Many of the physiological and psychological qualities that influence an athlete’s performance show diurnal variation. Humans present with a temporal phenotype, their chronotype that affects their preference for morning or evening activity. There is considerable interindividual variation in the phase relationship of physiological processes, hormones and core body temperature to external time due to chronotype. This can lead to differences in the times of peaks of physical performance within a day. Chronotype is thus an important variable in determining optimal times for training and competition and may affect an athlete’s choice of sport or his/her success in it. We review the evidence that chronotype influences athletic performance and speculate about how athletes might overcome the effects of chronotype when their schedule is out of phase with their circadian rhythm.
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- training time-of-day
- individual sports