Ladies! Listen up.
I work with a lot of you, either in the gym or for nutrition coaching and I see one common thing with all of you. We just don't feel ourselves during our menstrual cycle.
I'm here to tell you that it's not all in your head.
In the first week of your menstrual cycle, your estrogen levels start to rise. You may notice that you are very motivated to stay on track with your nutrition (your cravings usually subside) and you are feeling really strong in the gym. This would be a good time to try to PR or get some heavy training days in. At about day 14 your estrogen levels peak and may find some extra energy (in and out of the bedroom, haha).
Once ovulation happens, usually around day 14 or so for most women, your estrogen levels drop and your progesterone levels rise. This is the start of what some women call PMS symptoms. You are likely to start retaining water and craving carbs.
As you approach your period week your progesterone drops which ultimately initiates your period. You may notice here that your energy levels are low and that your workouts feel harder.
Don't beat yourself up about this if this is something you notice, it's a natural, pretty unavoidable thing that women go through each month.
Your best bet would be to start noticing trends each month. I have talked to a lot of my clients about planning food and exercise differently as their period weeks approach. Notice habits and cravings and plan accordingly. Try your best to fight through the energy slumps and still get your regular workouts in. Don't stress about some weight fluctuation (as its mostly water, especially if you are eating well), and eat some chocolate once in a while.
Damn, its so much easier to be a man.