Drink Up and Cool Down: The Role of Hydration in Managing Hot Flashes During Menopause
Staying hydrated is important at any stage of life, but it can be particularly important during menopause. As your body goes through hormonal changes, it can become more prone to dehydration, which can exacerbate symptoms like hot flashes, headaches, and fatigue.
Hydrating properly is a foundational tenet of the trainings I deliver, specifically as part of the Become a Menopause Champion certificate and the Become a Menopause Coach diploma.
Here are some of the ways that hydration may impact menopause:
Staying hydrated can help to regulate your body temperature and reduce the frequency and severity of hot flushes.
When you think how much water the average human sweats during the average day (up to 3 litres without any additional exercise!) it isn't hard to see why a hot flush can be severely dehydrating.
It is therefore important to stay hydrated if you are experiencing hot flushes, and at the same time, being well hydrated can reduce the severity and frequency of hot flushes in some people.
Simply put: hydration is key if your menopause involves hot flushes!
Our brains are up to 80% water, so it's easy to see how dehydration can cause headaches and cognitive difficulties. Something which can be particularly challenging during menopause when you may already be experiencing brain fog or memory problems. A well hydrated brain always works better!
Mood and sleep
Dehydration can cause irritability and sleep disturbances, which can be particularly challenging during menopause when you may already be experiencing mood swings and sleep disturbances.
It can be tempting to drink less water in the evening because you are concerned about waking up in the night needing to go to the bathroom. But being dehydrated when you go to sleep can make drifting off even harder.
Our skin can be considered a reservoir of water. Hence, dehydration can cause dry skin, which can be particularly challenging during menopause when your skin may become thinner, and more prone to wrinkles and damage.
Dehydration can slow down digestion and cause constipation, which can be particularly challenging during menopause when you may already be experiencing changes in bowel function. Staying hydrated can help to promote healthy digestion and keep your bowels moving.
How much water should I drink?
The amount of water that each of us should consume varies depending on a variety of factors like activity level, climate, and overall health.
While the standard given amount is around 2 litres a day, I believe that it is more important to remember to drink regularly during the day, rather than focus on a specific amount.
Ensuring that you have water handy throughout the day, and even setting reminders to take a swig of water can be helpful in keeping you hydrated.
It's also important to note that other beverages like tea, coffee, and fruit juice can contribute to overall hydration, but may also contain caffeine or sugar, which can exacerbate some menopause symptoms. Ideally aim to drink water for the majority of your intake and supplement with other drinks.
Hydration is part of a good menopause
Think of hydration is being an important part of managing your menopause symptoms and helping maintain good health and emotional well being.
I love that I get to share more about hydration in our corporate training sessions and menopause coach and champions courses. (click here for dates for our free and paid courses and resources.)
How might you ensure you maintain or achieve good hydration levels? A reminder on your phone? Keeping a glass of water next to your desk? Find whatever works for you and go with that.
Wishing you healthy hydration levels!
Your speaker & trainer,
CEO & Founder, Women of a Certain Stage
Normalising menstruation to menopause one conversation at a time.