Priority of Needs for Menstruating and Fitness

With the latest obsession of syncing our entire lives to our menstrual cycles comes “cycle coaches” and similar. Here to regurgitate over generalizations around nutrition + exercise across the month. But he does this stack up?

While changes in nutritional needs, energy, strength & performance are real— theyre often small effects, non meaningful effects, or come down so much to individual experience at this time we cannot say there are any absolutes. Or — data just isn’t there yet!

Additionally — every cycle both month to month AND between individuals is different.

Stack that on top of women who tend to 1) under eat vs. exercise needs & 2) train inadequately or haphazardly or only for energy expenditure 3) are often under loaded — it turns out, we likely should + need to start here.

While hormonal effects on exercise & nutritional needs are sexy, fun & easy to sell. The majority of women and menstruating individuals need to first likely address stress levels, sleep, adequate food intake & proper exercise training BEFORE taking these into account.

I have a previous post on this which echos this same sentiment— it’s hard to know if it’s the impact of your individual luteal or follicular phase when you’re not controlling for the other variables too.

Women & menstruating individuals need fed. They need adequate training. They don’t need fancy period cycle synced Training before all this … if at all at this time. These approaches may be fitting for more elite athletes but may also be an extra focus/stress for regular trainees & should be used last!

Your own experience is valid. You may experience effects. & these likely aren’t the same as someone else. But you/we need to start at the bottom first to know.

Eating enough food to fuel activity, a solid training plan + good sleep / stress management will more positivity impact your training response than a cycle/hormone approach ever will without those.

For more checkout my @themessymiddlepodcast episode with @claire_barbellmedicine where we cover this topic for you in more depth. Link in my bio to listen on all platforms.

Do you get caught up in the sexy flashy? Or are you tackling the basics first 👇🏻

Hey, I'm Lyss!

I’m Exercise Physiologist, sports nutritionist, weight lifter, and ultra runner. I am here to bring science to your training in a no-nonsense way. I have helped thousands of women crush big lifting goals, cross race finish lines, and even do both. I’m here to help you do the same!

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Exercise Scientist, ultra runner, lifter, human.