What is Chrono-Nutrition?
Let’s start with our biological clock and circadian rhythms. Our internal biological clock has very distinct, specific nutritional needs throughout a 24-hour cycle. Our daily clock runs on circadian rhythms that are dictated by many factors such as light and darkness, body temperature and our sleep-wake cycles. This internal clock can affect our alertness, fatigue, and levels of energy throughout the day.
This concept of circadian rhythms actually won the Nobel Prize in Medicine! Read this excellent Wired article to get the full details: The Noble Prize in Medicine Goes to Your Body’s Circadian Clock.
“All organisms operate on a 24-hour circuit that governs critical functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, hormone levels, metabolism, sleep, and even behavior…”
So, we know that our “central clock” which is affected by light, and the earth’s 24 hour phases. We know we should not have screens (blue light) close to bedtime (we will cover other sleep hygiene practices soon). But, and here is where it gets really interesting – your body has a second “peripheral clock”.
This peripheral clock has less to do with the rising and setting of the sun and more about what you eat and when. That’s the chrono part of chrono-nutrition.
Much of this links back to ancient wisdom that is promoted by Ayurveda, and Traditional Chinese Medicine. To quote Deanna Minich, Ph. D. in her excellent HuffPost article Chrono-nutrition: Why When You Eat is as Important as What you Eat:
“Circadian rhythm is such a fascinating field of research because it validates the body’s wisdom and, in doing so, allows us to work with its natural rhythm in order to maintain or restore health.”
How MANTRA Labs Helps with Chrono-Nutrition
We’ve identified the three most important times to address what’s going on with your body.
In the morning, if you’re like most people, you have difficulty waking up, being focused and just getting stuff done. You depend on coffee and feel rushed. It’s at this point of day that you’re lacking adequate hydration, probably didn’t get enough sleep, and don’t have enough time to get all the nutrition you need.
This is where RISE comes in. It’s designed to fulfill these key early morning nutritional needs.
GO helps with the middle of the day – the time when your energy wanes, you feel dragged out, and mid-day is the optimal caffeine time.
Finally, REST assists with helping you get to sleep and stay asleep. Sleeping well is the single most under-used performance enhancer and is critical to mental and physical health.
But modern technology (think blue light, cell phones and lights, in general) have destroyed any sense of your natural circadian rhythm. The result is you’re not tired when lay down in bed (if you climb in bed at a “decent” time), you don’t get enough sleep, and you’re exhausted when you wake up in the morning.
This concept of Chrono-Nutrition is critical and impacts not only how we perform physically each day, but it has a profound effect on our moods, overall cognition and how long we live.
The key takeaway here is to focus daily healthy habits that support your circadian rhythm and lead to better energy and sleep. MANTRA Labs created RISE, GO and REST to help create these habits and provide the right nutrition at the right time.