Does working out in the morning burn more calories throughout your day? Or does working out at the end of the day give you better results because you have more fuel to workout at a higher intensity? This has been a highly debated topic for quite some time in the fitness community. So what is the right answer?
Advantages to Morning Workouts
Many people find that morning workouts are their preferred choice for various reasons. One major reason is because by working out in the morning you get your workout done and out of the way. You are free to set out and accomplish your day. Also, studies and science have shown that when we workout in them morning we feel more energized throughout the day. No need for that mid day cup of coffee. Another reason to set that alarm clock early, is that exercising in the morning will get your metabolism going. Simply put, you burn more calories all day long just from the sheer fact of exercising in the morning. A study conducted at Appalachian State University also found that morning workouts are preferable if you want a better night’s rest.
Morning workouts certainly have their benefits. But plenty of people like to exercise at night as well, and surely science backs that up to some degree too. The real factor to consider is that consistency is key, no matter when you choose to work out. But studies have shown that different fitness goals are better achieved at certain parts of the day, and this is where working out later in the day comes into play.
Afternoon and Night Work Outs
Strength and endurance are both higher in the afternoon, while the likelihood of injuries is decreased. Exercising when body temperature is lowest, which is typically later in the day, around 4 or 5 p.m., results in improved performance and increased power. At this time of day, muscles are more flexible since your body is more warmed up than it is in the morning. Your reaction time is likely to be quicker, while heart rate and blood pressure are low. Protein synthesis peaks at this time of day, as well. Based on this, intense workouts such as weight training or hard cardio should take place during the late afternoon or evening…. if it fits into your schedule.
It turns out that the question “Is it better to work out in the morning or night?” doesn’t exactly have an easy answer. For each individual, it will differ depending on your schedule and responsibilities. The important thing to remember is that as long as you work out consistently and stay nutritionally focused you can achieve your fitness goals.