Period cramps are intense, and we’ll do just practically anything to get rid of them, from curling up in a tight ball on the couch to sending messages to the universe to get relief. Sometimes it feels like nothing will get rid of the discomfort.
You know your team at Rael has your back. We’ve got all the holistic hacks to help you get rid of cramps and feel better fast. When you feel good, you can enjoy life no matter what your period brings.
Staying hydrated is important, especially during your period, but it’s also really crucial for you to get enough fluid when you’re having cramps. Let’s talk about what causes cramps and what drinks might help you get rid of them fast.
What Causes Period Cramps?
You get them before you start your period, sometimes while you are on your period, and even sometimes after it is finished. What gives?
Period cramps aren’t just a symptom of PMS; they can happen at different points in your monthly cycle, making you feel like you never get a reprieve. Cramps happen because of the way your uterus functions.
Period cramps are uterine contractions, the same kinds of contractions a pregnant person has before giving birth, only on a much smaller (read: less painful) scale. Uterine contractions are caused by prostaglandins, a lipid that acts similarly to your hormones.
These lipids cause your uterus to contract, which helps move the lining of your uterus, and the unfertilized egg you shed during your period. Prostaglandins are commonly associated with discomfort, so it’s no surprise that you feel uncomfortable when your body is churning them out.
When To See A Doctor
Most of the time, cramping is normal. You can experience period cramps before your period, while you are on your period, and when you are about to ovulate (about two weeks after you have your period).
If your cramping is so severe it causes you to miss work or school or takes you away from social events; it could be a symptom of a deeper problem. If cramps come along with other symptoms, like heavier bleeding, clotting, or fever, you should make an appointment with your healthcare provider.
Five Drinks That Help With Period Cramps
You’ve probably seen a million hacks or heard your friends tell stories about what works for them to relieve their cramps. You know that you need to stay hydrated, but did you know that some drinks might help you get rid of period cramps faster?
We’ll cover five drinks that help relax your muscles, ease your mind, and keep you from feeling uncomfortable when you’re cramping.
You know it, you love it (or maybe not). Water is the most important fluid you can drink to help keep you hydrated and help all your body’s most important processes happen as they should.
Water is especially helpful in alleviating period cramps because it helps you avoid bloating. Bloating and water retention can make your stomach feel even more uncomfortable and result in undue pressure in your abdominal area. Studies have shown that drinking water helps lessen period cramps; go ahead and grab a glass right now. We’ll wait.
2. Better Caffeine
Caffeine isn’t the best choice if you’re having cramps, but we’re not going to tell you to skip your morning coffee. Instead, choose drinks that have less caffeine than your go-to latte. A half-caf coffee or a tea will give you the energy boost you need and avoid increasing the intensity of your cramps.
3. A Smoothie
Smoothies can be an excellent solution for eliminating cramps and nourishing your body with vitamins and minerals you need that you might not be getting from your diet. If you’re a fast-food junkie or just not eating as great as you should, a smoothie can fill in nutritional gaps.
In addition to fruits and vegetables, toss in some herbs like fennel, cinnamon, ginger, and pycnogenol (a maritime pine tree extract) to help soothe cramps and relax your muscles. Omega-3 is a healthy fatty acid that also works to lessen the intensity of your cramps.
4. Peppermint Tea
Peppermint has been used for centuries to help settle the stomach, and peppermint tea can have a relaxing effect on your muscles, which can help you experience less uterine cramping. Peppermint also helps your stomach feel settled, so when your cramps make you feel nauseous, peppermint tea can help you feel better.
5. Chamomile Tea
Camomile tea is often used to help you drift off to sleep. Two compounds in chamomile, hippurate, and glycine, have a muscle-relaxing effect that can help you get relief. It also helps relax your entire body and mind, which can help if you’re simultaneously stressed or feeling overwhelmed.
Drinks To Avoid While You Have Cramps
Sometimes, the drinks you choose can make your cramps worse. Here’s what to avoid while you’re experiencing cramps.
It might seem like the perfect way to unwind at the end of a long, crampy day, but alcohol can make your cramps worse. Alcohol causes dehydration, which can intensify your cramps. You’ll also experience hangover symptoms, including nausea if you drink too much, which does not pair well with period cramps.
Too Much Caffeine
Caffeine causes your blood vessels to constrict and even cause muscle spasms, both of which can make your cramps feel worse. It might not be realistic to forgo caffeine altogether when you have cramps (in fact, you could even feel sick if you try to cut out caffeine cold turkey) but consider swapping your double espresso for a cup of green tea instead.
Sugary drinks don’t give you much health benefit to begin with, but when you are experiencing cramps and other PMS-related symptoms, they can make those feelings worse. Sugar causes your blood sugar to rise and fall quickly, which can leave you feeling moody, irritable, and lethargic.
Sugar can also cause you to retain more water and feel bloated, making period cramps seem more intense.
Fizzy drinks are great, but not for period cramps. Carbonation can create gas bubbles that can make you feel bloated and even upset your stomach. If you’re already experiencing cramps and abdominal discomfort, skin the sparkling water and go for the flat mineral water instead. Your stomach will thank you, and your cramps won’t feel so rough.
Other Options for Cramp Relief
Drinking more water and herbal tea can give you some relief, but if you have serious cramping, there are other things you can do to feel better fast.
Heating patches. Heating patches are designed to be worn on the outside of your underwear. Rael’s healing patches create a gentle, warm sensation that naturally helps you get relief for hours.
Made with natural, plant-based ingredients, they’re the perfect way to get the warmth and relief you need without bringing a heating pad everywhere you go (which isn’t ideal).
- Exercise. It’s probably the last thing you feel like doing, but exercise releases endorphins and encourages blood flow to your muscles, which can help ease your cramps. There’s also the mood-enhancing benefit of exercise, which makes it an even easier choice for you to take a quick walk or jog.
Give yourself a time out. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by cramps, stress, and other PMS-related symptoms, take time out to meditate, be silent, or just relax. Even a ten minutes break can make you feel better and help you relax and get relief.
While you’re at it, pop on a sheet mask to ensure your skin is getting everything it needs to stay hydrated and healthy. Rael has a collection of sheet masks to give your skin whatever it needs no matter where you are in your cycle.
When cramps get super intense, grabbing a glass of water or tea and a heating patch can be the perfect combination to help you feel better.
Cramps are real, and they’re big, but they don’t have to rule your day or your week. Staying hydrated and using natural herbs can help you feel better, as well as grabbing your favorite Rael products, like our heating patches and sheet masks.
When you’re feeling seriously crampy, it’s a great time to practice self-care and take time out to acknowledge your body and what it’s doing. Your monthly cycle is an amazing way your body functions, and it’s empowering. Embrace your body comfortably with helpful products from Rael.
Menstrual cramps - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic
Dysmenorrhea: Painful Periods | American Academy of Gynecology.org
The role of water intake in the severity of pain and menstrual distress among females suffering from primary dysmenorrhea: a semi-experimental study | NCBI
A Metabonomic Strategy for the Detection of the Metabolic Effects of Chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) Ingestion | Pubs.Acs.org