5 Drinks That Can Soothe Menstrual Cramps
If you’re like most people who menstruate, having your period can only mean one thing: cramps come next. Period pain is most often caused by chemicals called prostaglandins, which cause the muscles and blood vessels in the uterus to contract. The resulting cramps usually last for the first few days of your period, then subside as the bleeding subsides. But the fact that menstrual cramps are usually short-lived is hardly comforting when you’re in excruciating pain.
Fortunately, there are a number of remedies that help many people find relief, from painkillers to heating pads to practices like yoga. Even certain ingredients in your diet can have a profound impact on how you feel during your period, and that includes the ones you drink. If you struggle with cramps every month, the drinks on this list may provide relief. Remember that if your period pain lasts longer than a few days, you may have an underlying condition such as endometriosis or fibroids. Be sure to talk to your doctor, who can help you research further.
Yes, cocoa can be a dream for period relief. Not only can a hot cup of cocoa satisfy a chocolate craving, but it can also provide a boost of magnesium, a mineral that “can help reduce fluid retention and relax muscles, which can help relieve headaches. menstrual cramps,” Amy Roskin, MD, ob-gyn and Favor’s chief medical officer, tells POPSUGAR.
It’s best to avoid the pre-mixed Swiss Miss hot chocolate wraps, which can be loaded with sugar and don’t contain a ton of natural cocoa. Instead, make your own enjoyable drink by mixing unsweetened cocoa powder, 100% pure maple syrup, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt into hot milk. Make it dairy if you can – milk and other dairy products have been linked to less period pain, making it a perfect base.
The suggestion to drink more water may sound boring, but this simple gesture could offer serious relief from menstrual cramps. “The uterus is a muscle, and just as your legs cramp when they’re dehydrated, so will your uterus,” says Kenosha Gleaton, MD, obstetrician and medical advisor to Natalist. Not a fan of flat water? Try seltzer water or infused water for a little flavor.
A nutritious smoothie is easy to sip on when you’re not feeling your best, and with the right ingredients, it can also help with period pain. “Compounds called prostaglandins can make menstrual pain worse and are driven by inflammation,” Melissa Azzaro, RDN, LD, host of the “Hormonally Yours” podcast, told POPSUGAR. That’s why she recommends drinking a smoothie containing anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids — found in foods like nut butter, blueberries, flax seeds and leafy greens — which can help reduce heartburn. prostaglandins and relieve menstrual cramps.
Dr. Roskin agrees, noting that smoothies can also be made with foods high in calcium and potassium like Greek yogurt and bananas, “which may also help reduce period pain.”
Ginger or turmeric tea
“Ginger contains gingerol and turmeric contains curcumin, both of which can help relieve menstrual pain and inflammation,” says Azzaro. Sipping ginger or turmeric tea is an easy way to include these powerful ingredients in your diet.
Fiber can support healthy digestion during your period and throughout your cycle, Dr. Roskin says, and because it helps lower estrogen levels, it can also relieve menstrual cramps. A serving of prune juice contains 2.56 grams of fiber, making it a perfect choice during your period.