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Hydration and Menstruation: Does Water Help with Period Cramps?

health

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5 min read

Does Water Help With Period Cramps

by Team Thinx | 06/15/2024

Getting your period can be the toughest time of the month. When you menstruate, your hormones feel all out of control, possibly giving you low moods, headaches, fatigue, and bloating.

Whether you carry an emotional support water bottle or would rather not admit how often you forget to drink water, hydration is an essential part of life. And what if we told you that water might help alleviate those period cramps, too?

Does drinking water help period cramps? Let’s flow into more detail about how drinking water may help make your period cramps a little more bearable.

the role of hydration in menstrual health 

The body is made up of around 60% water, so it’s essential to replenish those fluids to keep your organs, tissues, and cells functioning properly. Drinking enough water each day has a significant impact on your health, helping your body with:

  1. Lubricating your joints

  2. Regulating body temperature

  3. Delivering nutrients to cells

  4. Maintaining your organ functions

  5. Flushing out waste 

And these benefits are just how water can impact your overall health. During menstruation, the body requires extra care and attention, so it’s especially important to stay hydrated. 

benefits of drinking water for period cramps 

Ah, yes, the main (and for some, the worst) symptom of menstruation. The painful aches in your lower abdomen can have you curled up in bed all day with a heating pad. 

But really, does water help with cramps? Research points to signs of yes. Along with the potential to reduce bloating and cramping, water may help with other physically fatiguing symptoms that come along with your period, too. 

muscle cramps and bloating

The uterus is made up of muscular layering. During menstruation, that muscle contracts as the uterus sheds its lining, causing those infamous cramps.

Another culprit of period cramps: bloating. The fluctuation of hormones causes the body to retain more water and salt during menstruation, which may lead to constipation and bloating that worsen those painful cramps.

So how does drinking water help with period cramps? It may sound counterintuitive, but staying hydrated may help reduce period cramps. Water can flush away the excess toxins and sodium that contribute to bloating. Water also helps your body break down food and can help clear your bowels, soothing constipation.

headaches

Period cramps aren’t the only symptom our change in hormones causes: The decline of estrogen may cause headaches during the menstrual cycle. While drinking water may not prevent headaches entirely, dehydration can worsen them. 

Even on the best of days, dehydration is a frequent cause of headaches. Drink about 9 to 13 cups of water (depending on your body type) to stay hydrated and help alleviate headache pain.

fatigue 

You may have noticed feeling particularly sluggish and low energy during your period. Fluctuating hormones (like the decline in estrogen) can cause this, but dehydration may also lead to fatigue.

Drinking water combats dehydration, increases circulation, and helps deliver nutrients and oxygen to the muscles that can in turn boost your energy levels.

hydration and blood flow 

If you menstruate, then you may be too familiar with blood clots. Fortunately, clotting during your period is completely normal, but can cause discomfort. Can dehydration affect your period flow? Drinking plenty of water may support proper blood flow during periods and potentially reduce clotting. 

Dehydration can thicken the blood, making your body work harder to circulate it. While hydrating may not prevent blood clots, water can help combat dehydration to improve circulation. 

practical tips for staying hydrated during periods

Remembering to stay hydrated can be tricky,  but these tips can help you incorporate drinking water into your daily routine, even on those days when your period throws your schedule for a loop: 

  1. Carry a water bottle – Carrying a water bottle ensures there’s always water by your side. (Bonus points for a reusable water bottle that keeps you hydrated and sustainable.)  

  2. Set a reminder – Make a reminder on your phone, write a note and tape it to the door, tie a string around your finger—anything to help you remember to drink water throughout the day.

  3. Keep water by your bed – Start your day hydrated by having a cup of water at your bedside. Place it right next to your phone, lamp, window, or whatever catches your eye the moment they open in the morning.

Drinking water in the morning may boost your energy levels and improve your mental performance, which is especially beneficial during your period.

experience period comfort with Thinx

Menstruation can fill a week or more with low energy, headaches, painful cramps, and a whole lot of blood. Drinking water and staying hydrated can help get you through those tough days and support your overall wellness. 

Speaking of supporting your wellness, that’s what we aim to do at Thinx.

A convenient alternative to pads and tampons, our period underwear is designed to keep you comfortable during that time of the month. With leakproof technology, Thinx offers peace of mind when you need it most.

sources

Apec Water. How Does Water Help With Bloating? https://www.freedrinkingwater.com/water_health/gas-bloating-drinking-water-bacteria.htm

Franciscan Health. Hydration Helps Your Health. https://www.franciscanhealth.org/community/blog/hydration-helps-your-health

Harvard T.H. Chan. The Nutrition Source. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/water/

Harvard T.H. Chan. The importance of hydration. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/the-importance-of-hydration/

Mayo Clinic. Menstrual Cramps. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menstrual-cramps/symptoms-causes/syc-20374938

Mayo Clinic. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premenstrual-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20376780

Mayo Clinic. Water: How much should you drink every day? https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256

 National Library of Medicine. Effects of a carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage on blood viscosity after dehydration in healthy adults. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21163119/

National Library of Medicine. The impact of water consumption on hydration and cognition among schoolchildren: Methods and results from a crossover trial in rural Mali. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30653554/

by Team Thinx

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