Knowing how to use nutrition strategies to mitigate the side effects of hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle puts female athletes in control.
By Julie Young
What should a female athlete do when confronted with the choice of adjusting her training or racing around the menstrual cycle, or pushing through the symptoms and hoping for the best? And are those the only two choices?
Some coaches and physiologists contend that we should let the hormonal fluctuations of the menstrual cycle dictate the training plan, and that the plan should be built around the favorable and less favorable hormones.
Ruth Winder, the current U.S. national road champion and member of the Trek-Segafredo WorldTour team, said that while she usually suffers from cramps, bloating, fatigue, and difficulty focusing during her menstrual cycle, she doesn’t employ specific strategies to deal with them.
“I normally just embrace the suffering,” Winder said.
Recently, though, there has been an injection of new research that helps us better understand a woman’s unique physiology. These new findings can better equip Winder and other female athletes with more sophisticated options than just suffering through it.
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