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11 Best Drinks to Help Reduce Period Cramps

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Drinks with ginger, chamomile, cinnamon, and dark chocolate have several studies demonstrating their potential in reducing period cramps. 
  • Other beverages like peppermint tea, turmeric, cranberry juice, and water with lemon are other drink options that may help hydrate, reduce inflammation, and promote relaxation.
  • If you suffer from painful period cramps, a registered dietitian can help you discover foods to incorporate into your diet or avoid to help reduce period cramp pain and other symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle.

Each menstrual cycle, a female’s body expels the inner lining of the uterus during the period.

The process can be painfully uncomfortable, with some needing to call in sick from school or work so they can rest comfortably at home. 

Finding a beverage that naturally helps reduce period pain can be a welcome find for many females suffering from painful period cramps. 

Read on to discover which beverages may relieve period cramps and other natural ways you can find relief. 

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11 Drinks That Help With Period Cramps

Some food and drink choices may help you feel better while you have your period.

Below are 11 drinks that may help ease pain from period cramps.

1. Ginger Tea

If you feel crampy and nauseous, a steaming cup of ginger tea may be just the comforting drink you need.

Ginger is known to help reduce inflammation and is sometimes helpful for nausea

Inflammatory markers are elevated in some people during their period, which may contribute to painful cramping.

Having a beverage that decreases inflammation may be helpful in relieving painful period cramps. 

However, most research on ginger has been conducted on powdered ginger. 

One study had participants take 200 mg capsules of ground ginger at the first sign of painful cramps and continue taking it every six hours for 48 hours.

According to the study outcome, ginger was just as effective as their pain medication, Novafen, in relieving period cramp pain.

A review of research also confirms that ginger effectively relieves pain during painful periods. 

2. Chamomile Tea  

A warm cup of chamomile tea possesses antispasmodic properties, which help relieve discomfort by relaxing the uterus muscle and reducing cramps. 

It’s also a mild sedative that research has found to be as effective as the prescription medication Mefenamic acid, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID) for treating moderate pain.

In addition, chamomile tea can also influence hormone levels and help reduce feelings of depression that are so common during PMS.

According to other scientific studies, chamomile tea may also lessen period bleeding. 

3. Green Tea

Green tea is known for several health benefits, including its potential to reduce inflammation and its antioxidant properties.

However, research is limited on its effectiveness against period cramps.

A study conducted in China discovered an association between women who regularly consumed green tea and experiencing less painful periods. 

Their finding suggests incorporating a delicious cup of green tea into your routine may offer natural relief from menstrual cramps. 

4. Peppermint Tea 

Little research has been done on peppermint tea’s effectiveness in decreasing pain from period cramps. 

What we know about peppermint is that the oil, when used topically, has the potential to treat headaches, muscle aches, and joint pains.

As aromatherapy, peppermint may help alleviate pain, improve mental function, and reduce stress.  

One small study from 2016 found that peppermint oil when taken orally in capsules, has the potential to ease and shorten the duration of period cramps. 

While participants of the study who took the drug Mefenamic acid had less severe pain and bleeding than the peppermint group, they still recommended peppermint as an option because it has fewer side effects.

5. Warm Lemon Water

While no direct scientific studies specifically examine the effects of warm lemon water on menstrual cramps, a small survey study suggests that consuming warm water may relieve menstrual cramps. 

Staying hydrated during your period is important for easing muscle tension and promoting overall well-being.

Adding a fresh squeeze of lemon juice gives you the added benefit of antioxidants to reduce inflammation and may help relieve fatigue.

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6. Turmeric Tea

Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound known for its anti-inflammatory effects, which may help alleviate uncomfortable menstrual cramps.

However, direct scientific evidence is limited. 

A small study involving a blend of turmeric, boswellia, and sesame had promising results in reducing period cramps.

Another study found no significant difference between turmeric and the placebo group. 

Further study is needed to determine if turmeric can help ease period cramps naturally.

7. Golden Milk Tea

Golden milk tea, a deliciously creamy and warm beverage made from turmeric and other spices, is known for its potential to reduce inflammation, which may help relieve period cramps. 

The primary ingredient is turmeric curcumin, a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation and may help ease sore muscles.

Other spices that may help reduce pain from period cramps include cinnamon and ginger

To make golden milk tea, whisk together one cup of organic coconut milk (or unsweetened almond milk) with the spices and gently simmer (not boil) for 15 minutes.

Spices to include:

  • ½ tsp ground turmeric.
  • Pink of freshly ground black pepper.
  • ¼ inch piece of peeled and grated ginger root.
  • 1 big sprinkle or pinch of ground cardamom.
  • 1 big sprinkle or pinch of ground cinnamon.
  • ¼ tsp raw honey (add after heating is complete) 

8. Unsweetened Cranberry Juice

Unsweetened cranberry juice has the potential to reduce period cramps by combating inflammation. 

