Is it just me, or does it seem like being on your period sucks the life out of you sometimes? I mean, some months aren’t so bad. But some months…whew. I am WIPED.
So why does this happen? And is there anything we can do about it? Because you know, dealing with cramps and mood swings and cravings is ENOUGH. And should we work out on our period if we feel totally drained?
I did a little research to find out!
What’s going on in there?
Well, a lot! When you start a new menstrual cycle (AKA your period), your hormones go a little haywire. Actually, they start going a little out of whack the week before you start your period, causing your good ‘ol friend: PMS.
So the two big hormones are progesterone and estrogen. Progesterone dominates after you ovulate all the way up to your period, which makes you feel tired. Then if you’re not pregnant, progesterone drops, and both estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest.
Serotonin, our “feel good hormone” crashes around this time too. Not only does that make us feel drained, but it gives the added bonus of feeling emotional! If you’re like me, feeling tired also makes you a liiiiiittttle grouchy and super snacky too!
But here’s the good news. Those hormones start to bounce back to normal as the week goes on! So by the end of your period, you should have some of your energy back.
Can we prevent fatigue during our period?
We’ve got things to do!
Good news! Yes! You can try a few things leading up to your period to help keep your energy levels up. Kinda like anything else, it all comes back to diet, exercise, sleep and stress.
- Get your Zzz’s! You know the drill. Avoid caffeine in the afternoon/evening, stop screen time before bedtime, and get your 8 hours.
- Focus on fuel – Try to resist that craving for chocolate, sugar or alcohol. These foods cause big time blood sugar fluctuations, which usually end with an energy crash.
- Relax – Stress will seriously drain you. Try meditating, yoga, reading, or anything to help you chill.
- Hydrate – Water, water water! If you’re dehydrated, you’ll feel more tired and you might even notice your cramps are worse and you crave more junk. So drink up!
To workout, or not to workout?
If you’re thinking about using your period as an excuse to skip your workout, think again.
It’s totally fine to workout while you’re on your period. And you know what? It might actually make you feel better. YUP.
Let me convince ya:
- Working out increases energy.
- Working out improves your mood thanks to a little thing called endorphins.
- Working out might help with mild cramping, again thanks to endorphins!
Of course, you don’t have to do super intense workouts. If you’re doing HIIT or heavy lifting on the reg, this might be the perfect time to back off a little and keep it light or modify if that feels better for you. Low-intensity exercises like walking, yoga, pilates, and light weight training are all super beneficial and they feel GOOD.
If you have killer cramps or other issues, talk to your doctor and maybe consider sitting it out until you feel better. But if you’re just skipping because you feel like a slug, peel yourself off the couch because I’m thinking a little activity is just what you need!
Figure out what makes you feel BEST!
Most importantly, do what feels good for you. If your body truly needs rest, then give it some rest. And like I said before, if fatigue or cramping or your moods are extra intense and seem to be getting in the way of your life, talking to your doctor might help!
It might seem like our period kinda takes over and control everything we do when it shows up. But that doesn’t have to be the case! Hopefully, we can use these tips to feel as normal and energized as possible when that time of the month strikes.