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  • 1 National Center of Medicine and Science in Sports (CNMSS), Tunisia
  • 2 University of Carthage, Tunisia
  • 3 Department of Physiology and Functional Explorations, Faculty of Medicine of Sousse, University of Sousse, Sousse, Tunisia
  • 4 Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong, China
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The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of time-of-day on oxidative stress, cardiovascular parameters, muscle damage parameters, and hormonal responses following the level-1 Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test (YYIRT). A total of 11 healthy subjects performed an intermittent test (YYIRT) at two times-of-day (i.e., 07:00 h and 17:00 h), with a recovery period of ≥36 h in-between, in a randomized order. Blood samples were taken at the rest (baseline) and immediately (post-YYIRT) after the YYIRT for measuring oxidative stress, biochemical markers, and hormonal response. Data were statistically analyzed using one-way and two-way repeated measures ANOVA and Bonferroni test at p < 0.05. Observed power (α = 0.05) and partial eta-squared were used. Our results showed that oxygen uptake (VO2max), maximal aerobic speed, and the total distance covered tended to be higher in the evening (17:00 h). There was also a main effect of time-of-day for cortisol and testosterone concentration, which were higher after the YYIRT in the morning (p < 0.05). The heart rate peak and the rating of perceived exertion scales were lower in the morning (p < 0.05). However, the plasma glucose (p < 0.01), malondialdehyde, creatine kinase (p < 0.01), lactate dehydrogenase (p < 0.05), high-density lipoprotein (p < 0.01), total cholesterol (p < 0.01), and triglycerides (p < 0.05) were higher after the YYIRT in the evening. Low-density lipoprotein, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and lactate levels (p > 0.05) were similar for the morning and evening test. In conclusion, our findings suggest that aerobic performance presents diurnal variation with great result observed in the evening accompanied by an improvement of hormonal, metabolic, and oxidative responses. These data may help to guide athletes and coaches and contribute to public health recommendations on exercise and muscle damage particularly in the competitive periods.

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