Hydration is essential whether or not you have PCOS. It helps our digestive systems stay regular, helps our bodies get rid of toxins, and is essential for absorbing nutrients.
There are endless options for beverages – and it’s hard to know what the best drinks for PCOS are.
Read below for some tips!
How to Stay Hydrated
Good old water is a great option for staying hydrated – but some just don’t enjoy the taste, or tend to get bored with it. You can spruce up your water by squeezing lemon or lime in it, or by trying different types of spa water. With spa water, you can toss any fruit, vegetable, or fresh herb in to enhance the taste. Lemon and cucumber or strawberry and basil are great combinations.
Hydration doesn’t only come from beverages. Eating a variety of produce can help us get enough fluids. Some fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon, cantaloupe, cabbage, lettuce, celery, and cooked squash are at least 90% water.
Caffeine & Hydration
You may be wondering about your coffee. Does that count towards your hydration, or is that dehydrating?
The answer is technically, yes – coffee does count towards hydration. However, too much caffeine can cause stress on our adrenals or make you feel anxious.
So how much is too much caffeine?
It’s generally OK to enjoy your coffee or tea with PCOS. The general recommendation is to get less than 400 mg/caffeine per day, and there is ~100mg of caffeine per 8 oz cup (this is less than the “small” or “tall” 12 oz cup of coffee at a coffee shop).
You might think – wow, I can have 4 cups of coffee?! This is individualized! If you feel jittery or anxious after 1-2 cups, you may not want to drink those 4 cups. Reach for other sources of hydration if that’s the case.
And if you are drinking an excessive amount of coffee, I’d recommend evaluating WHY. If it’s to stay awake then you may want to shift your focus to addressing sleep instead.
Alcohol is one of the only beverages that is dehydrating and does not count towards your hydration needs with PCOS. While the body metabolizes alcohol, it tries to get rid of the alcohol through your urine, and does so at a faster rate than other liquids. This is why you have to pee a lot when you’re drinking!
Have you ever heard that you should drink a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you drink?. There is truth to this, as it helps replace the fluid lost and can help prevent some hangover symptoms.
If you do drink alcohol, the formal general recommendation is 1 drink/day or less for women. But with PCOS, Less is better. Alcohol has little nutrition related benefits, puts stress on the liver, negatively impacts hormones, and can reduce sleep quality.
While drinks like soda and sweet tea technically count towards your hydration goals, they can spike your blood sugar and therefore insulin levels. If you like sweetened beverages, then here are some tips to enjoy them while having less of an impact on insulin and blood sugar:
- Drink it with or shortly after a meal that has fat & protein
- Pay attention to how your body feels – does your energy crash after drinking a sugary drink?
- Vary your beverage intake by adding other beverages listed in this post
Smoothies are an excellent way to add nutrients to your day and to stay hydrated because of the hydrating produce. To make a smoothie blood sugar and insulin resistance friendly, try to incorporate some fiber, fat, and protein – especially if you are including juice in the smoothie.
- Any fresh or frozen fruit, such as berries, peaches, bananas, or oranges
- A vegetable, such as spinach or kale
- Nut butter
- Flax seeds, chia seeds, or hemp hearts
- Greek Yogurt or milk
- Cottage cheese
- Protein powder
A few final reminders about the best drinks for PCOS
No drinks are off limits if you have PCOS! You deserve to enjoy the beverages that you love and you can honor your health. Hydrating can be an opportunity to add nutrition – and no, you don’t have to “just drink plain water”.
Gordon, B. (2019, November 6). How much water do you need. EatRight. Retrieved March 30, 2022, from https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/healthy-eating/how-much-water-do-you-need
Johnson, J. (2021, October 25). Overview of dehydration: What to know, drink types, and tips. Medical News Today. Retrieved March 30, 2022, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/dehydrating-drinks#Alcoholic-drinks