Avoiding Brain Freeze When Consuming Slushy Drinks

The slushy drinks in downtown Las Vegas are renowned for their epic. As with many great things, however, there’s also potential peril involved. In the case of slushy drinks, it’s brain freeze.

The medical name for a brain freeze, often called an “ice cream headache,” is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. Try saying that five times fast.

Slushy drink
Well, we know what we’re having for lunch

Brain freezes happen when something very cold comes into contact with the roof of your mouth. Your blood vessels shrink, then relax again, and that relaxation results in a rush of blood to the brain, causing the sensation of your gray matter being squeezed in a vice. In some cases, a severe brain freeze can bring you to your knees!

Never fear, though. There are some easy ways to help with that brain freeze. (Yes, they’re life-altering. It’s on the Internet, so it must be true.)

The best case scenario, of course, is one where you’d be able to avoid a brain freeze altogether by keeping your slushy drink away from the roof of your mouth. With a little practice, you can master the technique of letting the liquid flow around your tongue, which warms the drink before it touches the roof of your mouth.

When a brain freeze does hit, though, here are three go-to techniques that are recommended by bartenders at some of the outdoor bars at Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas.

1. Curl Your Tongue

The goal is to warm the roof of your tongue as quickly as possible, and your tongue can help. Since the top of your tongue is probably cold from your slushy drink, curl your tongue and touch the bottom to the roof of your mouth. Keep it there until either the brain freeze subsides or someone asks you for your phone number.

Brain Freeze1

2. Use Your Thumb

It might look strange to your fellow Fremont Street revelers, but placing your thumb on the roof of your mouth can quell a brain freeze quickly. This is our personal favorite.

Brain Freeze2
If people ask what you’re doing, tell them adjusting your retainer.

3. Blow

Another quick remedy for a brain freeze is the “cup and blow” technique. Just cup your hand over your mouth and nose and blow warm air. Repeat as needed. Again, some social awkwardness may ensue, but we’re talking about a brain freeze emergency here, and this method really works.

Brain freeze
Special thanks to our brain freeze test subject who was only 18% aware these photos might end up on our Fremont Street Experience blog.

Now, when your next slushy drink brain freeze hits, you’ll know what to do.

If you’ve found something that works better, we’d love to hear about it!

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