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Cravings before menstruation – Why?

The reason for this is, as suspected, the hormonal fluctuations. In the second half of the cycle (luteal phase), estrogens and progesterone increase until bleeding occurs. Among other things, progesterone has an appetite-enhancing effect, which makes sense, as your calorie consumption increases by up to 10% during this time. Your increased consumption and the feeling of appetite are one reason for the ravenous appetite attacks.

Another reason is the influence of these hormones on carbohydrate metabolism. The carbohydrate stores in the liver (glycogen) are released less efficiently due to these hormones. The body wants to save the energy stores for a possible pregnancy due to evolution. If you now need more carbohydrates because of sport or stress, your stores will only be reduced slowly. This is when the desire for quickly available carbohydrates sets in and before you know it, you are already standing in front of your snackbox.

So your body has less access to your glycogen stores in the second half of your cycle. The following tips will help you counteract the ravenous appetite attacks. 

  1. work with snacks that contain a little carbohydrate Such as a fruit or whole grain crackers.
  2. consume quickly available carbohydrates around your sports units. There it may be something sweet before the unit. During sports we recommend an isotonic sports drink.
  3. avoid large amounts of carbohydrates at once. You should consume a maximum of 50g during the main meals as well. Otherwise, due to the filled stores, any excess is quickly stored as body fat.

Carbohydrate metabolism is only one of the things that changes due to the hormonal fluctuations caused by the cycle. Regeneration, performance, muscle building, water retention, training stimulus and much more are also influenced and I will discuss these topics in more blogs.

Best regards and I hope these first tips will help you.

Nilan

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