Me, myself and my cycle: Jade Evans

supersapiens banner february 2022

The backdrop 

In my previous blog I talked about my history of “knowingly under fuelling”, for those that didn’t read it I talk about my history of under-eating and over exercising as a way to achieve aesthetic goals, which pushed my mind and body to its limits and as a result I have and continue to experience amenorrhea.

Since I found my love for triathlon training I am thankful to report these habits have changed. My focus now is to look after my body and feed it sufficiently to enable me to perform and recover.

I bet you’re thinking why is this backdrop relevant to today’s blog?

The situation 

Well, since I’ve started to fuel and exercise responsibly I have started to see a return of my menstrual cycle. I am still not back to full functionality but my body is definitely trying.

As you can imagine it has come as a bit of a shock to the system after 5 years of no menstruation, I was a bit clueless as to what PMS was until I started to experience it. Honestly at first I thought I was having a reaction to some sort of food and looked to my diet as the cause of my symptoms, but after a long process of elimination I realised that the cause was actually hormonal changes in my body, which were being driven by my menstrual cycle.


The learning

As with anything in my life I needed to understand what was going on so I could better prepare and support myself.

Precision Fuel & Hydration have done a great article on this, it’s by Inez Griffin and its called “How does the menstrual cycle affect training and performance”. I encourage every women to take a read, learning how to effectively work with your body will help with performance and recovery.

I downloaded the Fitrwoman app immediately after reading it, the app is a fountain of useful information. It not only tracks my menstrual cycle but it also links in my training, which allows me to understand my fluctuations and some of the symptoms I experience along my cycle. For example: increased sensitivity to heat, feeling stronger and on occasion feeling more fatigued even though the training stress score has remained consistent, disrupted sleeping, aches and pains etc the app will provide you with insight as to why you maybe experiencing a variation of these symptoms. Some I don’t experience at all, some I experience the opposite but its all down to getting to know your own body and apply your own learning and trends.


The research

Unfortunately there is limited research on the topic of menstruation and the physiological effect on performance and of those that are out there, there is often another publication delivering conflicting views however there are some good publications based on small research samples. I have linked a few below, which I found really insightful.


The Project (or as I like to call it the gift that keeps on giving)

I was lucky enough to attend a call where this subject and some literature and early findings from Supersapiens users were discussed. Whilst the learnings are still in the early stages it was great to see and hear some of the trends from users and what the data is telling us. Glucose stability looks better in your follicular phase in comparison to your luteal phase. In your follicular phase it is looking like we have increased insulin sensitivity whereas in your luteal phase there is more insulin resistance. In your luteal phase users tracked a higher caloric intake due to increased hunger cues, this maybe being driven by the hormonal changes in your body, which happen in this time of your cycle. All learnings, which I can now apply to my fuelling strategy whilst being mindful of some of the drivers of increased hunger and potentially lower motivational levels.


The take home

There are a lot of contradictions within the research but one thing I have taken is that we may react differently at different stages of their cycle. Some women perform better in certain stages, some worse. Some experience debilitating PMS, some don’t experience anything, some utilise certain food types better at different stages whereas others remain unaffected. The best thing I have taken away is to track your symptoms and cycle to understand how your body reacts, you may be slow to recover, feel really fatigue and struggle with a sensitivity to heat at certain stages, whereas others may experience the opposite but if you get to know yourself and your cycle you’ll be able to better prepare and support yourself based on your cycle and above all be kind to yourself.

I have done sessions feeling deflated where I couldn’t hit the power output targets and have worried that I’m regressing, when in reality I just needed to be more mindful of the physical stress I was putting on my body at a time in my cycle where recovery is slower and fatigue is higher.

These learnings will only help your performance and your mentality towards it.

I am forever a work in progress but that excites me!

I remind myself everyday how grateful I am that I have an opportunity to get up and be a better version of myself, I get to exercise, I am lucky enough to continue learning.

I will be forever grateful for the opportunity the Vox Performance Project has given me, it has come at a time in my life where I needed support and guidance and its done exactly that!

I hope you have enjoyed my blogs and that you have taken something away from one of them, I have enjoyed sharing my journey with you!

Good luck for all of your 2023 goals, aim big, you’re capable of so much more than you think you are!


Links to my research

How does the menstrual cycle affect performance? by Precision Fuel & Hydration (

New Study On The Menstrual Cycle And Athletic Performance – Trail Runner Magazine

The Impact of Menstrual Cycle Phase on Athletes’ Performance: A Narrative Review – PMC (

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