How Caffeine Affects Your Hormones
Let’s face it–trying to navigate hormone fluctuations can be tricky, especially for women. Though seemingly harmless, caffeine technically is a stimulant–and one with mixed reviews when it comes to some aspects of women’s health.
For many of us, however, it’s still a crucial part of our daily routine. For those of us go-getters who are prioritizing our hormone health, it begs the question: where does caffeine fit in?
Is Caffeine Good for Women’s Health?
There have been a number of studies on caffeine and women’s health over the years. While some experts say women should avoid it altogether, others proclaim it to be a useful tool when used responsibly.
So, which is it? The short answer is–it depends.
Research suggests that caffeine, though not harmful when used in moderation, does play a role when it comes to our hormones.
The question, then is not whether you should consume caffeine–but how.
How to Leverage Caffeine with Hormone Fluctuations
Scientific studies give us ideas about how the things we consume may affect certain people in certain situations, but rarely do they offer a ‘one size fits all.’
When it comes to figuring out what’s best for you–the answer will depend on a number of variables. There will be times when caffeine can be a great tool in your life, as well as times when you may want to consider consuming a little less than usual.
Here are some tips to help you determine how you can use caffeine to work with your hormones, rather than against them.
When You Might Want to Limit Caffeine Intake
When you’re trying to get pregnant
We’ve known for some time caffeine can be a potential problem during pregnancy, but a 2016 study found that it may also be a risk factor for miscarriage.
The study found that people who consumed more than one or two servings of caffeine per day were at an increased risk for early loss of the pregnancy.
This was true for both men and women. So if you’re trying to get pregnant, you and your partner should both limit your daily caffeine consumption to one or two servings.
When you’re PMSing
Over the years, there has been some debate about whether or not caffeine causes or worsens symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
While some experts suggest limiting caffeine intake during the premenstrual phase, others have evidence to suggest this might not be necessary.
If PMS symptoms are a pain-point for you (both literally and figuratively), it might be a good idea to start monitoring your intake during this time.
Keep a journal of your experience and if you find that limiting your caffeine is helpful, consider making that change for the long term.
When Caffeine Might Be Your Friend
If your cycle is irregular
Again, the information on this topic can sometimes be contradictory, but some research suggests that caffeine intake could be associated with improved menstrual functioning.
For some, it has been related to decreased risk for long menses and missed periods.
If you’re monitoring your doses
Luckily, caffeine is not considered harmful in moderation.
Unfortunately, a lot of people are unaware how much caffeine some of their favorite drinks contain. You might be surprised to discover that your morning coffee might contain more caffeine than what’s recommended.
A lot of the risk factors associated with caffeine are present with higher doses. If you’re consuming healthy amounts of caffeine, a lot of those risks are eliminated.
More than likely, mindfulness and awareness around how much caffeine you actually consume will make it easier to listen to your body and observe which doses work best for you.
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Photos by: Caleb George, RawPixel