We are going to cut the bull**** right away and tell you straight up... there is no "best" time of the day to exercise. The magical hour where you miraculously lose 10 kilos of fat, or add 10 pounds of muscle just doesn't exist.
To reiterate why, we are going to refer back to one of our favourite quotes... "if we all ate the same food and did the same workout every single day, our bodies would all still look different".
What works for one person may not work for another, and that is exactly why there is no 'magical' time of the day that is best to exercise.
In saying that, working out in the morning does have some benefits we don't always experience at night, and vice versa. This blog is going to give you the rundown on the benefits of working out in the morning versus working out in the evening, to help you decide what time of the day is best for YOU to exercise.
BENEFITS OF WORKING OUT IN THE MORNING
If you're an early bird then working out in the A.M. is probably the right move for you, and here's why.
1. MORE ENERGY THROUGHOUT THE DAY
Exercise enhances the amount of oxygen and nutrients circulating throughout your body, both of which are vital components for creating energy. By exercising in the morning you're kick starting this process, helping to boost your energy-levels, focus and productivity early on for the day ahead.
2. BETTER MOOD
You've probably heard of endorphins before. These are the happy hormones which are released during exercise and various other feel good activities, that leave us with that euphoric feeling. Getting an early morning dose of endorphins is almost always guaranteed to give you an extra pep in your step, as these hormones are natural mood boosters.
3. IMPROVED SLEEP CYCLE
We know it can be difficult to get up in the early hours of the day, but if it's a good nights sleep you're after then a morning workout is the way to go. Exercising early helps your body to release melatonin earlier, which is a hormone that helps control your sleep-wake cycle. Experiencing a higher concentration of melatonin earlier in the day will help you relax and wind down in the evening, whilst simultaneously increasing your alertness when you first wake up. In simple terms, you'll feel more awake in the morning and more tired at night.
4. POTENTIAL FOR HIGHER FAT BURN
Research has found that exercising on an empty stomach (or fasted state) can lead to higher fat burn compared to exercising after a meal (or in a fed state). This is because when you wake up there is no food left in the tank to be used as energy, so your body turns to its fat stores for fuel.
BENEFITS OF WORKING OUT IN THE EVENING
With busy work schedules and a deep love for sleeping-in, many of us may prefer to exercise in the P.M., and it could be doing you some unique favours.
1. BETTER PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE
According to research our physical performance peaks around 6 - 11 hours after waking up, meaning that we can train harder later in the day. In fact, our performance can improve by up to 20 percent at night compared to the morning.
2. LET GO OF THE DAYS STRESSES
Exercise is an excellent way to burn off steam and relieve stress, especially after a tougher than normal day. This is something else we can thank our friendly endorphins for. Endorphins are released when our body enters a stress state, as their goal is to squash any negative thoughts or emotions. Endorphins are essentially programmed to enhance positive sensations whilst blocking out any negative emotions, what little legends!
3. YOU MAY SEE QUICKER GAINS
Our strength and muscle function peaks later in the day due to having a higher concentration of testosterone in the body. Testosterone is a hormone that plays an important role in tissue growth, particularly the muscles.
Working out with more testosterone in your system can make your workouts more effective, as it increases your muscles ability to grow, develop strength and recover.
4. REPLACE BAD HABITS
A nightly exercise routine is the perfect way to convert a sedentary lifestyle into an active one. Sure, we’re all tired after work, but that’s not an excuse to binge watch Netflix every night and enjoy a few too many midnight snacks. Sure this is fine sometimes, but maybe try swapping the couch for the dumbbells a few nights per week. You'll be surprised how easy and effective this change can help you start creating a healthier life for yourself.
Whilst there may be a few differences between working out in the morning versus working out at night, the best workout will always be the one you actually do. For more health and fitness tips, chuck us a follow on Instagram, Facebook or TikTok.