There has been a lot of debate about whether it is more beneficial to work out in the morning or the evening. Balancing daily life while finding time to exercise can be challenging, which is why people want to optimise their sessions and know when they are the most beneficial. Luckily, a lot of literature has been published about this subject and in this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the question ‘is it better to exercise in the morning or evening’. We’ll discuss the benefits of exercising in the morning and evening, to help you decide which is the best time to exercise for you.
Benefits Of Exercising In The Morning
From a logistical perspective, getting your workout done in the morning - before you begin your day - can be beneficial as you don’t have to worry about working out later in the day. This gives you more time later on to perform other daily tasks.
Some other benefits of exercising in the morning are:
It’s commonly known that your body releases endorphins when exercising, so getting that ‘high’ in the morning can be a huge boost for the upcoming day.
It has been found that a morning workout can increase your metabolism. This means you will continue to burn calories throughout the day as you consume them, as opposed to at night while you sleep (1).
Some literature suggests that exercising in the evening could affect your sleep quality due to increased body temperature and heart rate following exercise (2). Therefore, working out in the morning rather than the evening may improve sleep duration and quality.
Moreover, a study by Gonzalez and colleagues found that people exercising on an empty stomach in the morning can burn up to 20% more body fat compared to those exercising on a full stomach in the evening (3).
Benefits Of Exercising In The Evening
Generally, most people tend to work out in the evening after the day’s work is over. An evening workout session has several benefits, with the most obvious being the chance to get some extra sleep in the morning.
Other benefits of working out in the evening include:
It has been found that your body temperature is higher compared to the morning, which optimises muscle function, enzyme activity and endurance, thus improving overall exercise performance (4). Between the hours of 2 pm - 6 pm, your body temperature is at its highest. Therefore, exercising during the window of time that your body is most ‘ready’ may be said to make it the best time to exercise.
Reaction time has also been found to be better in the evening than in the morning. This can result in improved performance in intense exercises such as HIIT and circuit training (5).
Oxygen kinetics are also faster in the evening, which can benefit your performance as you will use up stored energy more slowly and effectively.
So, When Is The Best Time To Exercise?
The truth is that the best time to workout is completely up to you! Whether you choose a morning or evening workout depends on whenever you feel comfortable and when you can fit it into your schedule. Timing shouldn’t be a major concern - instead, you should focus on keeping your workouts consistent and continuously progressing them. This is especially true if you are currently on a cutting program.
Find Home Gym Equipment & Work Out Whenever You Please
Here at Exersci, we sell a wide range of commercial and home gym equipment for people of all abilities. You can browse our complete range to find the best workout products for you. That way, you’ll be able to work out any time of day or night, in the comfort of your own home.
1) Hanlon, B., Larson, M. J., Bailey, B. W., & Lecheminant, J. D. (2012). Neural response to pictures of food after exercise in normal-weight and obese women. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 44(10), 1864-1870.
2) Fairbrother, K., Cartner, B., Alley, J. R., Curry, C. D., Dickinson, D. L., Morris, D. M., & Collier, S. R. (2014). Effects of exercise timing on sleep architecture and nocturnal blood pressure in prehypertensives. Vascular health and risk management, 10, 691.
3) Gonzalez, J. T., Veasey, R. C., Rumbold, P. L., & Stevenson, E. J. (2013). Breakfast and exercise contingently affect postprandial metabolism and energy balance in physically active males. British Journal of Nutrition, 110(4), 721-732.
4) Racinais, S. (2010). Different effects of heat exposure upon exercise performance in the morning and afternoon. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 20, 80-89.
5) Hines, C. B. (2004). Time-of-day effects on human performance. Journal of Catholic Education, 7(3), 390-413.