The Menstrual Cycle and Nutrition

In the realm of sports and fitness, one crucial aspect of an athlete’s life includes the menstrual cycle and should be an integral part of the athletic dialogue. Today we would like to highlight on nutrition as it plays a critical role in optimizing an athlete’s performance especially for females throughout their menstrual cycle. Here are some short and basic considerations:

  • Early Follicular Phase (day 1 of your period and lasts for 13 to 14 days, ending in ovulation): Focus on iron-rich foods to compensate for blood loss during menstruation. Foods like lean meats, beans, and leafy greens are excellent choices.

  • Ovulation: Calcium and magnesium can help mitigate any ovulation-related discomfort. Dairy products, nuts, and seeds are great sources.

  • Mid to Late Follicular Phase (days ~14-21): As energy levels rise, ensure a balanced diet with a good mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to support increased training intensity.

  • Mid and Late Luteal Phase (days ~22-28): Bloating and water retention are common, so emphasize foods high in potassium like bananas and sweet potatoes. Managing carbohydrate intake can also help with energy regulation.

Hydration: Proper hydration is vital throughout the cycle, especially if the athlete experiences increased sweating in the luteal phase.

Based on the short list of food choices something else stands out that is applicable for any athlete. Variety in your diet is key. Diversity within your routine is what you are striving for. Get a different selection of micronutrients from vegetables by eating different choices from each of three groups daily: leafy greens, the onions-mushrooms-cabbage group, and deeply colored vegetables.

Scroll to Top