It’s true that mint, specifically peppermint, creates a cool sensation in your mouth. Recent research has shown that menthol in peppermint stimulates the specialized nerve endings in the mouth that allow you to feel cold. When those nerve endings come into contact with menthol, the nerves send a signal to your brain via the fifth cranial (trigeminal) nerve. That signal’s message: your mouth is 4 to 7°C colder than it really is! When you drink water, you’re probably helping the menthol molecules spread throughout your mouth, which would intensify that cold feeling.
Why does the combination of fresh mint and cold water produce the sensation of extreme cold, like eating ice cream too quickly?