Maybe you're new to fitness ... and you're just now getting a workout plan together.
Maybe you've been at it a while now, but had a schedule or career change.
Whatever the case may be, it's very common to wonder ... when's the best time to workout?
Should you knock it out early, should you wait until the end of the day ... or is the middle of the day the best if you have that option?
Well, like most things with health & fitness ... the answer depends. There's multiple different factors to consider when it comes to making this decision ... so let's take look.
Benefits of Working Out in the Morning
There's certainly some advantages to an early morning workout.
1. You Have More Time To Yourself
If you're a parent, have a spouse or girlfriend, or just have "adult" things to do ... often times, the after-work hours are just too hectic to make time for a workout.
Even if you do make time later in the day ... you may tend to rush yourself or simply not get the most out of your workout. And that never leads to the best results.
There's definitely something to be said about getting up early & avoiding distractions. If you're up with the sun, or even before ... you simply have more time to yourself in most cases. You can get up before your kids or wife, when almost every place of business is still closed ... and get a gym almost completely to yourself. It maybe easier to create a routine around morning workouts ... all due to the fact that there's just not as much going on in the early morning.
2. Improved Daytime Energy & Focus
You've probably had someone who works out in the morning tell you that it helps with their all-day energy. And you maybe surprised to hear this if you've never worked out in the morning before ... but there's actually some solid evidence to prove this.
Multiple studies have actually shown that exercising in the morning can increase overall energy, improve your mood ... and even help with focus, memory, recall, attention span, and brain health.
This maybe something to consider if you struggle with productivity throughout the day as well. Getting your body moving bright & early can lead to a much more productive day. It builds momentum and helps you start off your day with a big win ... which can carry over to the rest of your daily tasks.
3. Healthier Choices Made Throughout The Day
A study done in 2018 by the International Journal of Obesity showed that those who do exercise in the morning, made healthier choices throughout the day ... the biggest of those choices being food. Those who did workout in the morning made healthier food choices that included less sugars, leaner proteins ... and more fruits & veggies.
4. Beat The Heat
This one is especially true for those who like outside workouts during the summer months. You can avoid the intense heat by getting your workouts done bright & early ... when it's much cooler outside.
5. Better Sleep
There's been multiple studies that also show sleep improvements by those who workout in the morning. The study showed that the participants had an easier time both falling asleep & staying asleep on the days where they exercised early in the morning.
Benefits of Working Out In the Afternoon and/or Evening
You're probably looking at the morning workout benefits thinking that all sounds great ... but there's some pretty awesome benefits to working out in the afternoon or evening too.
1. Your Body Is Loose
It's no secret that your muscles can be a little tight & stiff early in the morning. For some of us, it's just hard to get loose right when you wake up. That can make getting a good workout in harder than it should be.
Later in the evening, we're already pretty loose from moving around throughout the day ... which makes warming up and getting after it much easier in most cases.
2. More Fuel In Your Tank
If you're working out in the evening, you most likely have 3-4 meals already in your system. This means more gas in tank for your workouts ... which usually leads to a better workout overall.
3. Improved Performance
There's actually been studies done showing that if you workout in the evening time ... you may actually perform better.
This goes back to the previous point ... you just have more fuel in your tank due to more meals, more water, etc. This can be a big performance boost.
And if you're someone who simply struggles to wake up early in the morning ... evening workouts typically work better from an energy standpoint. Feeling more awake will usually translate to better workout performance as well.
4. More Muscle Growth
This also comes down to a combination of the points above ... but mainly the fact that you'll have more meals in you, and looser muscles ... which creates an environment more conducive to muscle building.
So ... when should you workout?
You see the major benefits of both morning & afternoon/evening workouts now, but at the end of the day ... the choice is up to you.
One choice is not better than the other ... what's best is always what you'll stick to and build a habit around.
If you're busy in the evening time ... try to build the habit of working out early in the morning, before you have to deal with those other obligations.
If you can't get yourself up & moving early in the day, try evening workouts!
Above all else, stay consistent with whatever you choose ... because that's what creates results.
And we're always here to help with questions like this ... and anything else health & fitness related. Just drop into your local Supplement Superstores location ... and we'll get you taken care of!
*This post was written by Andrew Lynn, who has a B.S. in Nutrition & Dietetics. He's also a N.A.S.M. Certified Personal Trainer and N.A.S.M. Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist.