The menstrual cycle consists of 3 distinctive phases -
Understanding these phases allows us to better understand our bodies, and why us women can feel very different on day 14 versus day 26 of our cycle..
The Follicular Phase
The follicular phase is the build-up towards ovulation and takes approximately 2 weeks. The follicles on the ovaries have being maturing for 100 days from their dormant state all the way up to ovulation. The pituitary gland found at the base of the brain produces Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) which kickstarts the follicles to make estrogen. This particular estrogen boosts serotonin and dopamine production which increases energy, mood and libido.
Your fitness levels will be noticeably different and you may find you are performing better in the gym or playing sports at this time due to rising estrogen and testosterone. You might also find your appetite is smaller at this time due to the effects of estrogen. Estrogen also causes the release of fertile mucus. This fertile mucus appears like raw egg white and is noticeably very slippy. It’s purpose is to help the sperm survive and reach an egg.
Overall during this phase you will feel most confident, sexy, energetic, motivated and it’s a great time to make decisions, increase resistant training and take on new challenges. Eat more protein and healthy fat meals and chose complex carbohydrates.