So it's only natural to reach for the bottle and increase your well-being with a glass of wine or two. Why this is not a good idea and why you should avoid alcohol during your period is explained below.
The most important facts about alcohol and periods at a glance
- Alcohol consumption can increase existing period pains and PMS symptoms.
- Alcohol affects hormone levels, which often has a negative effect on your mood during your period.
- Frequent drinking can contribute to irregular menstrual cycles, such as delayed periods.
- Regular alcohol consumption impairs fertility and lowers the chance of pregnancy.
- We recommend that women avoid alcohol as much as possible during their period, or at least don't overdo it.
Is alcohol harmful during my period?
We are certainly not telling you anything new when we say that alcohol is unhealthy. After all, it's no secret that in Germany alone several tens of thousands of people die every year as a result of alcoholism.
In other words, alcohol in excess is fundamentally harmful. The phase of your menstrual cycle you are currently in does not matter at all.
However, right before and during your period, alcohol has some additional disadvantages. You should definitely be aware of these and keep them in mind the next time you want to reach for a glass.
Alcohol can make your period more painful
Maybe you are like many other women and suffer from severe period pains during your period. You may think that alcohol can help you to relieve your period pains. However, we can assure you that this is not a good idea.
Alcohol has a dehydrating effect. This is one of the reasons why your period pain is even more unpleasant the day after drinking alcohol than before. So your hangover will probably be stronger during menstruation than at any other time in your cycle.
Alcohol can increase PMS symptoms
PMS is common among women. Complaints such as cramps, headaches and back pain can make the days before menstruation a real pain.
Excessive consumption of alcohol can contribute to increasing existing PMS symptoms. If you are affected by premenstrual syndrome, it is best to avoid alcohol not only during your period.
Alcohol influences the hormone balance
If you drink too much, you will not only have a hangover the next day. Apart from that, alcohol consumption also affects the hormone balance. Remember that women's hormones already fluctuate during the menstrual cycle.
With alcohol you increase the hormonal fluctuations even more. This can also have a negative effect on your mood and make you even more emotional during menstruation.
Alcohol can promote cycle irregularities
Of course, the influence of alcohol on your hormone balance does not only affect your mood. It can also contribute to an irregular menstrual cycle, for example, a later onset of your period.
In order to keep your menstrual cycle as regular as possible, it is therefore also advisable not to drink alcohol too often and instead to find other ways to distract yourself.
How does alcohol affect fertility?
In addition to the problems already mentioned, the regular consumption of alcohol by women can also have a negative effect on fertility. If you reach for the bottle several times a week, your chances of getting pregnant decrease considerably.
If you do not wish to have a child at the moment, this point may not be important. However, if you would like to have a baby, you should avoid alcohol for this reason alone.
Alcohol impairs the magnesium balance
Magnesium is a vital mineral. Among other things, it is important for fat and carbohydrate metabolism as well as for the normal function of muscles and nerves.
During menstruation, the magnesium level drops. Alcohol intensifies this effect even more. A magnesium deficiency can lead to cramps, for example, and make you feel tired and more easily irritable.
Instead of alcohol: what you should drink during your period
It is well known that it is very important to drink enough fluids. It can also help to counteract various complaints related to your menstruation.
This is true at least if you drink only water or unsweetened tea. You should also reduce your intake of coffee. The caffeine in coffee can make existing PMS symptoms worse.
Apart from avoiding alcohol before and during your period and drinking enough fluids, it is generally worthwhile to eat a balanced diet.
- Eat less food that is high in sugar and salt.
- Avoid foods that cause flatulence if you often suffer from bloating.
- The fibre in wholemeal products stimulates digestion.
- Fresh fruit and vegetables provide you with valuable vitamins and minerals.
If you have heavy periods, you should also eat more iron-rich foods. In this way, you can help prevent iron deficiency due to blood loss.
Why you should exercise regularly
If you are experiencing PMS and period pain, a moderate exercise programme can help relieve the symptoms. Try to exercise and move regularly.
Even if it's hard, it will simply make you feel better than if you're always curled up on the couch or in bed.
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Conclusion: alcohol and periods are not a good combination
As you can see, it is not a good idea to drink alcohol during your period. Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages has a negative effect on your body in many ways.
You are likely to suffer from more period pains and PMS symptoms, and your mood will not improve. We therefore advise you to avoid alcohol before and during your period, if possible, or at least to consume it in moderation.