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Caffeine is the most popular drink on the planet. But does caffeine help with cramps?
Caffeine is found in various foods, including teas, drinks, chocolate, and pharmaceuticals. Caffeine’s possible health benefits and cons have been researched by many academics. But what effect does it have on the menstrual cycle? Is it harmful to have coffee during your period?
Symptoms such as tiredness, bloating, mood swings, and cramps are common; during the monthly menstrual cycle. For some people, the symptoms are severe, making the entire period a struggle.
Here we will look into whether caffeine helps with cramps or worsens them instead.
1) How Much Caffeine Should You Consume Before And After Periods
Experts recommend restricting caffeine intake during your period or premenstrual symptoms. However, the exact quantity you can consume depends on how your body processes caffeine.
How we metabolize caffeine; is influenced by our genetics, age, weight, liver health, and tolerance. According to the FDA, 400 mg of caffeine per day is safe for most adults (around four cups of coffee).
Reduce your caffeine intake if you don’t want to worsen your period cramps. Excessive coffee consumption can promote vasoconstriction, or the narrowing of blood vessels, which can exacerbate period cramps. It can also cause bloating and discomfort. Try to limit yourself to one cup of coffee every day.
Also, the presence of caffeine in coffee is reported to stimulate estrogen, which causes your periods to come early. Caffeine is also a chemical known for relieving pain during menstruation.
2) Does Caffeine Help with Cramps or Cause Menstrual Pain?
Period cramps occur when the uterus produces inflammatory molecules called prostaglandins. It’s a reaction to hormonal fluctuations at the start of menstruation.
Because the uterus is a muscular organ, prostaglandins cause the uterine muscles to contract which allows the uterine lining to be shed as a period.
The efficient functioning of muscles necessitates the consumption of oxygen. The uterine muscles are powerful and can contract to pinch off the blood veins that feed the uterus. Those muscles suffer when there is a lack of oxygen.
Near the end of the pain cascade, caffeine enters the equation. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, which means it constricts blood vessels, particularly those that reach your uterus, allowing less blood and oxygen to pass through.
As a result, caffeine can prevent even more oxygen from reaching an already oxygen-depleted uterus. That results in more acute and frequent period pains.
2.1) Effects Of Caffeine On the Menstrual Cycle
Caffeine consumption may aggravate the unpleasant symptoms of a woman’s menstrual cycle.
According to Dr. Joseph Mercola – the New York Times best-selling author and founder of Optimal Wellness Center in Illinois, the consumption of caffeine has been- connected to higher estrogen levels. That raises the risk of developing breast and endometrial cancers.
While coffee has many health hazards, Dr. Mercola believes that caffeinated beverages such as soda and fruit juice are more harmful to a woman’s health.
Caffeine may be helpful to your health and relieve discomfort during your menstrual cycle if you cut or reduce it from your diet.
2.2) Caffeine Effect On Premenstrual Syndrome
Caffeinated beverages have been linked to an increased risk of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Women who consume a lot of caffeine have more symptoms than women who don’t drink caffeine.
Cramps, headaches, breast soreness, bloating, mood swings, backaches, exhaustion, and irritability are all symptoms of PMS. With coffee usage, all these symptoms are likely to become more apparent.
In an attempt to combat PMS exhaustion, many women may increase their caffeine intake to raise their energy levels.
As a result, a rise in caffeine causes stress, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping. Also, it increases tiredness.
3) Should You Avoid Caffeine Completely?
There’s no need to abstain from coffee for the entire month to reduce period cramps.
Polyphenols are plant components found in coffee, black tea, and green tea that may help to reduce inflammation and including anti-inflammatory foods and beverages in your diet can help you feel better about your period.
If you’re already a caffeine user, we recommend switching to caffeine substitutes before and during your period. You can use coffee or caffeinated tea to treat fatigue following your period.
3.1) Caffeine Effect On Irregular Periods
According to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology on the effects of caffeine on a woman’s menstrual function, women who take caffeine are more likely to have shorter menses.
Caffeine constricts blood arteries, resulting in decreased uterine blood flow. As a result, menstrual bleeding subsides, and the cycle shortens. Increasing; the variety and irregularity of a woman’s period.
