Chronotype and athletes’ performance in sports: A narrative review
More details
Hide details
Department of Physical Therapy, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, SAUDI ARABIA
Online publication date: 2023-03-15
Publication date: 2023-07-01
Electron J Gen Med 2023;20(4):em484
The circadian system is managed by the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which is also called a master clock, and peripheral clocks spread all over the body. A complex system of neuronal, hormonal, and autonomous signals coordinates these clocks. However, this narrative review aimed to discuss the influence of circadian rhythms on the athlete’s performance, rate of perceived exertion, resynchronization, and aerobic and anaerobic exercise. An adequately timed wake-up is believed to play an essential role in an athlete’s performance. Based on the literature, chronotype appears to correlate with ratings of perceived exertion and fatigue scores, and morning types are less fatigued in the morning. When chronotype was evaluated, fatigue and vigor had time-by-group interactions. Swimmers with morning-type profiles showed lower fatigue scores before the (06:30 hour) time test than before the (18:30 hour) time test, while those with neither-type profiles had similar fatigue scores in both sessions. Vigor scores were also higher in the morning types than in the neither-types (17.9±7.1) before the morning test and (15.6±5.5) before the evening test. Studies have also shown that exercise enhances aerobic capacity based on the day. However, several reasons can lead to conflicting evidence regarding the chronotype effect on performance studies. Thus, more research is needed regarding the chronotype effect on athletes’ performance and the impact of time of day on muscle strength.
Postolache TT, Gulati A, Okusaga OO, Stiller JW. An introduction to circadian endocrine physiology: Implications for exercise and sports performance. In: Hackney AC, Constantini NW, editors. Endocrinology of physical activity and sport. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2020. p. 363-90.
Simmons N, Mandal S, Paton B, Ahmed I. Are circadian rhythms a new frontier in athletic performance? Curr Sports Med Rep. 2022;21(1):5-7. PMid:35018891.
Bellastella G, De Bellis A, Maiorino MI, Paglionico VA, Esposito K, Bellastella A. Endocrine rhythms and sport: It is time to take time into account. J Endocrinol Invest. 2019;42(10):1137-47. PMid:30924095.
Vitosevic B. The circadian clock and human athletic performance. Publ Nat Sci. 2017;7(1):1-7.
Stenvers DJ, Scheer F, Schrauwen P, la Fleur SE, Kalsbeek A. Circadian clocks and insulin resistance. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2019;15(2):75-89. PMid:30531917.
Adan A, Archer SN, Hidalgo MP, Di Milia L, Natale V, Randler C. Circadian typology: A comprehensive review. Chronobiol Int. 2012;29(9):1153-75. PMid:23004349.
Bailey SL, Heitkemper MM. Circadian rhythmicity of cortisol and body temperature: Morningness-eveningness effects. Chronobiol Int. 2001;18(2):249-61. PMid:11379665.
Baehr EK, Revelle W, Eastman CI. Individual differences in the phase and amplitude of the human circadian temperature rhythm: With an emphasis on morningness-eveningness. J Sleep Res. 2000;9(2):117-27. PMid:10849238.
Rae DE, Stephenson KJ, Roden LC. Factors to consider when assessing diurnal variation in sports performance: The influence of chronotype and habitual training time-of-day. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2015;115(6):1339-49. PMid:25631930.
Brown FM, Neft EE, LaJambe CM. Collegiate rowing crew performance varies by morningness-eveningness. J Strength Cond Res. 2008;22(6):1894-900. PMid:18978619.
Facer-Childs E, Brandstaetter R. The impact of circadian phenotype and time since awakening on diurnal performance in athletes. Curr Biol. 2015;25(4):518-22. PMid:25639241.
Henst RH, Jaspers RT, Roden LC, Rae DE. A chronotype comparison of South African and Dutch marathon runners: The role of scheduled race start times and effects on performance. Chronobiol Int. 2015;32(6):858-68. PMid:26102236.
Anderson A, Murray G, Herlihy M, et al. Circadian effects on performance and effort in collegiate swimmers. J Circadian Rhythms. 2018;16:8. PMid:30210568 PMCid:PMC6083775.
Pengelly M, Elsworthy N, Guy J, Scanlan A, Lastella M. Player chronotype does not affect in-game performance during the evening (>18:00 h) in professional male basketball players. Clocks Sleep. 2021;3(4):615-23. PMid:34940023 PMCid:PMC8700237.
