When it comes to training, most of us have our preferred time of day to get the job done! Some prefer to wake up early to train and some enjoy the evening; whereas some of us do our best to fit it in whenever we can.
But when is the best time to train? Should science dictate our schedules?
As with anything in life, there are always pros and cons to each option which should be considered by each individual.
Many people like to train the morning for the simple reason that it gets it out the way, and leaves the day free for work and social activities. But did you know there are more positives to setting that early alarm?
Recent research has found that your metabolism is boosted for several hours after a morning workout.
Hitting the gym in the morning on an empty stomach has also been shown to protect against glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, which are trademarks of type 2 diabetes. The British Journal of Nutrition study has also found that exercising on an empty stomach can burn as much as 20% more fat than when a meal is eaten first.
Additional research also suggests that morning training can help to lower blood pressure - those who work out in the morning have the potential to lower their blood pressure by 10%, a reduction that can be continued all day and lowered even more at night.
An early morning workout can also help set the tone for a healthier day!
Evening is also a popular time to train given that many find it fits in better with their busy work/ life schedules. But there are many more benefits to evening training than convenience.
Assuming you have been out and about during the day, your muscles will be ‘warmed up’ in advance of the session which in turn will make them more flexible than in the morning. This will therefore also decrease the risk of injuries.
The meals you have eaten throughout the day will also provide great fuel to your workout, which will mean that you have more potential to work at your max strength (and maybe even pull out a personal best!).
Evening training is also great for the mind – many find training later in the day is a great way of relieving all the stresses of the day. Studies have also found that evening training raises body heat which promotes a good nights sleep (also helpful for relieving stress).
So… the question is, should you work out in the morning or evening? In short, there is no definitive answer. Based on the above information, there are positives to training at either time. So, the real answer is dependent on the individual.
Are you a morning person?
What time best suits your work/ social schedule?
What are your overall fitness goals?
When do you enjoy training?
The important thing to remember is that as long as you work out consistently and stay on top of your nutrition, there is no reason that you will not be able to reach your fitness goals!
Lee & the team