Even for those who suffer from only relatively mild symptoms, being on your period is not exactly a pleasant experience. Though there are several tried and true methods to curb the common symptoms associated with being on your period, it’s likely that you’re still unknowingly reaching for beverages that only exacerbate things like cramps and hormonal mood swings.
To ensure that you’re not worsening the cramps that you might experience throughout the course of your period, it’s best to cut back or avoid consuming caffeine at all. “Cut back on [caffeine],” Dr. Rocio Salas-Whalen, an endocrinologist and founder of NY Endocrinology in New York City, told Insider. “If you drink three cups of coffee a day, just have one.” According to the doctor, consuming caffeine can worsen cramps as it causes vasoconstriction, or a narrowing of the blood vessels.
Additionally, dairy products like milk and cheeses can also trigger cramps, so at least during your period, it is recommended that you swap these dairy products with dairy-free oat, almond, or soy milk (per Huffington Post).
Certain beverages can worsen hormonal mood swings and bloating
Refined carbohydrates and sugars, like one might find in sodas and alcohol, have the ability to add to the bloating that you’re likely already experiencing on your period. “Refined sugars also cause your body to retain sodium and water, which increases bloating,” registered dietitian Cathy Posey told Insider.
Not only that, but these refined carbs and sugars can also impact your mood, which is already balancing the influx of other period-related hormones. “It’s going to raise your sugar and then it’s going to drop immediately, so there’s going to be those spikes and drops [which can] worsen [your] mood during your period,” Dr. Salas-Whalen told Insider. Alcohol can also be especially harmful to those prone to stomach issues during their period, since it dehydrates the body, causing more cramps (per Bustle).
So, what should you be drinking to curb the bloating, cramping, and mood swings that come with being on your period? Plenty of water. Even when you’re not on your period, water can help reduce bloating and other symptoms associated with being dehydrated, like cramping. To feel the full effects of this cure-all, be sure to down at least eight to 10 eight-ounce glasses of water per day (via Tampax).
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