The Benefits Working Out In Morning Vs Night
Are you curious of when you should work out? There’s a slight difference in working out in morning vs night. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses. I’ll explain the benefits and setbacks of both. I recommend early afternoon as best, but not everyone’s schedules will allow it. Even so, when you workout shouldn’t be a huge issue and I’ll tell you why.
In the morning you have the benefit of being wide awake(usually) on your side. At night you have the benefit of an entire day’s worth of nutrition. There are also smaller factors that will govern your workout. Working out too late can also affect your sleep.
Working out at night – pros and cons
Keep in mind that this may be different for everyone. Many will find that they feel stronger and can last longer in their workouts at night vs morning. This is because your body has had the whole day to be up and active.
The key factors that attribute to this are hydration, glycogen, and blood flow. At night you’ve had the whole day to drink up, eat, and move around. This allows your muscles and body to be in a more ready state to workout. Injuries are far less likely around this period. Pros of working out at night vs morning:
- A whole day’s worth of nutrition providing energy for your muscles.
- An entire day’s worth of moving around and activity for muscle blood flow.
- Your body is fully hydrated at this point assuming you drank enough water.
One of the key differences of working out in morning vs night is an absence of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that makes you feel tired. This lets your body know that it’s night time and it should sleep. It builds after sundown and continues until bed time.
Melatonin could affect your workout by making you feel tired during. But usually goes away after you warm up. Now, before you run off and go for a 4 mile jog at 9pm, hear me out.
Working out late can affect your sleep. Especially if you workout within 2-3 hours of sleep. This happens because your metabolism kicks into high gear and gets your body into “alert” mode. This can have serious repercussions on your quality of sleep. Ok, the cons:
- Melatonin can make you feel sleepy and take away your desire to workout.
- Working out late kicks your metabolism into high gear which can affect sleep.
Working out in the morning – pros and cons
My personal least favorite time to workout is right after getting up. Fear not, as I will not let my bias get ahead of me. There are cons as well as benefits to working out in morning vs night. One may feel weaker in morning workouts due to lack of hydration and nutrition.
The main benefits to working out in the morning lie less in your fitness goals. What I mean is that you won’t be at your best strength in the morning, especially right after waking up. Your body hasn’t had adequate time to fully hydrate. The benefits due however lean more towards personal and well being. A good workout can set your day right and make you feel good. This makes it easier to handle the stress that comes ahead. The pros:
- Increased well being throughout the day.
- Calmer mood.
- Helps with focus.
- Improves productivity.
- Treats depression.
These pros DO occur with a night time workout as well. However, at night you really don’t have as much time to enjoy these benefits. This is especially true if you workout within 2 hours of going to bed. Whatever productivity enhancement you get is “wasted” away sleeping. A disrupted less restful sleep at that.
Despite how much water you manage to chug in between the hour of waking up and going to the gym. It takes your body about 4 hours to fully hydrate itself. The time it takes to store glycogen(your muscle’s energy source) is even longer. Not to mention the fact that your muscles haven’t really warmed themselves up.
Don’t believe me? Weigh yourself right after you wake up and then 6 hours later. The difference is due to hydration levels. Hydration is very important and dehydration can account for over a 20% strength loss. This isn’t very effective if you are trying to get stronger and faster. I’ve always noticed much less athleticism when I’ve worked out early in the morning. So, the cons of working out in morning vs night.
- Less hydration in the muscles(could lead to injury).
- Glycogen(muscle’s energy source) is depleted in the muscles.
- Less blood flow throughout the body(could lead to injury).
It’s ultimately up to you
What do you prefer? Working out in the morning vs night or the other way around? There shouldn’t be that big of a difference assuming you properly ready yourself.
In the mornings make sure you drink as much water as you can and have some salt. Also have some carbs to help provide your muscles energy. If possible wait at least 4 hours after waking up. During that period make sure to hydrate and eat to give your body plenty of energy. You may not feel as strong in the morning workouts, but your body may adapt.
At night make sure you keep your workout at least 4 hours before bed time. Make sure you do a cool down session and have some food after your workout. This will help replenish your body so you won’t wake up miserable and exhausted the next day.
As I said before, I prefer afternoon workouts if possible. It seems to be the best bang for the buck. Your body is fully fed and hydrated, but you won’t feel too tired. It’s also a great way to combat the afternoon crash. It’s up to you though. Sometimes your schedule may not allow it. In that case, it’s up to you to decide between the pros and cons of each.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to bookmark and subscribe. I’m always trying to figure out new topics that help people out. If you have any suggestions, leave me a comment or email. I’ll be glad to hear it and will get back to you.