Artist: Drazen Zigic

The sports biorhythm

by John Harris Fitness

There are two types of people: those who, when the alarm clock rings in the morning, would prefer to crawl back under the warm blanket and those who jump into the shower, as bright as a button. The decisive factor in determining whether you are a morning person or a night owl is your inner clock, which ticks a little differently for everyone. However individual it may be, the human biorhythm shows certain similarities for everyone. What does this have to do with sports? A lot, because depending on which phase you are in physically, you are more efficient or not. Everyday life is stressful, time is short and if you adjust your sports program to your natural biorhythm, you can get the most out of your workout.

What is the biorhythm?

The literal mastermind behind the inner clock is an area in the diencephalon called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. This is where the release of the sleep hormone melatonin and the counteracting wakefulness stimulant serotonin is regulated. The resulting biorhythm thus determines when we wake up and when we are tired - equivalently, it determines our performance. These curves are largely determined by disposition, but can also be the result of habit. Even if a rhythm has a recurring character, you must remember that the body, despite everything, has exceptions. So, if you are tired and dull at the time you are used to, you should not give up, it can happen.

What makes the biorhythm tick?

The question that remains now is: How does the biorhythm work? As already mentioned, the exact effects and processes are, of course, individual for each person, but there are certain parameters that can be generalized. 

In the morning: 6:00 to 8:30 a.m.

The cortisol level is relatively high when waking up and both pulse and blood pressure are pushed, because cortisol is the so-called stress hormone. However, the body temperature is still relatively low and muscles and tendons are not yet warmed up. Therefore, we advise rather moderate training, which, however, should be started only after breakfast. As a meal, we recommend something nutritious that is not heavy on the stomach, such as a banana or a muesli bar.

Artist: Kate Trifo

Morning: 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

At this time, there is still a lot of cortisol in the bloodstream, which ensures a high level of concentration and performance. If your job allows it, we recommend a strenuous endurance workout, for example, which is even more fun due to the high physical resilience.

Noon: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

The time of lunch should rather not be dedicated to sports, because at this time of day the body is busy digesting and directs all its energy to it. This also leads to the well-known midday slump. If you want to keep the drop in performance as low as possible, you should pay attention to a healthy diet that does not put too much strain on the body.

Afternoon: 15:00 to 20:00 h

The low is followed by the high of the day! In the afternoon, pulse, blood pressure, breathing rate, muscle strength and dexterity are at their maximum and let the physical performance run at full speed. This time is therefore ideal for sustained strength training, for example.

Tip: To make the most of this phase of your biorhythm, you can take your sports gear to the office and then head straight to the gym. This way you can not only clear your head, but also make the most of your physical high.

Evening: 20:00 until 0:00

During this time period, it depends on when your body is used to getting a good night's rest. If you go to bed rather late, it's not a problem if you work out until 10pm. But you should be careful not to exercise up to three hours before going to bed, because this puts the body in an active state, which can lead to not being able to sleep.

Generally, the body shuts down from around 9 p.m. and switches to recovery mode. Allow it to rest as well so that you can start the next day refreshed. 

Finally, it should be noted that the phase of the biorhythm has nothing to do with the number of calories burned! That is influenced solely by the effort of the workout. It is just easier if you base your sports program on your biorhythm, which can be a very big motivating factor. Everyone's biorhythm ticks a little differently. So the best thing to do is listen to your body and discover patterns that you can incorporate into your workout for the positive.

Artist: Jason Briscoe

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