Do you want to maximize your cycle as an athlete to help performance results?!
Well, you are in luck! Though the science is very new, there is strong support that you can maximize performance gains by changing your nutrition depending on your hormonal fluctuations each month.
Before we start modifying nutrition around your period, you have to understand the basics and what’s happening in your body! Something that I am seeing a lot right now as a Sports RD is athletes skipping steps and trying to jump right into modifying nutrition with supplements and foods but not understanding the basics of the cycle and what’s happening in the body!
Without understanding the basics of the cycle (and period nutrition), you are likely not being as effective as you could be.
3 Things to Think About Before Syncing Your Cycle
1. Do you have a normal cycle?
It is regular, normal, and healthy to have a period every 21-35 days. Periods are like our monthly report cards. Having a period every month ensures that you fuel efficiently and have a healthy endocrine system. Without a normal cycle, we can’t do much to modify nutrition and maximize your results.
2. Are you taking birth control?
If so, what type? What is it doing to your hormones? By understanding the effect birth control on your hormones, you can understand what is happening to your body. You can still get a period monthly if you are on oral contraceptives. but is not a true hormonal period. Most birth controls result in a withdrawal bleed.
3. Are you fueling enough?
Being at a low energy availability adds stress to your body. Taking vitamins and supplements will only provide band-aid protection against the root of the problem: not eating enough to support a menstrual cycle. If you are under-fueling, the first step is to increase your overall energy intake.
Once you answer these questions and take the appropriate steps to correct cycle abnormalities and low energy availability, then you can start modifying your nutrition to align with your menstrual cycle. Stay tuned for future blog posts discussing specific fueling modifications you can make during different phases of your cycle!
I help female athletes tailor their fuleing based on their unique cycle. I guide them on how to sync their nutrition and cycle to maximize their performance and wellbeing. If you are interested in learning more about period nutrition, apply for the Performance Fueling Club!