Finding the time to squeeze your workouts into your already crammed schedule is tricky enough. The decades-long debate within fitness circles about the best time to hit the gym can complicate it further. Is one time any better than the other? This article explores how to choose between different times of the day and ways to make the best gains in your workouts.
When to Workout (Morning vs. Evening)
Research shows that the time of the day you pick to exercise may significantly impact the outcomes of the workouts. Here's a detailed breakdown of the benefits and drawbacks of working out in the morning or the evening.
Morning fitness enthusiasts testify to increased metabolism, alertness, and better sleep that result from morning workouts. Here are circumstances you should consider working out in the morning:
You Are On A Weight Loss Program
shows that exercising in a "fasted state" right after you wake up burns more fat than working out after eating a meal. This is because the body utilizes fat stores to fuel your exercise rather than using the food you just ate to provide the energy.
Moreover, the "afterburn
" effect may also last longer in morning workouts than in evening workouts. The fat breakdown can help you lose weight over the long term.
You Want To Sleep Better
Sleep experts indicate that exposure to sunlight right after waking up helps put a timestamp on your brain's sleep-wake cycle. In addition, aerobic exercises in the morning stimulate early melatonin release,
creating a shift in your circadian rhythm.
Early melatonin release in the evening can improve your sleep quality. This is because your body will be naturally more alert in the morning and tired by evening. In addition, morning exercise can reduce your blood pressure
, causing a further 25% reduction at night which correlates to better sleep.
You Want To Develop A Fitness Routine
Fitness enthusiasts who work out in the morning are typically more consistent in their exercise routines. Hitting the gym right after you wake up leave less room for excuses. You may feel the need to postpone your evening workouts as new duties and responsibilities crop up during the day.
Endorphins," happy hormones" that your body releases in response to exercise, can keep your moods elevated long past your workout. You may feel happier having started your day by doing something fantastic for your body's health. As such, remain inclined to maintain your exercise routine.
Proponents of afternoon and evening workouts cite increased performance and stress relief as reasons to consider working out in the evening. Here are circumstances under which you should consider working out in the evening:
You Want to Get Stronger
shows that endurance and performance tend to improve later in the day. Modest differences in maximal oxygen uptake, anaerobic capacity, and oxygen uptake kinetics produce a remarkably longer performance in the evening than in the morning, with professional athletes taking 20% longer to reach exhaustion.
Testosterone, a vital hormone necessary for muscle build-up, seems most responsive
in the afternoon to early evening. Therefore, fitness enthusiasts looking towards muscle gain should consider rescheduling their workouts till later in the day.
You Want To Carry Out Intense Workouts
The body's core temperature, testosterone-to-cortisol ratio, and circadian cycle greatly influence muscle growth and strength development. The core temperature
rises as the day progresses, with most fitness enthusiasts getting into the groove faster in the afternoon than in the morning.
People are typically strongest when their core temperature reaches the daily peak
. High testosterone stimulation, which occurs in the evening, allows athletes to gain more mass with a strength training program.
Getting the Best Gains from Your Workout
Making the best gains during the workout depends entirely on your fitness goals rather than the time you exercise. The ideal time to exercise is wherever you can, and consistency is the key to maximum benefits from your workout.
You should pick a fitness routine that fits your daily schedule and fitness goals. Going against your body's natural inclination can harm muscle-building or strength-training efforts. Remember that you can become more consistent with a morning routine than an evening one.