Cranberries are naturally rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients with anti-inflammatory properties.

They are also known for their ability to support a healthy urinary tract

While more research is needed to discover if cranberry juice can alleviate period cramp pain, having a refreshing glass of unsweetened cranberry juice may benefit your overall health and  help you feel more comfortable. 

9. Tart Cherry Juice

Tart cherry juice has the potential to reduce inflammation, which may, in turn, offer relief from menstrual discomfort. 

It’s rich in antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, which studies show possess anti-inflammatory properties. 

However, no scientific studies directly examine tart cherry juice’s effects on period cramps. 

10. Hot Cocoa With Cinnamon

Indulging in a steaming cup of hot dark chocolate infused with cinnamon may be a delicious beverage that relieves period cramps. 

A study revealed that consuming 35 grams of 70% cocoa dark chocolate had a comparable effect to ibuprofen in reducing cramp pain. 

Studies on the spice cinnamon have also revealed that it can effectively alleviate period cramps. 

Combining the properties of these two natural remedies creates a comforting and potentially effective way to reduce painful period cramps. 

11. Plain Water

Drinking water during your period is important to help prevent dehydration and support the digestive system, which can help reduce bloating.

A recent study found that females who drank more than 1600 milliliters (1.6 liters) of water daily had a decrease in the amount of pain medications they took during their period, had less pelvic pain, and their bleeding duration was shorter. 

If you don’t like drinking plain water, try adding a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. Berries, cucumbers, or fresh herbs like mint can also add refreshing flavor.

Understanding Menstrual Cramps And How Drinks Can Help 

Painful menstrual cramps, what medical providers call dysmenorrhea, are a common and uncomfortable experience for many females each month. 

Cramping occurs due to the uterus contracting to shed its lining during menstruation.

A rise in prostaglandins (natural hormone-like chemicals) during menses may cause painful cramping. 

Drinking beverages that provide the attributes below may help decrease this uncomfortable and sometimes debilitating condition:

  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Medications that reduce inflammation (NSAIDs) are most effective at reducing pain from period cramps. Beverages that help reduce inflammation may also have the same effect. 
  • Muscle Relaxation: Beverages that help muscles relax may help ease pain by easing uterine muscle contractions. 
  • Pain Relief: Drinks that offer natural pain relief are helpful when you are suffering from period cramps. 
  • Stress Reduction: Beverages that help reduce stress may ease painful period cramps by promoting relaxation and reducing muscle tension. 
  • Hydration: Not being hydrated enough is common among females and may be a contributing factor to painful cramps. 

Other Ways To Relieve Period Cramps

Other natural remedies you may find help relieve period cramps include:

  • Placing a hot compress on your abdomen.
  • Taking a hot shower.
  • Taking omega-3 supplements.
  • Smoking cessation
  • Avoiding caffeine and salt several days before your period.
  • Doing yoga.
  • Meditating.

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Takeaway

Drinks that help reduce inflammation, provide hydration, promote muscle relaxation, and offer natural pain relief can be beneficial and relieve period cramps. 

Several scientific studies have shown that Ginger, chamomile, cinnamon, and dark chocolate may reduce pain from period cramps.

Other beverages that may help with pain relief offer anti-inflammatory properties, muscle relaxation, stress reduction, and hydration. All of which are key factors for helping relieve muscle pain.

If you try these drinks and other natural ways to reduce your period cramp pain and yet you have persistent pain that is interrupting your daily life, it is recommended that you talk with your doctor.  

How a Dietitian Can Help

A registered dietitian is a licensed healthcare professional who can help you better understand which foods could improve your period cramps and reproductive health. 

Talk with a dietitian today to get started on a journey toward better reproductive health and less painful period cramps. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What drinks help with period pain?

Drinks with chamomile, ginger, dark chocolate, and cinnamon have demonstrated promise in clinical studies in reducing period pain. Other beverages that reduce inflammation, such as turmeric, green tea, cranberry, and tart cherry juice, may also help.

What should I drink while on my period?

Staying hydrated during your period is key for maintaining optimal health and may reduce cramping. Warm beverages can also be very soothing and comforting. Try sipping water with lemon, hot cocoa with cinnamon, ginger tea, chamomile tea, or a cup of creamy golden milk tea.

How do you stop period cramps fast?

Try taking a hot shower or resting with a warm compress on your abdomen. Drink plenty of water and try doing some gentle yoga stretches. Taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen can also provide quick relief. 

References

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