Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a successful athlete? The crème de la crème of athletes will tell you that it takes an immense amount of hard work, dedication, and strategy to become the best. However, there is another ingredient that may play an important role in the success of an athlete and that is their biological clock.
Researchers from the University of Groningen claim that biological clocks have a notable impact on athlete performance. They believe athletes can achieve this by shifting their biological clock at the right time, such that it allows them to achieve peak performance. This is based on the results of a recent study whose findings were published in the Scientific Reports journal.
“In many sports, the differences between coming first or second, or winning no medal at all, are very small,” said Renske Lok, the lead author in the study.
What does it take to achieve peak performance?
The scientists got curious as to whether the biological clocks of athletes contributed to winning. According to Dr. Lok, the biological clock is responsible for the body’s daily rhythm. Its role is to regulate various physiological processes such as blood glucose levels and body temperature. Peak performance usually occurs at around the peak body temperature. The scientists observed Olympic swimmers get a better understanding of the biological clock’s role in achieving a win.
The researchers found that athletes tend to perform best towards late afternoon from around 5 P.M. Athletes were not at their best in the morning hours and the same case applied in the evening. Note that the results were only from swimming. The results would have probably turned out different for other types of sports. However, the underlying idea is to determine the impact of an athlete’s biological clock on their performance.
Athletes can potentially improve their performance by training at the right time of the day. For example, going by the findings of the research, Olympic swimmers can optimize their biological clock by training late in the afternoon. Some athletes train all day and this allows them to adapt their biological clocks to different conditions throughout the day.