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4 Ways to Reduce Period Bloating

health

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5 min read

How to Reduce Bloating

by Team Thinx | 06/06/2024

We’ve all been there—period bloating can be a total mood-crusher. You’re all set to go for a run feeling your best, or you’re excited to wear those perfect jeans to the party. Then, bam! Period bloating tries to cancel your plans.

While your period may lead to an increase in gassiness, the main cause of period bloating is a different element: water. When you get your period, your estrogen levels go up, and your progesterone levels go down. These fluctuating hormones make your body retain more water, leading to that uncomfortable, puffy feeling.

So, how do you reduce period bloating, and how long can period bloating last

#1 dietary changes to reduce period bloating

The way you eat can have a big impact on the way your body looks and feels while on your period.

One of the key minerals to pay attention to is salt, or sodium levels. When you eat a lot of salt, your body holds onto water. Therefore, foods that decrease sodium and water levels in your body can help beat the bloat.

foods to look for

Some foods that can help reduce bloating include:

  1. Bananas

  2. Yogurt

  3. Leafy greens

  4. Sweet potato

  5. Avocado

  6. Ginger

These health superstars are a great answer to how to reduce bloating during period, and they're likely inside your own refrigerator! 

foods to avoid

On the other hand, here are some foods that won’t be bloat-friendly:

  1. Salty snacks, like potato chips

  2. Carbonated drinks

  3. Sweets or foods with lots of added sugar

Alcohol is also a notorious culprit for bloating, even when you’re not on your period.

#2 hydration and period bloating

Now, hold on a minute. We just talked about water retention—now we want to stay hydrated?

It might seem counterintuitive, but here’s the deal.

High sodium levels will make your body hold onto, or retain, water, leaving you puffy in those uncomfortable places. But if you keep to that low-salt diet and drink water regularly, the water in your body won’t stick around.

You’ll keep things free-flowing, make your kidney happy, and kick bloat in the butt.

Here are a few tips on how to avoid period dehydration:

  1. find the perfect bottle – Use a large water bottle with clear measurement markings to help you reach your daily hydration goal.

  2. hydrate via diet – Eating water-rich fruits and vegetables like watermelon, pineapples, peaches, and bell peppers can be a boon for your hydration levels.

  3. cool it on the coffee – Lowering your caffeine intake (we know it’s tough some mornings) can help you avoid dehydration.

  4. take things digital – Similar to period trackers, there are apps that can help you stay on top of your daily water intake.

Once you understand the role water plays, you can have a pretty good sense of how to minimize period bloating.

#3 exercise and movement

Did you know that exercise can actually make your period easier?

Studies show that when you exercise regularly, you can see improvement with all your PMS symptoms, including bloating. More specifically, researchers recommend aerobic exercise, like jogging, swimming, or hiking.

But sometimes, when you’re on your period, the last thing you want to do is hit the gym. Especially if you’re experiencing bad period cramps—who wants to get out of bed and onto a treadmill?

If you want to get moving but you’re looking for something a little easier or lighter, consider low-impact exercise, like yoga. Even if it’s as simple as taking a walk around your neighborhood, doing it regularly can help fight the bloat (and your other period symptoms, too).

#4 comfort and support

Let’s face it: being on your period can be super stressful. It can add pain and discomfort to your weekend getaway, threaten to ruin your new jeans, mess with your mood, and more. 

When it comes to period bloat, stress can also be a contributing factor. So keeping yourself comfortable and practicing self-care while experiencing bloat is a crucial part of beating it. 

stress-busting tips

Remember that it’s okay to spend a little extra time on self-care when you’re on your period—whether that means bubble baths and face masks, or practicing mindfulness and meditation

Part of the fight against period bloating is just staying comfortable. The last thing you want when cramps or bloating attack is to feel stuffed into tight jeans. 

When your body is under the stress of a period, it can be a treat to wear light, soft, loose-fitting fabrics. Many people who menstruate like to opt for breathable period underwear. It can be an easier, more comfortable alternative to other feminine hygiene products. 

when bloating strikes, turn to Thinx

The best technique to reduce bloating before your period or during your period is to minimize those salty snacks, keep water flowing, and take care of yourself. Regular aerobic exercise can help a lot, too, but at the end of the day, you should always listen to your body—be gentle, focus on relaxation, and do what feels best for you.

At Thinx, we’re talking about the things you’re used to whispering about. We aim to empower people who menstruate through no-shame, no-stupid-questions education. Explore our range of comfy-cute styles, and check out our blog for a growing resource on all things body literacy.

sources

Exercise and Sport Sciences Review. Sex Hormone Effects on Body Fluid Regulation. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2849969/

Honor Health. Salt and your heart. https://www.honorhealth.com/healthy-living/salt-and-your-heart Beaufort Memorial. Tired of Period Bloating? Here’s How to Manage It. https://www.bmhsc.org/blog/tired-of-period-bloating-heres-how-to-manage-it

Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research. The effects of 8 weeks of regular aerobic exercise on the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome in non-athlete girls. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3748549/

American Psychological Association. Stress effects on the body. https://www.apa.org/topics/stress/body

by Team Thinx

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