I’m developing more and more of an appreciation for the impact that my circadian clock has on my health. I was listening to Dr. Rhonda Patrick discuss the affect that time restricted eating can have on things I didn’t expect like muscle mass. Time restricted eating refers to the time period over which you eat during the day. The clock starts with the first food or drink that you ingest that is not water. Yep even my herbal tea counts or your. And it ends with the last bite or sip you take – anything that gets metabolised. Your first sip or bite starts all kinds of metabolic enzymes. These enzymes are on a ‘clock’. As humans we evolved to be active during the day and so light and also food are the signals that activate our circadian clocks. Once the enzymes are activated, they are on a 12 hour clock. Issues arise when we eat past this 12 hour window because the metabolic enzymes start to shut down. What happens then is you start to become more insulin resistant and lose muscle mass. So interestingly, even with eating the same diet, if you change when you eat, while maintaining what you eat, it can still have positive effects. Dr. Rhonda Patrick says that she try to keep within a 9 hour eating window and finds this to be quite an optimal eating window. An added benefit for athletes or anyone who gets energy lows, is that time restriction can even help improve endurance. No more herbal tea before bed for me. I want to keep my clock happy! If you want to learn more, one of the best researchers in this field is Dr. Satchin Panda. I’ve tried his app too, which I found a bit challenging to do, so instead I developed a journal exercise. It’s helping me to really notice my own circadian cycle.