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If you’re someone who has to deal with a period regularly, you’re probably all too familiar with just how much your energy levels can change throughout your cycle thanks to hormonal fluctuations. Not only can this sometimes make even the simplest daily tasks challenging, it can make it even harder to stay motivated to keep fit and stick to your regular workout routine, especially when noticing a decline in your performance.
But, according to some popular information on social media, a technique called “cycle syncing” may help you avoid feeling this way.
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The premise of cycle syncing is relatively simple. Instead of doing the same type of workouts throughout the month, you instead tailor your workouts according to the current phase of your menstrual cycle. Some women also go a step further and tailor their diet to each phase as well. The claim is that, by doing so, it can help “balance” your hormones — which in turn may lead to a range of health benefits, including improved energy levels, fewer PMS symptoms and better health overall.
But while evidence does show that certain phases of your menstrual cycle may be optimal for different types of exercise, there’s currently no evidence showing cycle syncing has any benefits beyond making it easier to keep fit. Not to mention that actually managing to execute cycle syncing properly may be easier said than done.
The menstrual cycle can be split into four phases: menses, follicular, luteal and pre-menses. The concentration of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone change in each phase.
During the menses phase (your period), estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest levels. But as you move into the follicular phase, estrogen begins to increase. In the luteal phase, which immediately follows, progesterone concentrations also begins to increase. Both hormones reach their peak near the end of the luteal phase, before dropping dramatically during the pre-menstrual phase (days 25-28 of the average cycle).
READ MORE: The US lacks adequate education around puberty and menstruation for young people
Research shows that