Listen, if you get periods, you don't need me to tell you how not-fun they can be to deal with. But there are certain things you might be putting in your body during that time of the month that will actually only make your symptoms even worse.
And, unfortunately, one of those things is alcohol. Yep, drinking affects your period, and for some people, it can actually cause your menstrual cycle to spiral a bit out of control. Elite Daily spoke with a couple of experts on the matter, who can give you a basic rundown on what a little liquid courage is really doing to your hormones.
Of course, while there's a general list of ways alcohol can impact people during menstruation, the effects still vary from person to person.
Nutritionist Stephanie Dunne tells Elite Daily,
I have clients who are very clear about how their hormones affect them, and it is [always] different. Some will tell me that one glass of wine the week before their period leaves them tipsy, while others will say that's the one time of the month they can have a couple of glasses and not feel the effects.
She went on to say that, though each person’s experience varies, she still recommends that individuals stick to the recommended alcohol intake limit. According to the USDA, women are recommended to have up to one drink per day, while men are recommended to have up to two drinks per day.
Here are a few other ways drinking alcohol can affect your period.
1. It Can Make Your Period Irregular
Which, of course, is totally annoying. This can happen because alcohol may temporarily increase your estrogen and testosterone levels, which can alter when you menstruate, thus causing missed or unexpected periods.
2. It Can Make The Pain Last Longer
I wouldn't wish prolonged cramps on even my worst enemy, so I probably wouldn't drink a lot during a night out if I knew it would cause me to wake up with extra-sh*tty cramps the next day.
Elite Daily spoke with sexologist Dr. Marie Stubbs, who says these terrible cramps after drinking alcohol are due to dehydration:
Alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration, which can leave people more susceptible to cramps. Of course, many people suffer from menstrual cramps, so the consumption of alcohol can intensify this symptom.
3. It Makes PMS A Living Hell
Other than the awful cramps, other symptoms that might get worse after a night of drinking include breast tenderness, headaches, and mood fluctuations, according to alcohol education website Vinepair.
4. It Lowers Magnesium Levels
Magnesium levels normally fluctuate during a menstrual cycle, but alcohol only worsens the fluctuations, causing a depletion of the mineral. The lower the magnesium, the lower the blood sugar, which can lead to dizziness and sugar cravings, meaning overall, you’re not going to feel great.
5. Your Emotions Can Get Pretty Heavy
This is because alcohol can increase estrogen levels, making you more emotional about things that might otherwise not be as big of a deal.
So, do your body a favor, and lay off the liquid courage, at least during that time of the month. Your body just might thank you for it.
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