Your high hormone phase begins 24-36 hours after you ovulate. Your body begins to increase progesterone in anticipation of the egg being fertilized. Progesterone thickens the lining of your uterus as well as inhibits uterine contractions, which in turn enable the egg to stay safely in the uterus.
If the egg is not fertilized then progesterone levels drop and you will have 4-7 days of bleeding, shedding the lining of your uterus. During this time you experience mood swings as progesterone increases, while estrogen spikes, drops, then spikes again.
You may notice changes in your internal thermostat (you get hotter faster). You become less sensitive to insulin at a time when you are also needing more carbs, lending itself to carbohydrate cravings.
Your high hormone phase is when it can become the most challenging to still FEEL like an athlete.
You are irritable, bloated, sluggish, and struggle to move heavy weight. You may notice these symptoms as much as 14 days before your period begins, depending on your sensitivity to progesterone as well as other factors such as sleep, stress, and diet.
We want you to be extra mindful of hydration during this time (increased progesterone affects your thirst response, leaving you potentially less hydrated than normal).
And we want you to be okay eating an extra banana (or TWO!) if you’re craving carbs or feeling more tired than normal.
We also want you to consider when to push and when to scale and focus on technique, or use the conditioning as an opportunity just to sweat. Listen to your body. This is also an opportunity to consider pushing hard DESPITE where you are in your cycle.
During each day’s training at CFT we post how to coordinate your training around your cycle broken up into these two phases (low hormone and high hormone). The more you know, the more you understand how your body operates, the more we can set you up for success with your fitness!
Questions? Comments? Feedback? Let us know!