As females, we’re aware early on that we go through numerous changes both physically and mentally over the course of a month.
For most of us, the fluctuations in hormones is roughly the same over a 28 day period…give or take.
Symptoms from these fluctuations can be anything from cravings, to headaches, disrupted sleep, muscle/back aches to nausea, changes in body temp, irritability, mood swings, and the list goes on.
Is it all in our heads?
Maybe at times, but for the most part they are REAL and are all caused by the changes in hormones over your cycle.
As an athlete of any sort, it can be a game changer to be in touch with the timing of these changes so you can be proactively aware of the correlations between your period and how you’re feeling with training.
Simplified, the first half of your cycle, menstrual/follicular (when your period starts) is when major hormones drop, and your body is ready to slay!
It’s actually believed that carbohydrates are more readily available during this time, giving us more energy which means it’s a great time for high-intensity and lifting all the weights!
Moving towards the last half of the cycle ovulation/luteal, estrogen and progesterone are back on the rise. Essentially it’s our bodies way of storing energy to possibly conceive and get ready for our next period.
Storing energy means you may need a little extra food and hydration. Listen to your body.
Get the sleep you need and focus on recovery.
PMS ladies. If you feel hungry or tired it’s your body’s way of letting you know that you may need more TLC this time of the month.
Cravings are real, just reign it in based on your goals please.
We can’t PR a lift or run our fastest race times every week. Often times there’s no real answer as to why we missed a lift, or felt sluggish, but maybe tracking your period will help you plan better, or understand why you just felt off that day.
Embrace technology. There are numerous trackers out there right in your app store!
Coaches. Be open to the fact that it’s not an “excuse”.
Physical and mental changes during a woman’s cycle are real, and can affect lifting, running, recovery etc… take some time to educate yourself to better serve your athletes! Respect the cycle.
And as always. Don’t diet eat!