This one is for the ladies out there (or the guys trying to help their partners out!!) haha
The female menstrual cycle is not well addressed in fitness so here’s a little something that you can take away that will hopefully help you when figuring your cycle and nutritional / training programme.
Days 1-14 is known as the Follicular Stage and that is when you’re estrogen dominant. This means that longer, slower training will actually be better for you as well as having a little more carbs daily! During this stage fat is predominantly your energy source.
A strength workout consisting of 10-12 reps three times a week would go well with the cardio along with a good 30:40:30 macronutrient intake split (carbs:protein:fat).
However, from days 14-28 – Luteal Stage – You have a hormonal change. Your estrogen levels drop. Meaning you’re pretty insulin resistant. (Can’t tolerate carbs) You’ll become a sugar burner therefore you’ll most likely have massive cravings for sweet things. You’ll notice a shift in weight from the rest of the body to your belly during this stage too.
The cravings will probably stem from the falling in estrogen and progesterone.
To address the cravings you can try unsweetened cocoa powder & BCAA supplements mixed in with water to deal with this as it will raise neurotransmitters. The cocoa has been known to raise serotonin levels – feeling of well being. And the BCAA’s can help raise GABA – which allows us to unwind.
Ironically chocolate, most especially dark chocolate is a proven craving in women at this time.
However, Growth hormone levels are at their highest so High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) will be best as it will burn off your sugar stores.
Working out 4-5 times a week of the HIIT will work great along with a 20:40:40 or 10:45:45 macronutrient intake (carbs:protein:fat).
Hope this helps and share it with anyone you think may benefit