Menstrual cramps are the WORST, trust me I know! I suffer from endometriosis so "that time of the month" is really painful for me and usually leaves me resting at home instead of smashing out my workouts. One thing I have learnt is that while pain relief medications may seem like a quick fix, they hardly ever do anything to help. If you get bad cramps each month loading up on painkillers every four weeks can be bad for your body, so I have found a few ways to naturally relieve cramps. My favourite is the wheat bag it provides instant relief and is so soothing!
Eat Fatty Fish:
Fish that contain Omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon) help your heart and also contain an anti-inflammatory effect that can help with cramps as well as bloating. And while we are talking about anti-inflammatory foods make sure during this time you aren't eating inflammatory foods such as junk foods (chips, lollies, cookies etc) and too many dairy products, which can make you feel worse.
Drink Chamomile Tea:
This fragrant tea has anti-inflammatory properties, which help to ease the pain of menstrual cramps.
Heat helps to relax the contracting muscles in your uterus, which is the cause for menstrual pain. You can use a hot water bottle, wheat bag or over the counter heating patches and pads.
Supplement with Magnesium:
Magnesium levels fluctuate in your cycle and many times they are low, this is why women tend to find themselves craving chocolate - which is actually a sign for low magnesium in the body. Magnesium provides relief from cramps and helps to relax your muscles. Eating some dark chocolate (80% & over cacao) can help to replenish your magnesium and curb that sugar craving. I prefer to get my magnesium from other whole foods such as leafy greens, nuts & seeds and wholegrain foods like brown rice and pasta. You can also take a magnesium supplement a few times a day, just make sure to check with your doctor before consuming minerals in tablet form.