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Embracing Energy Fluctuations During Your Period

Do you notice fluctuating energy levels throughout the month?

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Tuning into your body and energy levels during the month can mean:

  • You can use any increased energy to feed into projects, goals, socialising and more intense forms of exercise/movement at certain times during the month.

  • When your energy naturally decreases, you can use that time to slow things down. Be kind to yourself if you're feeling less motivated and productive and learn to embrace these moments.

I find tracking energy and symptoms really useful, so that when I'm feeling low in energy, I can understand why it might be and then I know what I need to do to feel better and embrace it!

There are three phases to the menstrual cycle (the exact length can vary from person to person and isn’t necessarily 28 days as we might have been led to believe):

1) Follicular - starts from day one of period and lasts approx 14 days

2) Ovulation (when an egg is released from an ovary), approx half way through the cycle

3) Luteal (after ovulation) - lasts approx days 14

These phases can coincide with changes in our energy level:

  • Follicular: Full of energy

  • Luteal: Lacking in energy

1) Follicular:

When your period starts (follicular phase), levels of oestrogen and progesterone are at their lowest. This can cause a dip in energy. Take the first couple of days of your period slowly and rest as much as you need. Include plenty of healthy fats, fibre and focus on magnesium (green leafy veg, nuts, seeds, wholegrains).

As the follicular phase progresses, energy will start to increase due to rising oestrogen levels, which can increase energy, confidence and mood. Now's the time to focus on socialising & getting things done (hello increased motivation & productivity!).

2) Ovulation:

Leading up to ovulation, oestrogen will continue to increase and reach its peak, leaving you full of energy and feeling strong. Now can be a good time to put your energy into a more intense workout, you might also feel like you have more energy for socialising.

3) Luteal:

After ovulation, Progesterone levels increase and peak- you might start feeling more lethargic, less energetic and less sociable. Your appetite and cravings might also increase (our bodies require 100–300 more calories/day a week or so before our period is due to start).

Focus on balanced plates: including protein, healthy fats, veggies and carbs to balance blood sugar levels and keep cravings at bay, but if you really fancy something sweet, have it and enjoy it!

Illustration of food  -eggs, fish toast, lemon, aubergine, cake

Both progesterone and oestrogen levels start lowering after their peak around days 22–24 of the cycle, which can start the onset of PMS symptoms. Your sleep might be disturbed, leaving you tired and a bit low. Focus on extra relaxation techniques before bed, and reduce caffeine and alcohol during this time.

Why not try tracking your energy on a period tracking app to see if you can spot patterns in your energy ups and downs. Personally I like Flo, but there's lots of different ones out there to try!

Tuning into your body and energy levels during the month means you can use any increased energy to feed into projects and goals at certain times of the month. When energy decreases, use that time to slow things down and be kind to yourself if you're feeling less motivated and productive.

Once you tune into your cycle, you can start making it work for you, instead of the other way around. Remember, we're not robots, and fluctuations in energy, mood and productivity is completely natural!

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There of course might be other reasons why you're experiencing low or high energy levels - it's worth talking to your GP if so!

If you need more guidance about your hormonal health, then reach out to me and book your free 30-minute Health MOT:

Written by Amy Cottrell, Registered Nutritional Therapist

Amy Cottrell Nutrition does not claim to prevent, treat or cure any physical, mental or emotional conditions. These blog articles are written for educational & informational purposes only and are not a subsitute for medical advice.

Do not stop or start taking medication or supplements without first talking to your primary health care provider.


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