Chrononutrition improves your health. You know that what and how much you eat greatly affect your health and weight. But did you know that when you eat is also a big part of the equation? Your body has a rhythm to it –cueing you to eat, sleep and exercise at certain times of the day. Listening to it could be the difference between average and optimal health. It could also be the difference between being at your ideal weight and yo-yo dieting.
What is Chrononutrition?
Chrononutrition is the relationship between your circadian rhythm and nutrition. Your circadian rhythm controls your physical, mental and emotional cycles. Your body’s temperature, hormones, sleep and appetite all operate within this 24-hour window.
Your biological clock is greatly influenced by light and darkness. But did you know that when and how you eat also affects your circadian rhythm? That is why chrononutriton improves your health, and can be a game-changer.
Your circadian rhythm is critical to your body composition, performance and health. It controls opposing processes. These include whether you are asleep or awake, eating or fasting, active or at rest. Whether you are synthesizing or breaking down protein is also affected. This biological “clock” controls your metabolism, immunity, digestion and muscle growth.
Protecting Your Organs
Your gut, pancreas, liver, tissue and skeletal muscle are all controlled by peripheral clocks. These affect the timing of digestion, hormone secretion and nutrient metabolism. Your appetite and physical activity are managed by them. Synchronizing your meals with your peripheral clocks is best for organ health. That is one way in which chrononutrition improves your health.
Timing Your Meals
The timing of your meals can either synchronize or desynchronize your circadian rhythm. It is best to align your body’s master and peripheral clocks to your external environment. This will ensure that you take in the most nutrients from your meals. This is another way that chrononutrition improves your health.
When your circadian rhythm is misaligned with your environment, you are not operating at your best. Blood sugar, cortisol and insulin can become elevated. Lower leptin levels and less sleep can result in being less active and more hungry.
Morning Protein for Muscle Growth
The average person consumes more protein at dinner time than at breakfast. For optimal health this should be reversed. Our bodies are better equipped to handle large meals early in the day. Eating a lot of protein in the first half of the day enhances muscle size and function, as well as grip strength. This is another way in which chrononutrition improves your health.
Limit Night Time Eating
Eating a lot of calories, especially carbohydrates, at night is not good for your health. Eating a lot within four hours of sleep leads to a higher percentage of body fat being stored. It is easiest to maintain our ideal weight, or to lose weight, if we eat most of our calories before 3pm. That is another way chrononutrition improves your health.
Eat Your Meals at Consistent Times
Our circadian rhythm is affected by the timing of our meals. Eating at inconsistent times can throw off that beneficial balance.
Sleep at Night and Be Active During the Day
Aligning your wake/sleep cycle to day and night hours is best. The blue light from electronic devices and LED lights trick us into thinking it is daytime. For this reason, it is best to avoid using them close to bedtime.
Chrononutrition improves your health. There is a delicate balance between your circadian rhythmicity and your food intake. You should align your activities with the day/night cycle. This includes eating your meals at appropriate and consistent times. Eat more protein and calories in the morning, and limit night time eating. For optimal health, sleep at night and be active during the day.
Your body is a strong and beautiful machine. It’s up to you to keep it functioning at its best! The Personal Trainers at Golden Home Fitness can provide you with the right plan and help you achieve it. For your free in-person or virtual GHF personal training session click here.
Sciencedaily.com; strongerbyscience.com; integrativenutrition.com; ncbi.nlm.nih.gov; firstpost.co