Unfortunately for female athletes, the menstrual cycle and it’s associated hormonal changes can significantly impact on performance during training, body composition and levels of fatigue. Carefully planned diet strategies can assist in reducing the effects of these changes, and therefore reduce negative impacts on training.
The first phase of the menstrual cycle is called the follicular phase, and begins on the first day of your period. It is characterised by low levels of progesterone, and estrogen levels that slowly rise until ovulation occurs on day 14.
During this time, performance during training is at its best, muscle building is optimised and energy levels are at their highest. This is because testosterone levels are raised slightly, and there is an increase in your ability to break down and use carbohydrates as a fuel.