Does the Menstrual Cycle Influence Athletic Performance?
Athletes and coaches have long questioned the role that the menstrual cycle plays in a female athlete’s athletic performance. Understanding the impact of the menstrual cycle and hormonal fluctuations on athletic training and performance is essential when manipulating programming for an athlete.
During the menstrual cycle the hormone estrogen plays a significant role in the cardiovascular system, bones, and brain functioning, whereas the hormone progesterone primarily influences thermoregulation and ventilation. Most research to date has not demonstrated a significant connection or difference in aerobic capacity, anaerobic capacity, aerobic endurance, or muscle strength during the menstrual cycle of female athletes.