Man Who Collapsed After Drinking Ice Cold Water Issues Warning


Man Who Collapsed After Drinking Ice Cold Water Issues Warning

In the UK, the weather has changed markedly. Last month was the fourth wettest May on record, but most of us have spent June soaking up the sun.

However, if you've spent a lot of time out cooking in the heat, you might want to think twice about rapidly guzzling ice cold water.

Heed the warning of Adam Schaub, from Houston, Texas, who was working outside with his dad in scorching 37C heat in the summer of 2018 when his face started to go a little pink - as you might expect.

His dad told him to take a quick break, so he grabbed a bottle of cold water and drank it. Then, after going back to work for a short while, he went and got in his truck to stick the air conditioning on and see off another bottle of cold water - and almost immediately started feeling 'strange'.

Credit: Facebook / Adam Schaub
Credit: Facebook / Adam Schaub

"I started seeing spots, my stomach got extremely nauseous and my hands and feet started tingling," Adam said in a Facebook post.

"I felt like I was going to throw up so I opened the truck door and the next thing I know I'm face first in the ground and my dad's rolling me over and wiping off my face. He said my eyes had rolled back a bit and I didn't come to for a few minutes."

A paramedic arrived and instantly knew what had happened, and told Adam exactly what had caused his seemingly harmless bottle of water to leave him looking like he'd taken a punch from Mike Tyson.


He said downing a bottle of cold water when the body is too hot can send it into shock. It thinks the stomach is too cold so it sends the warmer blood down there, potentially causing a loss of consciousness.

However, GP Dr Sarah Jarvis, director of, told The Sun this was likely to be an extreme case of 'ice cream head'.

"If you drink something very cold, very quickly, the cold on the roof of your mouth stimulates the nerves around there," she said.

"That in turn leads to rapid contraction, then expanding of the tiny blood vessels in your sinuses.


"The brain interrupts the messages from these nerves as coming from your forehead, because the same nerve supplies your forehead.

"You usually get a sudden pain, but it can make you feel lightheaded.

"All the symptoms he's describing sounds like the run-up to a fainting episode, which is often due to a lack of blood in the brain.

"Regardless of the cause, I do see people who feel unwell due to drinking cold fluids too quickly, so I certainly don't recommend it."


Adam said his paramedic told him cold water was fine but only in sips - room temperature water is better for when quick re-hydration is needed.

He added: "Summer's just around the corner. Stay cool.

"I wish I had learned this a long time ago."

Of course, it's important to stay hydrated, but it's rarely advisable to go from one extreme to another, so be careful folks.


Words: Mischa Pearlman

Featured Image Credit: Storyblocks

Topics: Interesting, Community, Health

Jake Massey
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