I’m just going to come out and say it: there is no best time to workout per se, no ideal time to pump iron and see more calories burned. But there is a best time to workout that is optimal for you and your body, and you just need to figure out when that is. Why does this vary with each person? It is quite simply down to your individual body clock. Your body’s circadian rhythm determines whether you are more active in the morning or the evening, and there isn’t a whole lot you can do to change that.
However once you know when you’re at your most energised it’ll make working out less of a chore and (hopefully) become something that can easily be adopted into a habit. Having said all that, there are advantages to working out both in the morning and the evening, so let’s go through some of them now.
Advantages of working out in the morning
- Nothing can get in the way. You literally have nothing else to do in the morning besides sleep, so experts suggest that this is the best time of the day to form a new habit, because it doesn’t clash with anything else.
- You get maximum rest. Your body needs to wind down to prepare it for sleeping, this means getting your heart rate and body temperature down, therefore working out right before bed or in the hours running up to bedtime is not conducive to a great night’s sleep as it will take you that much longer to drop off.
- You burn more calories. Research has shown that you burn more calories exercising on an empty stomach. Once you’ve worked up a sweat be sure to break your fast and refuel with a good supplement, like Dymatize PRE WO. Not only will it help your muscles recover, but it will set you up for the day and allow you to get the most from your workout.
Advantages of working out in the evening
- Your body’s temperature is up. Your body’s core temperature is vital in terms of the quality of exercise you do. If your muscles are cold and stiff you are more likely to get an injury, so working out later in the day when your body temperature has risen means your muscles are more flexible. Also your reaction time is up but your blood pressure and heart rate are down, meaning that there is less likelihood that you will injure yourself.
- Testosterone levels peak. Testosterone is vital for muscle growth and increasing strength (in both sexes) and the body naturally produces more testosterone later in the day. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of your hormones for once?
- Exercise is a great mood enhancer. Use this time to destress and help put the worries, stresses and strains of your day behind you by throwing around weights or pounding the treadmill. It’s amazing how quickly your head clears after a good sweat session.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately the best time to workout is the time that is right for you and your body. This is a time that you can consistently set aside to workout in, thereby allowing your workout routine to became just that, a routine, rather than a chore. If you are new to working out, or you are struggling to fit in working out at the time you have designated for it, try a few weeks where you exercise first thing, then a few weeks where you exercise at lunch time, then a few weeks where you do it in the evening.
Figure out which time feels more right than the others and when you are most energised, just make sure if your prefered time is first thing in the morning that you warm up those cold muscles suitably. And always ensure you refuel hard worked muscles wit