My HormonologyLove to play video games, tennis, volleyball or other games that require stellar reaction times? Chances are, you get a higher score during your Week 1 and Week 2 (the first half of your cycle).

That’s the word from a 2013 study in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research that shows your reaction time slows during your Week 3 and Week 4 due to your body retaining salt and water, which interrupt messages sent down nerve pathways, telling your eyes and body to react.

How can you use this information in everyday life? Well, if you’re challenging someone to a game or you’re doing any other activity that requires excellent reaction times, try to schedule it to happen during the first half of your cycle when your reaction time is naturally faster.

If the game or activity has to fall during the second half of your cycle, try to limit your salt intake. Then sip a caffeinated beverage or dandelion tea. Both act like a mild diuretic, helping your body shed excess fluid. By lowering your body’s salt and water level, you’ll free up the nerve pathways needed to boost your reaction time, making you respond faster!