Popular menstrual-cycle syncing workout fail to show results, scientists confirm
Have you heard of menstrual-cycle syncing workouts? You know, those trendy fitness routines that claim to help you tailor your workouts and diets to "balance" your hormones for peak performance?
According to a recent study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, they don't work at all. That's right, the experts have spoken: the popular menstrual-cycle syncing workout trend has officially been debunked.
The myth of menstrual-cycle syncing workout
The idea behind this trend begs women to tailor their workouts and diets to achieve peak performance and hormonal balance. However, experts couldn't find enough evidence to conclude that this workout regimen aids female exercise physiology.
Fitness influencers and wellness gurus have made the non-beneficial menstrual-cycle syncing workouts trend go viral.
In fact, there's a TikTok hashtag #CycleSyncing, which has accumulated 520.4 million views. But wait, don't despair just yet, because you can tailor your exercise routine to your unique menstrual cycle instead.
The menstrual cycle is made up of four phases: menstruation, follicular, ovulatory, and luteal. And as women's bodies transition through these different phases, they may experience different effects such as food cravings, fluctuating energy levels, cramps, and pelvic pain.
The theory behind cycle-syncing workouts is that by syncing your workouts and dietary choices to each phase of your menstrual cycle, you can optimize your performance and minimize negative side effects.
Lack of scientific evidence does not mean an individualized approach to training is invalid
But here's the problem: according to the study, there is little to no scientific evidence to support this theory. In fact, the researchers found that hormonal levels vary too much during each menstrual period and even between the cycles of individual women - for a generalized program to work.
They examined everything from women's use of fat versus carbohydrates to their potential for muscle growth and blood-vessel function across the cycle phases, ultimately finding little or no differences.
"Hormone levels can vary substantially. Not just between two women, but within one woman from one cycle to the next," explained co-lead author Mai Wageh, a PhD candidate in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University.
"Women can feel better or worse, and some are even incapacitated during various phases of their cycle," she added.
So, what does this mean for all the fitness influencers and wellness influencers promoting these menstrual-cycle syncing workouts? According to the experts, it means they have some explaining to do. Despite the claims made by these influencers, there is simply not enough scientific evidence to support their theories.
That doesn't mean you should give up on working out altogether. But instead of trying to fit your workouts into a predetermined program, experts suggest taking an individualized approach to training.
Keep track of your cycle and symptoms in each phase, and adjust your exercise plan accordingly. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to health and fitness, after all.
If you're feeling let down by the news that menstrual-cycle syncing workouts are not the answer, take heart in the fact that there are plenty of other viral fitness trends out there to try. From high-intensity interval training to yoga, there's no shortage of options that can help you reach your fitness goals. The key is finding what works best for you and your body.
So there you have it. The verdict is in, and it's not good news for menstrual-cycle syncing workouts. But don't worry, there are plenty of other ways to stay fit and healthy. And who knows, maybe the next viral fitness trend will turn out to be the real deal.