Circadian rhythms in sports performance - An update

B. Drust, J. Waterhouse, G. Atkinson, B. Edwards, T. Reilly

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    275 Citations (Scopus)


    We discuss current knowledge on the description, impact, and underlying causes of circadian rhythmicity in sports performance. We argue that there is a wealth of information from both applied and experimental work, which, when considered together, suggests that sports performance is affected by time of day in normal entrained conditions and that the variation has at least some input from endogenous mechanisms. Nevertheless, precise information on the relative importance of endogenous and exogenous factors is lacking. No single study can answer both the applied and basic research questions that are relevant to this topic, but an appropriate mixture of real-world research on rhythm disturbances and tightly controlled experiments involving forced desynchronization protocols is needed. Important issues, which should be considered by any chronobiologist interested in sports and exercise, include how representative the study sample and the selected performance tests are, test-retest reliability, as well as overall design of the experiment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)21-44
    Number of pages24
    JournalChronobiology International
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005


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