It’s kind of ridiculous that it took THIS LONG for scientists to figure out exactly why we get brain freeze. I mean . . . I know a lot of them are busy on more important things, but didn’t ONE SCIENTIST drink a Slurpee at some point and get curious? A team at Harvard Medical School believes they’ve finally figured out the real cause of brain freeze.
They say it all has to do with an artery behind your eyes that tries to protect your brain from the cold. When you drink something cold, extra blood starts flowing to your brain through a blood vessel behind your eyes called the anterior cerebral artery. The increased blood flow makes that artery expand, which causes some pain behind your eyes and in the center of your brain. That’s what we call “brain freeze.”
The scientists believe the artery is working as a self-defense mechanism for the brain. The brain is sensitive to temperature, so when the body gets hit with a rush of cold, the artery tries to make sure the brain gets enough blood to stay warm. There’s actually more of a benefit to this research than just some random knowledge on brain freeze, too. The scientists say it may be the key to figuring out better forms of headache and migraine relief.