Can I Take Alcohol During My Period?
Lots of changes take place during your entire menstrual cycle. However, these changes get especially worse right before your period. This has become what everyone now knows and dreads called Premenstrual Syndrome or PMS. They can leave you feeling tired, and grumpy and sometimes a night out with friends or catching up on your favourite series with a drink in hand feels like a great way to boost your mood. But you might be wondering can you drink alcohol during your period? and is it such a bad idea?
So, Is it safe?
The short answer is yes. You can drink alcohol during your period – if this is something you want to do or that you usually do. There’s nothing that stops you, but it’s good to keep in mind that as your hormones fluctuate week on week, there may be a better time during your cycle to schedule drink plans. It’s completely safe if not done in excess. It’s highly unlikely that alcohol will affect your menstrual cycle drinking at different stages of your cycle might have different effects on your body. In the same way, you might adjust your diet and workout routine during your menstrual cycle, it might benefit you to adjust your drinking habits throughout your cycle.
How does it affect my menstrual cycle?
There are several ways that drinking alcohol may affect your menstrual cycle but here are the most common ones.
Irregularities - Fluctuations in your hormone levels can lead to irregular or even missed periods, but typically only when alcohol is consumed in high doses.
Intensifies Cramps - Dehydration from alcohol worsens cramps. Alternating alcoholic drinks with water is a good habit to help you stay hydrated regardless of where you are in your menstrual cycle.
Fatigue - Many alcoholic drinks contain high levels of sugar. If you’re already feeling low and dull, drinking is likely to cause a sugar crash, leaving you feeling even more tired than before.
Mood swings - The time around your menstrual cycle when you might experience mood swings, and alcohol might just make everything worse. While drinking will be fun at the moment it could come with increased feelings of sadness similar to depression and anxiety.
Cravings - Part of the reason why you might feel hungrier and crave certain foods when you’re PMSing is due to a lack of hydration. Alcohol dehydrates your body too, worsening cravings.
Fertility - More than ten drinks per week can affect fertility even more drastically. If you’re trying to conceive, it’s a good idea to avoid alcohol to maximise your chances. This also avoids any accidental harm if you don’t know you’re pregnant.
So then when should I drink?
If you find that drinking during your period or right before (the luteal phase) worsens your symptoms, or that you have a reduced tolerance for alcohol, it might be best to stick with soft drinks during these phases of your cycle. If this is not a problem for you here are some tips for you:
Drink plenty of water – Since alcohol makes you dehydrated, water is exactly what your body needs.
Avoid caffeine – Caffeine is an inflammatory substance that might worsen your PMS symptoms if you’ve been drinking during your period.
Eat healthily– Add foods to your meals that are rich in vitamins to help with period cramps.
Get plenty of sleep – Consider a day indoors or early night following all the fun, your body will thank you later.
While there is no harm in a few drinks during your period be aware that this could worsen your symptoms. Yes, it’s safe but consider all the possible side effects and think of ways you can alleviate your symptoms. If you choose to, remember to do things like hydrate, eat well, avoid caffeine and get plenty of sleep.
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