Is There a Best Time to Work Out? ➤ Morning, Lunchtime, or Evening
Basically, training any time of day is better than not training at all, that’s for sure. But is there actually a perfect time of day for you to work out?
What you should know about training time:
What does your biological clock say?
There are quite a number of different studies that suggest that training in the late afternoon or early evening is the best time for most people. The reason for this has to do with muscle temperature, which reaches its peak around this time. Warmer muscles increase the metabolic processes and energy metabolism of the muscles. Incidentally, you can achieve a similar effect by warming up before your workout.
This rise in muscle temperature can be explained by your biological clock. This internal mechanism determines your day-night rhythm and has a big influence on bodily functions that fluctuate over the day like body temperature, heart rate and metabolism.
The perfect training time for you
But, unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple to determine the best time of day to train. Stress, work, eating habits and sleep behavior influence your biorhythm, as does your mental state. Thus, it’s primarily your life circumstances and your preferences that determine what time of day is best for you to train.
To help you decide whether to work out in the morning, at lunchtime or in the evening, we have put together a list of the pros and cons of training at each time of day:
Training in the morning
While for some people waking up is a daily struggle, early risers are good to go as soon as they open their eyes. If you’re more of a morning person, then you’ll enjoy training in the morning.
Pros of morning training:
- Finishing your workout in the morning leaves you feeling good and energized for the rest of the day.
- Perfect for early risers.
- Most gyms are practically empty this time of day, so you won’t have to wait to use the equipment.
- In summer, it is much nicer training in the morning due to the cooler temperatures.
- Studies have shown that your testosterone level is at its highest in the morning. This can be really helpful, especially for strength training.(1)
Cons of morning training:
- After waking up, your joints and muscles are still tight and stiff. An extensive warm-up is necessary to get your body ready to exercise.
- Generally, people tend to lack energy in the morning. It’ll take a little while to get your metabolism and cardiovascular system revved up.
- If you want to train before work, you should go to bed earlier the night before to ensure that you get enough sleep.
- If you’re not a morning person, you’re going to find it pretty difficult to work out in the morning.
Training at lunchtime
Lunch runs or other short workouts at lunchtime are quite popular.
Pros of lunchtime training:
- You can use your lunch break at work to train.
- If you had a stressful morning, a lunch workout can give you renewed energy for the rest of the work day.
- Often, you can work out together with your co-workers. This boosts your motivation and makes training fun.
Cons of lunchtime training:
- The big problem for many people is the time factor. If your lunch break is short, then you won’t have time for both your workout and lunch.
- It’s not a good time of day for working out in summer when it’s really hot.
Training in the evening:
In the late afternoon or early evening, your body is running at full speed.
Pros of evening training:
- Your muscle temperature reaches its peak, thus enhancing your performance.
- You can work out harder because you have enough time afterwards to recover.
- It’s a great way to relieve work stress, so you can enjoy a relaxing evening.
- In summer, the temperature is more pleasant for working out.
Cons of evening training:
- People often lack motivation after a strenuous day at work.
- Intense workouts shortly before bed can make it hard to fall asleep. Your autonomic nervous system needs time to return to normal. That’s why you should finish your workout at least one or two hours before going to bed.
The best way to find out what time of day is best for you is to try out different training times and then decide which one is perfect for your personal training.
Need some advice to get started? Take the quiz to find out which training time is recommended for you!