Sports and your cycle
Some times of the month you may feel like exercising a lot, while at other times you don’t feel like doing anything. How does ‘sports and your cycle’ work for you? Maybe you have a rushed feeling during your ovulation? And is that why you really want to do a tough workout? And maybe you don’t want to exercise at all around your menstruation? Read more about your monthly cycle, nutrition and sports during the different phases here.
Our cycle has 5 phases, of which 2 main phases: the follicular phase and luteal phase. The follicular phase is day 1 through ovulation, averaging around day 14. The luteal phase is from ovulation to the first day of menstruation, averaging around day 28. Each phase can make you feel different. For example, you may have a rushed feeling around your ovulation. Under the influence of progesterone thyroid function is stimulated, which causes the body temperature to rise. Just before menstruation, estrogen levels plummet. Because estrogen is the precursor of the ‘happiness hormone’ serotonin, you may feel a little more down around menstruation.
Sports and your cycle
Around menstruation – a few days before and the first three days of your period – it’s nice not to push your body. Go for gentle workouts like yoga or go for a walk. During your ovulation you are usually energetic and it is best to opt for strength training or HIIT. Preferably opt for a form of exercise that is pleasantly intensive and preferably exercise in a group. At bbb we have many different workouts, so you can always find something that suits your phase. You can read more about our workouts here.
Nutrition and your cycle
Through nutrition you can serve your body as much as possible, around and around your menstruation and cycle. However, it is a pity that a healthy lifestyle does not always pay off immediately in a balanced hormone system. It often takes some time to recover, think of 3 to 6 months. After, for example, stopping contraception or a period of being (mentally or physically) overworked.
- Low sugar for a balanced blood sugar and insulin level, to prevent (sweet) cravings and intestinal flora. Sugars feed the ‘bad’ intestinal bacteria.
- As much unprocessed food as possible because of fibers and unnatural additives that can cause (physical) stress for your body.
- Sufficient green vegetables. These contain the substances chlorophyll & DIM and help our liver to break down the other estrogens in the second two weeks of our cycle.
- Limit alcohol intake in the last week before menstruation. The body and liver then have to work hard to start all hormonal processes. As well as the liver, to break down all excess estrogens. One alcohol consumption raises estrogen levels by 30% within 24 hours. It has a testosterone-lowering effect, resulting in premenstrual syndrome complaints or heavy menstruation.
- Phytoestrogens in fermented soy can be beneficial in the last two weeks of the cycle (see Figure 2 table), because body estrogens are then lowered, resulting in less energy and serotonin (‘happiness hormone’).
- The last two weeks of your cycle you also have more carbohydrate needs, on the one hand because you become a little insulin resistant due to the hormone fluctuations. That means the cells are less able to absorb the glucose in their cells. On the other hand, the need for energy for, among other things, serotonin, which is partly formed in the body from carbohydrates.
- A maximum of 2 to 3 cups of coffee per day in connection with adrenaline and cortisol. You may have reacted more intensely to coffee in the last two weeks, scale down the amount of coffee if you experience stressed feelings.
- Ensure a healthy intestinal flora by eating a full-fledged diet with fibres, full-fledged carbohydrates, proteins and omega-3 fatty acids.
Supplements for women
Vitamins, minerals and herbs can help support in certain phases of your cycle. Female support (from our own bbb label) is one of them. These capsules provide wonderful support for women. It is a fine combination of vitamins and herbs that help with changing moods during the menstrual cycle and menopause, among other things. Female Support includes black cohosh. This is a plant that occurs naturally in North America and is ‘traditionally used by the Indians to treat menstrual and menopausal complaints’. In addition, it contains borage oil (cucumber herb), which ensures a balanced hormone system.