The hormonal ups and downs of menopause are often described as being like a second puberty so it’s little wonder that good nutrition and hydration are important during this phase of a woman’s life. There are estimated to be at least 48 different symptoms associated with menopause
. These include hot sweats, joint pains, low mood, anxiety, low libido, and vaginal dryness. Focusing on nutrition and hydration during menopause can help manage these symptoms and strengthen your vitality for life post-menopause. Why are nutrition and hydration so important during menopause?
Women’s bodies are made up of an average of 50% water
. The brain and heart are approximately 73% water, skin is around 64% water, and even our rock-hard bones contain 31% water. We have a natural turnover of 2-3l of water everyday
via bodily functions like breathing, urinating, and sweating. We need to constantly replace this water and the electrolyte minerals (sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium) that help regulate fluid balance in the body. One of waters many roles in the body is to transport nutrients – the vitamins and minerals we get from our food and supplements - into cells. Research shows that women aged 20-59
are significantly more likely than men to have inadequate levels of key vitamins and minerals in their diet. The most common deficiencies for perimenopausal women are:
- Vitamins B6, B12, B2, folic acid
If we are low in these nutrients before menopause, we don’t have the nutritional reserves we need once we arrive at menopause and are more likely to experience unpleasant symptoms. Low nutrient levels also add to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, poor cognitive function, and weak bones (osteoporosis)
later in life. Menopause and collagen loss
Collagen is the most abundant structural protein in the human body. It is part of skin, bones, joints, blood vessels, the digestive tract – essentially, wherever there is connective tissue you will find collagen. Collagen levels start to decline by around 1% per year from mid-twenties onward. However, this rate massively increases when we reach menopause. Studies show that collagen levels drop by up to 30%
in the first 5 years after menopause and continue to decline at 2% a year after that. This has strong implications for joint and bone health in particular and is one of the reasons why after menopause, women are at greater risk of fragility fractures
(a fall from standing height that results in a broken bone). Nutrition during menopause: collagen-rich foods
Foods like bone broth and gelatine naturally contain collagen, and can easily be included in soups, casseroles, and stews. Eggs, soy, poultry, and red meat provide the amino acid building blocks for your body to build collagen itself. However, these amino acids are also used for myriad other functions in the body and food sources alone may not be enough to counterbalance the rate of collagen loss after menopause. Pura’s range of collagen supplements use 5 – 10g of Bioactive Collagen Peptides®
per dose. These peptides are small chains of specific amino acids proven to work in certain areas of the body. This means you can rely on the collagen to get to where it is needed most. The peptides are accompanied by supporting vitamins and minerals which help address nutrient imbalances and support collagen activity in the target tissues. Hydration and menopause symptoms
Certain menopause symptoms increase our water requirements. Hot sweats, constipation, vaginal dryness, joint pains, and urinary tract infections mean we need to drink more water to counteract the inflammation and increased fluid loss. The general consensus for how much water we need is around 1.5l-2l a day, with more in hot weather or if we have vomiting, diarrhoea, or excessive sweating. While some of this can come from watery foods like soup, fruits, and salads, it is better to drink as much plain water as possible as this is easily absorbed and utilised by cells in the body. Tea and coffee have a diuretic effect and can also aggravate hot flushes, anxiety, mood swings, and digestive issues. Aim to minimise these drinks as much as possible and swap to water, coffee alternatives, and herbal infusions instead. Top tips for healthy hydration during menopause
During menopause it is helpful to aim for 1.5-2l of plain water each day, alongside fluids from foods and other drinks. Try these simple tips to stay well hydrated:
- Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go. Keep it on your desk, in the car, next to the sofa, in your gym bag – this will help to establish a water-drinking habit and keep track of how much you’ve drunk.
- Don’t like plain water? Flavour it with slices of cucumber, orange, kiwi, and berries, or add fresh herbs like mint or lemon balm. Pura’s menopause balance formula mixes easily with plain water to make a refreshing raspberry and mint flavour drink.
- Snack on water-rich fruit and vegetables. Watermelon, celery, strawberries, grapes, pineapple, apples, and pears are over 80% water.
- Blend a handful of berries or chunks of pineapple with 250ml coconut water. Coconut water is naturally high in electrolyte minerals that aid fluid balance in the body.
- Love your morning coffee? Do as the Italian’s do and drink a glass of water beforehand to cleanse your palette and pre-empt the diuretic effect of the coffee.
Menopause is a time of transition and adaptation to a new way of life. Just as puberty moved us into our fertile years, menopause is moving us on to a new stage of life. Looking after your nutrition and hydration at this time can help manage uncomfortable symptoms and lay the ground work for a healthy life post-menopause. Discover how Pura’s range of exceptional, high quality collagen formulas can support you during perimenopause and menopause in our blogs: How Can Collagen Help Ease Menopause Symptoms
How Pura Collagen Can Support Bone Health
Can Menopause Affect Mental Health
Shop the full range of collagen products in the Pura store.