The Top Cycle-syncing Products to Balance Hormones

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An app that tells you the best workout for that specific day. A pack of curated supplements for each phase. A tincture that preps you for your period. A customized nutrition plan.

Welcome to cycle syncing.

As more women deal with the physical and emotional effects of hormonal imbalances due to stress, endocrine disruptors, fast-paced lifestyles and menstrual cycles, an increasing number of brands are creating fitness programs, nutrition plans, skin care products and supplements that address each phase of one’s cycle. 

There are four phases of a menstruator’s cycle, including menstrual, when bleeding and PMS symptoms occur; follicular, when ovarian follicles form; ovulatory, when an egg is released, and luteal, when the egg reaches the uterus. Each phase elicits different needs, such as increased iron during menstruation or a debloating supplement during the luteal phase. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a cycle lasts between 24 and 38 days. 

“Eighty percent of women will have a hormonal issue at some point in her life,” said Alisa Vitti, the founder of hormone health platform Flo Living, who introduced the cycle syncing method in her book “Woman Code” published in 2013. Today, Flo Living consists of an app where users can track their cycle, a free hormone assessment, a lineup of supplements to balance hormones and guides on what to eat, the best workout to do and more.

While Vitti kick-started the movement a decade ago, it’s only in the last year or so that it has entered the mainstream, driven by awareness and the increased availability of cycle-tracking apps and devices and at-home tests that make it easier for women to measure their hormone levels.

The result: Many brands and influencers are implementing cycle syncing. Take fitness influencer, founder of The Sculpt Society and celeb trainer Megan Roup. Roup, who trains celebs like Sofia Richie and Dakota Johnson, offers “slow and controlled classes” on The Sculpt Society platform for the menstrual phase when people are tired and experiencing pain. There’s also advanced classes for the follicular phase when motivation strikes and energy levels are up, slightly shorter classes during ovulatory to maintain energy, and sculpt-like classes for luteal when fatigue creeps back in. 

For Roup, cycle syncing plays into a larger movement around being attuned to one’s self. “It goes back to listening to your body, like intuitive eating and intuitive movement,” she said. “If you’re feeling lethargic or tired, listening to that and then making a class decision based on what it is that you need today is important.” 

Nutrition companies like Chiyo have also taken note, creating meal programs that could be beneficial for those trying to balance their hormones. For example, iron-heavy foods can be helpful during the menstrual phase when losing blood, and greens are recommended during the follicular phase to balance estrogen as it increases.

Fitness and nutrition are especially important in cycle syncing, as weight management is an issue many females face, and hormone levels and where a woman is in her cycle makes a difference in terms of how much she should eat and move. 

“It’s the opposite story of what gender-biased research has left us with as a cultural narrative, which is, ‘Women’s bodies, we’re not studying them, so let’s just assume they’re slightly smaller versions of men who have more complicated hormones and sluggish metabolisms so they should eat fewer calories and work out harder,” said Vitti. “That’s what’s been driving the diet and fitness industry for the past 40 years, and it’s making women fat, sick and tired, and driving rates of PMS, infertility and early perimenopause.” 

Armed with more knowledge, brands are making a case for additional products, most notably supplements. Elix, a brand rooted in Chinese medicine, is aiming to create a slew of tinctures that support each phase of the cycle. “If we have a healthy cycle, that’s when we’re starting to feel more energized and more excited to be out in the world,” said founder Lulu Ge. “But if we have a hormonal imbalance, that’s when we’re coming out of our period, we’re still feeling exhausted. That’s where the products come in.” 

Elix’s Cycle Balance, $48, is a customized tincture formula of herbs based on a customer’s health assessment to prepare them for a healthy menstrual cycle by supporting hormones and lowering inflammation. Similarly, Perelel, an ob-gyn-founded women’s health vitamin line, has its Cycle Support Pack, $41, which includes varying capsules for each day of the cycle, housed in packaging that acts as an educational tool.

“You will finish this pack understanding the four phases of your cycle,” said Perelel cofounder Alex Taylor. “You’ll understand what you’re typically experiencing through each phase and what you need to do to support yourself.”

Each pack includes a QR code that users can scan to find tips around fitness, nutrition and mental health. With all of these elements at play, Taylor said they have seen “tremendous adherence,” as consumers are sticking with the protocol.

Other brands agree that it’s the educational content and supplemental material that is driving the stickiness of cycle syncing as a concept. For example, Rael is doubling down on cycle-syncing education across its entire product assortment of period care, skin care (including face masks for each cycle phase) and supplements to balance hormones and ease PMS symptoms. On the site, customers can shop by phase and reference the brand’s educational graphics for guidance. Social media campaigns and influencers have also driven virality.

Rael cycle syncing guide.

Rael cycle-syncing guide.

Courtesy

“There has been a lot of progress in the last couple of years,” said Rael founder Yanghee Paik, in terms of consumer understanding and adoption. “This kind of education will continue and then in the next five years, people will be quite well educated on the different phases and different symptoms. People will be smart about changing their lifestyle.”

Elsewhere, Hum Nutrition has Hormone Balance, $26, and SOS PMS Gummies, $26, which are both meant to relieve cycle-related symptoms; Love Wellness has #Mood Pills, $25, meant to support mood and reduce cramps and fatigue, and JSHealth has Hormone + PMS Support, $37, to promote cycle regularity. 

New brands continue to pop up, too, like Cycl by Ido Leffler’s (of Yes to Inc.) daughter Zoe Leffler, which has a PMS Symptom Relief gummy, $25, that claims to support women through their cycle by easing symptoms and boosting mood. 

Similarly, wearable device brands are approaching the conversation by offering cycle support, as well: Oura and Apple Watch can be integrated with cycle-tracking apps like Natural Cycles, so a user can follow their phases and adjust habits accordingly. 

While cycle syncing is gaining traction, experts say it’s still early and to expect the category to evolve as new brands and research come out. 

“Cycle syncing could be huge.…Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of research out there,” said Rachel Hirsch, founder of Wellness Growth Ventures, a seed fund focused on women-founded wellness companies, who predicts that advanced clinical trials and continued product innovation will be essential to scale the category.

Vitti added: “Because of the lack of funding in research, the conversation from the top-down is going to take longer, but the conversation that’s happening in the grassroots, this has become a global movement.”

SIDEBAR: 

Elix Cycle Balance, $48

Elix’s Cycle Balance is an herb-infused, custom tincture based on a customer’s health assessment that is taken leading up to menstruation to balance hormones and ease symptoms. 

Perelel Cycle Support Pack, $41

This 28-day pack features three supplements taken in different amounts at different times to support the needs of one’s cycle. 

Cycl PMS Symptom Relief, $25

Cycl gummy.

Cycl PMS Symptom Relief

Courtesy

PMS Symptom Relief from Cycl is a strawberry-flavored gummy infused with ingredients like lemon balm to boost mood and vitamin B6 to soothe cramps. 

Rael Ultimate Supplement Bundle, $65

Rael’s supplement line includes products that support hormone balancing over the course of the cycle, as well as ones that address acute symptoms that occur during menstruation.

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