January 20, 2018, 4:57 pm
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Avoiding brain-freeze

ON that one hottest afternoon last week, a bunch of us UPLB friends met at our favorite halo-halo place where they serve all labindalawang sangkap--12 ingredients, on shaved ice, with pure carabao milk, in a mega-tumbler. And everyone of us felt the freeze of the mouth roof, then really bad, sharp headaches. The waiter offered to bring us some warm water to drink which somehow lessened the weird head pain. 

A Google of Mayo Clinic told me that sharp pains in the forehead are caused by cold material moving across the warm roof of your mouth and the back of your throat. Happens to most. Scientists are still unsure about the exact mechanism that causes this pain. Initially, one feels a sharp, stabbing pain in the forehead. Then, really bad blinding pain that peaks about 20 to 60 seconds after it begins. 

One theory is that on a hot day when the temperature of the body is high, very cold food, ice cream or iced drink or water may temporarily alter blood flow in the nervous system. Blood vessels constrict to prevent the loss of body heat and then relax again to let blood flow rise. This results in a burst of pain that subsides once the body adapts to the temperature change. Pain rarely lasts longer than five minutes. Those who are prone to headaches and migraines are more susceptible. 

Many weight watchers are encouraged by the weight loss tip claiming that drinking lots of iced water forces the body into doing more work, and thus burn more calories isn’t completely true. This is because cold temperatures in the body cause fats to harden and congeal, making them harder for the body to digest. 

Baba Mail discourages us from drinking ice cold water no matter how desirable a chilled glass of water is during summer days. Room temperature is safer. Read more: 

Constipation: Drinking ice water has the potential to cause constipation. Food solidifies and hardens as it passes through the body, while at the same time very cold drinks make intestines contract, which can lead to difficulty when you need to “go”. Hinders Hydration: As aforementioned in previous points on this list, drinking ice water actually slows down your body’s rehydration process, rather than speeding it up. This is because the body needs to bring it up to temperature first before it can use it. The only exception to this rule is long distance runners, who appear to benefit from the delayed response mechanism for maintaining water levels when they’re on a long run. Saps Energy: While drinking ice water can make you feel refreshed and stimulate you in the short term, it actually serves to drain your energy in the long run. This is because your body has to use extra energy to warm up the water and bring it up to its average temperature. 

Upsets Digestion: Drinking ice water can lead to stomach upsets, abdominal pain, gurgling and nausea. This is because cold temperatures are anti-inflammatory, therefore blood vessels retract. Another side effect of ingesting ice water is that the stomach contracts and becomes too tight to be able to process food efficiently. 

Slows Heart Rate: Drinking ice water can cause your heart rate to drop. This is because the vagus nerve, which runs down the back of your neck, is affected by a sudden ingestion of cold water. As an emergency measure, your heart slows down
until your body temperature reaches equilibrium once again. 

Irritates Throat: Just as a cold winter’s day can give you a runny nose and block up your sinuses, ice water creates the same bodily response. In other words, your body creates mucus as a natural humidifier to warm any ingested cold air or liquid. The difference is that in the case of ice water, this bodily response is unneeded, and it results in extra mucus accumulating in your pipes, thus making your throat sore.

Unexplained Headaches: This is about the “brain-freeze”-- It chills many sensitive nerves in the spine, and they immediately relay messages to your brain, which in turn causes headaches. Remember that Mayo clinic has warned that scientists are still unsure about the mechanism that causes this pain. Stay away from iced drinks. 


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