Kusumoto H, Ta C, Brown SM, Mulcahey MK. Factors contributing to diurnal variation in athletic performance and methods to reduce within-day performance variation: A systematic review. J Strength Cond Res. 2021;35(Suppl 12):S119-35. PMid:32868676.
Kunorozva L, Roden LC, Rae DE. Perception of effort in morning-type cyclists is lower when exercising in the morning. J Sports Sci. 2014;32(10):917-25. PMid:24479495.
Vitale JA, La Torre A, Baldassarre R, Piacentini MF, Bonato M. Ratings of perceived exertion and self-reported mood state in response to high intensity interval training. A crossover study on the effect of chronotype. Front Psychol. 2017;8:1232. PMid:28769855 PMCid:PMC5514349.
Waterhouse JM, Minors DS, Åkerstedt T, Reilly T, Atkinson G. Rhythms of human performance. In: Takahashi JS, Turek FW, Moore RY, editors. Circadian clocks. Boston, MA: Springer; 2001. p. 571-601.
Lemmer B, Kern RI, Nold G, Lohrer H. Jet lag in athletes after eastward and westward time-zone transition. Chronobiol Int. 2002;19(4):743-64. PMid:12182501.
Reilly T, Atkinson G, Edwards B, et al. Coping with jet-lag: A position statement for the European College of Sport Science. Eur J Sport Sci. 2007;7(1):1-7.
Reilly T, Waterhouse J, Burke LM, Alonso JM. Nutrition for travel. J Sports Sci. 2007;25(Suppl 1):S125-34. PMid:18049990.
Knaier R, Meister S, Aeschbacher T, et al. Dose-response relationship between light exposure and cycling performance. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2016;26(7):794-801. PMid:26271769.
Plano SA, Casiraghi LP, García Moro P, Paladino N, Golombek DA, Chiesa JJ. Circadian and metabolic effects of light: Implications in weight homeostasis and health. Front Neurol. 2017;8:00558. PMid:29097992 PMCid:PMC5653694.
Parker DC, Sassin JF, Mace JW, Gotlin RW, Rossman LG. Human growth hormone release during sleep: Electroencephalographic correlation. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1969;29(6):871-4. PMid:4306481.
van Rensburg DCCJ, van Rensburg AJ, Fowler P, et al. How to manage travel fatigue and jet lag in athletes? A systematic review of interventions. Br J Sports Med. 2020;54(16):960-8. PMid:32303523.
Hobson RM, Clapp EL, Watson P, Maughan RJ. Exercise capacity in the heat is greater in the morning than in the evening in man. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009;41(1):174-80. PMid:19092692.
Shiotani H, Umegaki Y, Tanaka M, Kimura M, Ando H. Effects of aerobic exercise on the circadian rhythm of heart rate and blood pressure. Chronobiol Int. 2009;26(8):1636-46. PMid:20030546.
Hill DW, Leiferman JA, Lynch NA, Dangelmaier BS, Burt SE. Temporal specificity in adaptations to high-intensity exercise training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1998;30(3):450-5. PMid:9526893.
Faisal A, Beavers KR, Hughson RL. O2 uptake and blood pressure regulation at the onset of exercise: Interaction of circadian rhythm and priming exercise. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2010;299(6):H1832-42. PMid:20889841.
Souissi N, Gauthier A, Sesboüé B, Larue J, Davenne D. Effects of regular training at the same time of day on diurnal fluctuations in muscular performance. J Sports Sci. 2002;20(11):929-37. PMid:12430993.
Edwards BJ, Pullinger SA, Kerry JW, et al. Does raising morning rectal temperature to evening levels offset the diurnal variation in muscle force production? Chronobiol Int. 2013;30(4):486-501. PMid:23281719.
Chtourou H, Zarrouk N, Chaouachi A, et al. Diurnal variation in wingate-test performance and associated electromyographic parameters. Chronobiol Int. 2011;28(8):706-13. PMid:21793694.
Zarrouk N, Chtourou H, Rebai H, et al. Time of day effects on repeated sprint ability. Int J Sports Med. 2012; 33(12):975-80. PMid:22782387.
Mirizio GG, Nunes RSM, Vargas DA, Foster C, Vieira E. Time-of-day effects on short-duration maximal exercise performance. Sci Rep. 2020;10(1):9485. PMid:32528038 PMCid:PMC7289891.
Eken O, Clemente FM, Nobari H. Judo specific fitness test performance variation from morning to evening: Specific warm-ups impacts performance and its diurnal amplitude in female judokas. BMC Sports Sci Med Rehabil. 2022;14(1):92. PMid:35596178 PMCid:PMC9123763.
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top