Cycle syncing is about developing a routine - specifically, a routine of certain foods, workouts, and activities that align with your changing energy and hormone levels across your menstrual cycle. This routine can help you to get the most out of your high energy times and give you space to rest when you’re tired!
Those who practice cycle syncing say they feel more energised and experience less symptoms of PMS. Sounds pretty great right? If this sounds like it might be a good fit for you, then keep reading!
So how does it work?
For folks with periods, there’s so much that’s always happening beneath the surface to give you a menstrual cycle. A complex dance of hormones rising and falling across a month. And, our menstrual cycles can offer us so much insight, if we can learn to tune in and listen to these messages.
Quick note - cycle syncing can be a little trickier to achieve if you’re using hormonal birth control (mainly because hormonal contraceptives can halt ovulation and other parts of a cycle).
The idea of cycle syncing is really about tuning in to your unique experience across your menstrual cycle and tracking this information.
Tracking how your body changes means you can then eat, drink, plan and live your life accordingly. For example, if you generally feel tired when you’re in a certain phase of your monthly cycle, you can plan your social outings and big events away from this week.
And, if you feel full of energy and confidence near ovulation - it can be a great time to get social or ‘hit go’‘ on those big workouts or projects.
I’m tracking my cycle, what’s next?
Tracking your cycle gives you the clues to creating your perfect cycle syncing routine. Once you know which part of your cycle you’re in you can nurture your body accordingly.
Here’s some ideas that other folks have found helpful, separated into the 4 phases of your menstrual cycle:
Menstruation (beginning day one of your period and ending when your bleeding stops)
As your body works to shed the uterine lining (built up over the month in preparation for possible pregnancy), your sex hormones are at an all time low and you’re losing blood and iron (contained in your red blood cells). This is often a time of low energy and feeling more introverted.
Cycle syncing suggests supporting your body with plenty of rest, water for hydration, and foods rich in iron and fibre to help relieve cramps and replace lost iron.
Follicular phase (before release of an egg)
In this phase, your body is preparing an egg which will be released when you reach ovulation. Levels of the hormone estrogen are rising and with it, you might experience increased energy and confidence.
This is a great time to exercise, get out and socialise, and tick off those big projects from your list.
Make sure to support yourself through this active time with plenty of water, and energy-fuelling foods - proteins and vitamin packed fruit and veggies (like dark leafy greens).
Ovulation (egg release time, mid-cycle)
Your body is releasing an egg now, ready for possible pregnancy. This is your fertile window when your body can get pregnant. You might now experience good energy levels, and a higher sex drive.
Continue to exercise and enjoy this time of feeling social, sexy and powerful.
Luteal phase (after the release of an egg)
During your luteal phase, estrogen levels drop and progesterone levels rise. Progesterone can make you feel sluggish and sleepy. It can also bring on some of those common PMS (premenstrual syndrome) symptoms like bloating, headaches, constipation and mood changes. Progesterone also slows down digestion.
This is a great time to slow down and allow your body to rest in the lead up to period or pregnancy.
Listen to your body and try swapping out your high-energy workouts for some walks, yoga and gentle stretching.
Eat fibre-rich foods to support your digestion and drink plenty of water to reduce bloating and water retention. Foods like whole grains, legumes, sweet potato, apples, and pears are helpful, while celery and cucumber aid in hydrating your body and reducing water retention.
Interested to try cycle syncing for yourself?
Download the YourCycle app for personalised information on everything to do with your cycle. It’s completely free and always will be.