You’ve probably been told ot press your tongue or pad of your thumb to the roof of your mouth to stop a brain freeze, and that’s exactly the hack to use. Allow your tongue or thumb to press into the roof of your mouth for 30 seconds or so until the brain freeze stops.

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Sip slow to avoid a dreaded brain freeze.

But why does this brain freeze hack work? To understand, you’ll need to know why that earth-shattering few seconds of a headache happen. While there’s no hard and fast explaination, the most common and widely believe is that your blood vessels constrict when they encounter extreme cold. When they start to open back up, that’s when the shooting pain begins.

The hack helps to shorten the brain freeze because it helps to warm the roof of your mouth quicker and allows your blood vessels to return to their usual start faster. Yes, you’ll still have a brain freeze, but it’ll be a bit shorter.

Of course, the best way to deal with a brain freeze is to, well, not get one. You can do that by taking smaller, slower sips from ice cold drinks. But hey, we’ve all gotten that frozen margarita and just couldn’t help ourselves. Now, at least, you’ll know to deal when you do take a swig or two too many.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Editor In Chief of LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
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