Cramps, bloating, headaches, breast tenderness, food cravings, and mood swings. Many women around the world endure period-related symptoms in varying degrees of intensity during their cycle. While not always pleasant, menstruation is our bodies’ way of helping us shed what we no longer need. But what if you are also on the 21-Day Clean Program?
Whether you choose to look at your cycle as a nuisance or a time of divine rejuvenation and feminine healing, there’s a good chance you’re going to have it while you’re cleansing. The good news: cleansing during your period is completely safe. In fact, the 21-Day Cleanse diet supports women during this time of the month. It includes nourishing shakes twice a day and allows for eating a healthy meal and snacks. Plus, eliminating certain foods like dairy and coffee can help reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, or PMS. We get into the nitty-gritty details of cleansing during your period below.
How Will the Cleanse Affect My Cycle?
Cleansing affects the entire body, including waking and sleeping hours, digestion and elimination, mood and energy states, and menstruation. However, everyone responds to the Cleanse a little bit differently. Some women may experience a change in their usual flow, while others’ cycles won’t be affected at all.
While on the Cleanse, a woman may get her period early or late, with or without PMS symptoms. Her flow may be lighter or heavier, shorter or longer. Don’t worry if your flow is different while cleansing, as well as in the month that follows. If you’ve had an irregular period for several months, you might find that your flow becomes more regular following the Cleanse. Also, remember that if you are taking an oral contraceptive, this is a good time to double up on birth control, as the cleanse supplements might affect your birth control or other medications (similar to the effect of antibiotics).
What About PMS?
Up to 80 percent of women experience mild to moderate PMS with symptoms appearing five to 11 days before menstruation. Therefore, there’s a good chance you’ll be dealing with breast tenderness, moodiness, or cramping on the Cleanse. Coffee, which we avoid while cleansing, has been shown to worsen cramping and breast tenderness, so you may not experience them to the degree you normally do.
Occasionally, women find that they are moodier in general during the program, as the removal of sugar, coffee, dairy, and habitual eating can cause feelings to surface. However, this is usually more related to the cleansing process than menstruation, and it's possible to experience some hormone fluctuations and adjustments due to the cleanse.
How Can I Give My Body Extra Support While Cleansing During My Period?
Self-care is so important, especially during your period. The Cleanse diet alone should help support you during this time of the month. The simple act of avoiding certain foods, such as dairy and coffee, may help reduce usual PMS and period symptoms. Eating healthy fats with each meal (avocado on everything, please!) will help you stay satisfied and balance your mood and energy.
Our health coaches always recommend raspberry leaf tea for a gentle, herbal uterine-toner as well as its high mineral content. For extra support, adding a scoop of our magnesium powder, Eliminate, to a glass of water before bed can help alleviate muscle cramping, soothe your emotions, and relieve any cycle-related headaches.
If you’re cleansing during your period, you’ll also be taking an anti-microbial supplement. This plant-derived supplement known for its ability to support balanced insulin levels, control acne, and soothe inflammation, and improve PMS and period symptoms in the process. What’s more, several studies show that berberine might be a key component in treating polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS.
When Is the Best Time During My Cycle to Start the Cleanse?
If you typically have severe PMS symptoms, you may not want to begin the Cleanse the week leading up to your period. During the first week of the Cleanse, your body is adjusting to eliminating dietary triggers and sensitivities, and you may be dealing with detox symptoms. By the second week of the Cleanse, you’ll have more energy and start sleeping more soundly. But generally, there is no wrong time!
Should I Exercise During My Period While On the Cleanse?
In general, gentle movement is encouraged on the Cleanse. This also applies to cleansing during your period. If you find relief from cramping by taking long walks or going to yoga or pilates, great! If not, you may find a warm bath to be soothing. If you do add in exercise while cleansing, make sure to increase your caloric intake to give your body sufficient fuel. Your body is working hard during this intense cleansing process, even more while menstruating. Overall, listen to your body – it will tell you what it needs.
Written by Kate Kasbee
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