Enjoy wine, cocktails, beer or other alcoholic beverages? There are two phases in your monthly cycle when you’re more likely to imbibe. Here’s when they are–and why you’re more prone to drinking on these cycle days….
Day 8 to ovulation (which is Day 14 in a 28-day cycle)
You tend to drink alcohol more frequently and excessively during this phase of your cycle.
One reason is because it enhances fun when socializing.(1) Another is because high estrogen makes the effects of alcohol feel more pleasurable by sending reward centers in your brain into overdrive.(4)
But, be careful: Preliminary research suggests that your decision-making skills may get more impaired by alcohol on these days, which can lead you to make riskier choices that can be a hazard to your health, safety or finances.(5)
Final 6 days of your cycle
You’re more likely to drink alcohol and enjoy its effects during your premenstrual phase.(3) Researchers believe we turn to alcohol on these days to help cope with irritation, sadness and/or physical discomfort caused by plunging estrogen.(1, 5)
Never miss a Hormonology tip!
Subscribe to the free Hormonology newsletter
and get helpful tips & the latest research in your inbox:
I love learning about my cycle! Sign me up!
(1) “Changes in coping and social motives for drinking and alcohol consumption across the menstrual cycle”, Depression and Anxiety, April 2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29244908
(2) “Response to alcohol in women: role of the menstrual cycle and a family history of alcoholism”, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, March 2011, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20888148
(3) “Interactive effects of ovarian steroid hormones on alcohol use and binge drinking across the menstrual cycle”, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, November 2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29154570
(4) “Estradiol increases the sensitivity of ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons to dopamine and ethanol”, PLOS ONE, November 6, 2017, journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0187698
(5) “Effects of alcohol on the performance of the Tower of London task in relation to the menstrual cycle: an electroencephalographic study”, Behavioural Pharmacology, October 2012, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22954645