Do you ever wake up feeling heavier than usual? Or perhaps you notice that your stomach looks like you’ve eaten a big meal, even though you just woke up? If so, you’re not alone.
According to the Cleveland Clinic¹, up to 75% of those who menstruate experience bloating related to hormone fluctuations in their cycle. This can range from a feeling of tightness or fullness in the abdomen to a visibly distended belly.
Feeling bloated in the week or two leading up to your period may be normal, but that doesn’t make it any less unpleasant. Let’s face it, no one wants to wake up to a bloated belly or that heavy, swollen feeling that comes with it.
If you have constant or more severe discomfort related to bloating, there may be other issues at play that require your doctor’s attention. However, if you’re experiencing it with the ebb and flow of your period, hormones are likely to blame.
Luckily, there are steps you can take today to tackle your bloating and start feeling like yourself again:
Take it easy on the salt - Watching your sodium intake² is one of the most effective ways to ensure you aren’t retaining so much water (and feeling so bloated) the week before your period. That doesn’t mean you have to eat flavorless food, but you might want to cut out the ultra-processed stuff which tends to have higher sodium.
Start seed cycling - Seed cycling is a natural yet powerful way to support your hormones by eating specific nutrient-dense seeds throughout your menstrual cycle, leading to fewer hormonal symptoms, including bloating. In beeya’s beta test, 79% of women saw a decrease in bloating over a three-month period.
Drink plenty of water - While it might seem counterintuitive, drinking more water is actually a remedy for bloating, not a cause. The reason? It helps flush the body of excess sodium, which is the real culprit behind a lot of your bloat. You should aim to drink ½ of your bodyweight in ounces.
Pack in more potassium - Foods rich in potassium and soluble fiber (think bananas, sweet potatoes, avocados, beans, lentils, seeds, beets) help the body to reduce inflammation and flush out excess sodium.
Cut back on booze - According to studies³, the more alcohol you drink, the more likely you are to experience moderate to severe PMS symptoms, including bloating. Research also shows that alcohol consumption increases the risk of breast cancer⁴ by up to 7-16%. So maybe skip that glass of wine tonight. Your body will thank you.