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  • Author or Editor: H Chtourou x
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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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Authors: K Ghattassi, O Hammouda, A Graja, N Boudhina, H Chtourou, S Hadhri, T Driss and N Souissi


Very few studies have investigated the temporal specificity of melatonin (MEL) ingestion upon short-term maximal athletic performances. The aim of the present study was to explore the effect of morning MEL ingestion on cognitive and physical performances measured in the afternoon.


Twelve soccer players from a Tunisian squad (17.9 ± 1.3 years, 1.74 ± 0.06 m and 62.0 ± 8.8 kg) participated in the present study. They performed two testing sessions at 08:00 h, 12:00 h and 16:00 h after either MEL (5mg) or placebo (PLA) ingestion, in a randomized order. During each period, the participants performed the following cognitive and physical tests: reaction time and vigilance tests, medicine-ball throw (MBT), five jumps, handgrip strength (HG), and agility tests.


cognitive and physical performances were significantly higher at 16:00 h compared to 08:00 h during the two conditions (p < 0.05). Moreover, performances of MBT and HG were lower in the morning with MEL in comparison to PLA (p < 0.05). However, MEL ingestion did not affect physical and cognitive performances measured at 12:00 h and 16:00 h.


morning MEL ingestion has no unfavourable effect on afternoon physical and cognitive performances in soccer players.

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Authors: A Ammar, H Chtourou, O Hammouda, M Turki, F Ayedi, C Kallel, O AbdelKarim, A Hoekelmann and N Souissi

The aims of the present study were to: (1) investigate the effect of a weightlifting training session and time-of-day (TOD) upon biological parameters (i.e., oral temperature, hematological, C-reactive protein (CRP), and oxidative stress) and (2) assess their possible link with muscle damage responses. Nine weightlifters (21 ± 0.5 years) performed, in a randomized order, three Olympic-Weightlifting sessions (i.e., at 08:00, 14:00, and 18:00). Blood samples were collected at rest, 3 min and 48 h after each training session. Between pre- and post-training session, ANOVA showed significant increases in oxidative stress markers at the three TODs (p < 0.01) and significant increases for creatine kinase (CK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) only at 08:00 and 18:00 (p < 0.05). At rest, the results showed a significant diurnal variation for the majority of the selected parameters except for malondialdehyde (MDA), total bilirubin, and CRP with higher values observed at 18:00 (p < 0.05). After the training session, given the higher rate of increase during the morning session, these diurnal variations persisted for temperature and WBC (p < 0.01) and were suppressed for CK, LDH, uric acid (UA), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase. The main significant correlations (p < 0.001) were observed between: (1) CK and MDA (r = 0.6) and CK and UA (r = 0.66 and r = 0.82) during the morning and evening training sessions; (2) CK and CRP only during the morning session (r = 0.5); and (3) CRP and WBC during the three training sessions (r = 0.8). In conclusion, the present findings: (1) confirm that the muscle damage responses could be induced by a high level of oxidative stress and (2) suggest to avoid scheduling training sessions in the morning given the higher muscle damage, inflammatory, and oxidative responses at this TOD.

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