IS IT BETTER TO WORKOUT IN THE MORNING OR EVENING?
The best time to workout depends mostly on your personal preference – when is the time that you’re most mentally ready to kick some butt in the gym?
Some people just aren’t good waking up early and trying to push themselves any time before noon isn’t going to come with any good results. But other folks are tired and lazy at the end of the day and would rather get in the AM sweat sesh before the calls of their couch convince them to skip that evening workout.
So if you’re definitely an early bird or a night owl, and you know that you can throw some serious iron around better at different times in the day, then stick with what’s working best for your energy levels.
But if you’re lucky enough to give it your all in the morning or en la noche, then there’s some interesting research about what is really the best time to train.
In general, the researchers seem to agree that training in the evening hours may be better for your goals. For a few different reasons:
- You body temperature is higher in the afternoons and evenings because the digestion of food and movements throughout the day actually helps to warm your body. And your muscles contract better when they’re warm – which can mean a more efficient workout and better results. But if you still prefer the morning training, you just need to make sure to give a longer time to your warmup. In the morning, your connective tissues and ligaments are generally much colder and can lead to injury if used to strenuously while cold. So do some extra warm ups in the morning to get the same perks as the evening trainers.
- If you’re goal is to gain mass, then timing your workouts when your testosterone is higher can help you build muscle faster. For men, testosterone peaks around 8am, which could be argued that morning workouts are better. But these morning workouts have to happen after the testosterone boost, not before. So 5AM workouts aren’t going to give you any perks. But studies also show that testosterone levels usually have a second peak in the late afternoons, so you could get the same benefit by training in the early evenings.
- Cortisol levels, the fat storing stuff, tend to be highest in the morning. And high cortisol levels can actually interfere with your neuromuscular communications. If your nerves aren’t communicating smoothly with each other, your training can feel heavy and slow – which isn’t an efficient workout to get results. These cortisol levels tend to drop as the day progresses so afternoon or evening training can make for better workouts with more pump.
- And finally, some studies show that evening workouts are actually better for your fat loss. During evening training, your EPOC , the fat burn that happens even after your workout is over, can be higher, giving you better results even with the same workout.
But even though the research shows that the body responds better to evening workouts, you don’t have to switch your training times if you prefer the morning.
The best time to workout is all about when you’re going to be able to push yourself.
And a morning training sessions is far better than no training session.
So stick with what time works best for you. If you’re struggling with your workouts, then change up the times and see what happens. You maybe surprised to find a time you like better.
Got any tips for how to you decide when to workout? Share them in the comments below!