3.2) Caffeine Effect On Cramping And Breast Tenderness
Cramping is a frequent symptom that women feel before, after, and during periods. Caffeine causes cramps because of its diuretic properties that produce increased urine production and dehydration. Coffee also contains oils that might irritate the intestines and induce cramps.
Many women experience fibrocystic breast syndrome before or during their menstrual period. Tenderness and swelling can be caused by noncancerous tumours in the breasts that are filled with fluid.
Caffeine has a significant impact on you. That is because you keep fluids and salt during your menstrual cycle. The fluid is more abundant within the lumps of the breast during menses and also increases breast soreness.
4) Drinks to Have During Period Cramps
It’s crucial to stay hydrated at all times, especially during your period. This is because water aids in digestion and prevents bloating.
Water also aids in circulation and transports nutrient-rich blood to the areas-where it is needed during your period.
Increasing your water consumption is one technique to ease painful period cramps and bloating. Warm water is preferable to chilled water since your body can use it right away without the need to warm it up.
4.2) Ginger tea
Ginger is a fantastic component that might help you feel better during your period. It contains anti-inflammatory qualities and can aid in the relief of severe cramps.
Studies have shown that ginger is just as efficient as ibuprofen in reducing menstruation pain. Also, if your period is accompanied by nausea, illness, or stomach trouble, ginger can help ease these symptoms.
Ginger can be added to soups or smoothies to enhance your consumption, but ginger tea is also a nice choice.
Ginger tea of good quality may be found at most health food stores.
4.3) Chamomile tea
According to research, chamomile tea has been; proven to be effective for menstrual cramps. That is because some substances (hippurate and glycine) present in it may both ease muscle spasms and calm the uterus.
Chamomile, like ginger, has anti-inflammatory qualities that may help relieve cramps even more.
4.4) Green Smoothies
One of the beverages you should try during periods is green smoothies.
Period discomfort may be relieved by a good, fresh, nutrient-dense smoothie, especially if it’s loaded with leafy green veggies!
This green smoothie with kiwi and ginger, for example, has vitamins and minerals that your body may be lacking during periods.
Also, add almond milk and spinach as they are great magnesium and iron sources.
Magnesium provides a muscle-relaxing impact that aids in the relief of cramps. Many women experience exhaustion and low energy during their period. Low iron levels can exacerbate that, so increasing your iron intake can be beneficial.
5) Drinks To Avoid Period Pain
Caffeine may make the world go round, but drinking it will give you painful cramps during your period. Caffeine-rich beverages like tea and coffee can raise estrogen levels that can exacerbate PMS symptoms.
When you’re on your period, save yourself the trouble and avoid caffeine-rich foods and beverages.
5.2) Carbonated Drinks
It’s no surprise that carbonated beverages create a lot of bloating. This may be acceptable when you’re not on your period. However, drinking aerated drinks during your period can exacerbate cramps.
6) Foods That Will Help With Menstrual Cramps
Omega-3 fatty acids are found abundant in both salmon and other cold-water fish.
Omega-3s help to reduce inflammation, making them useful for pain alleviation in general.
Salmon is a good source of vitamins D and B6 and a good source of protein. Vitamin D aids in absorbing calcium, which is another nutrient that can help with period discomfort. Vitamin B6 can also assist with any breast discomfort or irritation you’re having besides your cramps.
6.2) Add More Calcium To Your Diet
Calcium has been demonstrated in studies to aid with menstrual cramps but also other PMS symptoms like moodiness and fatigue.
Calcium is abundant in milk, cheese, and yogurt. Non-dairy calcium alternatives include fresh dill and dark, leafy greens if you’re lactose intolerant or prefer a dairy-free dairy.
Another one of the foods you should eat is Oats.
Whether you eat them as oatmeal, in cookies, or a healthy batch of homemade granola, oats are delicious.
They’re high in fibre, which helps you feel fuller for longer after you eat. They are also high in zinc and magnesium.
Magnesium relieves cramps by relaxing blood vessels, and it also aids in the regulation of serotonin, a brain chemical linked to mental wellness
Final Note: Does Caffeine Help With Cramps?
Menstrual cycles can be painful and differ from person to person. If your premenstrual symptoms are getting worse or you’re having unpleasant cramps, you should seek medical help.
Icy Health’s expert advice and opinions are provided solely for educational reasons. This is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice.
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