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Purpose: To analyze the diurnal variation of maximal fat oxidation (MFO) and the intensity that elicits MFO (Fatmax) in trained male athletes. Methods: A total of 12 endurance-trained male athletes age 24.7 (4.1) y participated in the study. The authors measured MFO, Fatmax, maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max), and VO2 percentage at ventilatory threshold 2 with a graded exercise protocol performed on 2 days separated by 1 wk. One test was performed in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The authors assessed the participants’ chronotype using the HÖME questionnaire. Results: MFO and Fatmax were greater in the afternoon than in the morning (Δ = 13%, P < .001 and Δ = 6%, P = .001, respectively), whereas there were similar VO2max and ventilatory threshold 2 in the morning, than in the afternoon test (Δ = 0.2%, P = .158 and Δ = 7%, P = .650, respectively). There was a strong positive association between VO2max and MFO in both morning and afternoon assessments (R2 = .783, P = .001 and R2 = .663, P < .001, respectively). Similarly, there was a positive association between VO2max and Fatmax in both morning and afternoon assessments (R2 = .406, P = .024 and R2 = .414, P = .026, respectively). Conclusion: MFO and Fatmax may partially explain some of the observed diurnal variation in the performance of endurance sports.

Amaro-Gahete, Jurado-Fasoli, Trivino, and De-la-O are with the Dept of Medical Physiology, School of Medicine, and Amaro-Gahete, Sanchez-Delgado, and Ruiz, the Dept of Physical Education and Sport, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain. Helge is with the Dept of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Amaro-Gahete (amarof@ugr.es) is corresponding author.
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