Chrononutrition: Why Meal Timing, Calorie Distribution & Feeding Windows Really Do Matter

In All Articles, Blog Postsby Danny Lennon2 Comments

A sizable amount of research is mounting to suggest that there are very real and important implications for when we eat. In this article, we will explore the intersection of circadian biology and diet (termed “chrononutrition”) and offer some heuristics and guidance for practical application

Comments

  1. Hey Danny,

    A great article! I’ve read it a few times & listened to a few of the podcasts where you have spoke about it.

    I would have been in the camp before the info came out that nutrient timing for the most part doesn’t matter too much but I’ve changed behaviours to mimic recommendations from here to an extent.

    However I do have a question in regards to some things in the article. You mention how the peripheral clocks go through peaks & troughs, through periods of working more efficiently than others. What do you think is happening in the times where they aren’t working as well? Primarily storage of nutrients as fat rather than for fuel?

    In my mind I’m comparing it to somebody working a 9-5 job. During the period the workers (cells responsible for oxidation & energy transfer) are ready to take on any work put their way but as the day goes on & gets closer to home time their productivity starts to drain. If you put some work on their desk (food) at 4.45 right before they go home their productivity is at the lowest of the day so the work will either be not as good quality because of staying for overtime or pushed off to the next day (storage). The times aren’t the main focus but I’m just wondering would that be a way to look at it?

    Thanks,
    Shane

    1. Author

      Hey Shane, thanks for the kind words about the article!

      Great question regarding what happens there is circadian misalignment. As you outline, there are times of the day when certain processes run more efficiently due to circadian control, an example given in the article is how metabolism of a meal differs from early in the day versus night time. So in this case, if we consider a meal eaten at 2am, then there will be greater blood glucose response to that meal (versus the same meal eaten at 2pm for example). Similarly we see detrimental impacts on fatty acid levels in the blood.

      I like your analogy and think it does a good job of demonstrating the idea that ideally we want to match certain things to certain times of day that they are most “suited” to. This parallels with section of the article talking about matching up certain cycles. Essentially, we want to match daylight, eating, activity and wakefulness together. Similarly, matching darkness, fasting, resting and sleep.

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