Artist: Kate Trifo

The best time to train - morning or evening?

by John Harris Fitness

When is training most effective? When should i train? This seemingly simple questions have been the subject of many studies, some with varying results. How much the time now really affects the muscle building and the condition, is not conclusively clarified. However, there are some factors that speak for certain "peak performance times" at which our biorhythms run at full speed.

The biorhythm and our hormones are the most important factors for our performance. But these are not the same for everyone. Basically, we are divided into night owls and early risers. The time of performance is shifted accordingly.

Early morning sports - going to the gym before work

In the morning, the level of the stress hormone cortisol is particularly high. This gives you energy, but also inhibits muscle building. If you want to lose weight, you can exercise before breakfast. This allows you to extend the time without food, for example during interval fasting. Fat burning works very well during fasting training, because the body has to access its reserves. However, you should not expect top sporting performances before breakfast, because you simply lack the energy for that. Moderate training is definitely recommended. Another positive aspect of early training is that, from a purely organizational point of view, you will already have done your training and nothing can get in the way. However, if you are a night owl, then early training will not work for you in the long run.

Artist: Drazen Zigic

Train in the morning

Between 10:00 and 12:00 most people's metabolism is running at full speed, so it is a very good time to train and you can achieve good athletic performance. You still have a lot of cortisol in your body, so this time is especially good for intense cardio training.

Use the lunch time for training?

After lunch your body is fully set to digestion. You become sluggish and should give your body a break. As a general rule, you should not train shortly after lunch.

For some, however, a workout during the lunch break can be useful, if it is long enough. You can train with colleagues, which can be motivating. In this case, however, work out before lunch.

Hit the ground running in the afternoon

According to many studies, the afternoon between 3:00 and 7:00 p.m. is probably the best training time of the day, especially for men, because at this time a relatively high testosterone level meets a low cortisol level. This allows for high performance in muscle building, as well as fat burning and coordination. Towards evening, the body temperature also rises, which additionally improves muscle building. 

A quick trip to the gym before bed

Early risers should better leave a workout after 20:00 o'clock. Night owls still achieve good performance until 23:00. However, you should not train too close to bedtime, otherwise you will have trouble falling asleep. Calm sports, such as yoga, are best suited to help you wind down from the stress of the day.

Can I postpone my training time?

You think these workout times don't fit your daily routine? It's simple: any workout is better than no workout. If you work out regularly at the same time, your body will adapt to some extent as long as you roughly follow the rules. Don't work out right after a heavy meal or before sleeping. However, you will notice that your body reacts not only to the time of day, but also to various other factors with an increase or decrease in performance. These include stress, sleep patterns, mental state, weather conditions, etc. So don't let it influence you too much. It's more important that you follow through with your training regularly and know that your body will not always be equally strong.

Artist: Drazen Zigic
Artist: bruce mars

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