Morning vs. Evening Workouts

Hi everyone! Some of you may be wondering which is better: morning or evening workouts?? Many studies have been done to determine which is more beneficial overall, and which is better based on your goals (i.e. weight loss vs. toning vs. muscle gain). But the truth is that there are benefits to both:

Morning Workouts:

  • Metabolism Kickstarter: When you work out in the morning (either fasted or with a mini-fuel breakfast), the metabolism gets jumpstarted to burn extra calories that day. Especially if you do a combination of cardio and weightlifting, you will continue to burn residual calories once your workout is completed, increasing your total burn for the day and making weight loss easier.
  • Motivation/Consistency: If you work out early in the morning before work, you are less likely to make the excuse that you don’t have time to work out that day. Many people simply want to relax once the workday is over. For those of you that feel that way, morning workouts are the ones for you.
  • Decreased Caffeine Dependency: Because workouts release additional hormones (serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline) into the bloodstream, the hormones may decrease your need for coffee or energy drinks. The boost of hormones can act as neurotransmitters that make you feel more energized and alert.
  • Restful Sleep: If you are early to rise for morning workouts, your body will become conditioned for sleep when it gets darker outside. Your energy levels will be elevated during the day, but your body will be prepped and ready for deep sleep at night.

Afternoon/Evening Workouts:

  • Easy-going Mornings:Without extra distractions in the morning before work, you can feel more relaxed. You won’t have to pack gym clothes or rush to get ready for work on time. This will allow you to just eat a healthy breakfast and focus on your day ahead.
  • Prepped and Ready to Go:Later in the day, you’ve already had multiple meals and have refueled your energy systems for your workout. Your muscles and joints are also more warmed-up because you’ve been up for several hours. This will decrease your risk of getting injured during your workouts.
  • Stress Relief:Whether you had a good or bad day at work/school, you can break a sweat and decrease your stress hormone (cortisol). Also, this will allow you to burn extra fat, as cortisol typically blocks fat burning.
  • Higher Intensity:In the evenings, protein synthesis is peaked which is better for weight-lifting workouts.
  • Restful Sleep:Yes, restful sleep is a pro for both morning and afternoon/evening workouts. Although morning workouts condition your body for night-time sleep, a workout later in the day (especially a high-intensity one) can tire you out just shortly before you climb into bed.

You may be wondering: what if I want to lose weight but I’m too tired to work out in the morning? Or, what if I want to get stronger or gain muscle but I have zero motivation once I get home from work? Well here’s the honest truth:

While morning and evening workouts each have unique benefits, only you can decide which is better for you. As long as you do your workouts and don’t make excuses, you will reach your goals and your body/mind will thank you for it!

 

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