Whether you’re an early riser or a late-night fanatic, there can be health benefits when you exercise.
friendshipDepending on your training goals, these pros and cons can greatly affect the efficiency of your workout.
now tThe sports nutrition experts at Bulk told FEMAIL the benefits of working out between 5-8 a.m., as well as the benefits of a gym session after 7 p.m.
they pIt was reported tMorning workouts can improve your weight loss rate because they can help increase your metabolism and burn more body fat.
Meanwhile, muscle strength and function peak in the evening, which means your workouts can be more effective.
Bulk sports nutrition experts weigh the pros and cons of early morning and late night workouts (stock photo)
Early morning exercise – 5 am – 8 am
1. Increased alertness
Believe it or not, one of the biggest benefits of working out early in the morning is feeling more alert.
While you may feel exhausted dragging yourself to the gym, your body produces a hormone called cortisol that is at its peak around 8 am.
Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, helps you stay awake and alert. This hormone will only cause you problems if there is too much or too little of it.
Therefore, if you have a healthy circadian rhythm — a 24-hour cycle that includes physiological and behavioral rhythms such as sleep — your body will be better equipped for an early morning workout.
2. The weight loss rate can be improved
For those looking to shred some body fat, the big advantage of working out in the morning is that it’s generally better for weight loss.
Higher levels of cortisol and growth hormone in the morning are linked to your metabolism.
Therefore, high-intensity exercise in the morning can help boost your metabolism and burn more body fat, drawing more of your energy from your fat reserves.
3. It improves your body clock
A study published in the Journal of Physiology found that working out at 7 a.m. can shift your body clock earlier.
Not only will this improve your attention span in the morning, but it can also motivate you to fall asleep easier and earlier that evening.
This will allow you to get enough rest to get up and repeat the same routine again the next day.
4. Helps control appetite
Exercise in general helps control your appetite.
Studies have now shown that aerobic exercises such as running, cycling and swimming reduce appetite. This is because it alters the levels of hormones that make us hungry.
The theory behind exercise as a suppressant or stimulator of your appetite is based on the activities of two major hormones, ghrelin and peptide YY.
These are hormones with opposing actions, and both are released during exercise. Ghrelin stimulates appetite while peptide YY reduces appetite.
So since exercise suppresses ghrelin, this will help you control your appetite.
Disadvantages of early morning exercise
1. Less warm-up time before lifting weights
For those who want to build muscle or tone muscles, working out early in the morning may do more harm than good.
This is because the body needs time to warm up before lifting weights. If you don’t give your muscles enough time to relax, you could be at risk of injury.
2. Lack of sleep
If you didn’t get to sleep early enough the night before, or perhaps you slept restlessly, getting up at dawn and exercising can be very stressful for your body.
It is very important to ensure that the body is completely relaxed before engaging in any exercise.
If you worked out the night before, sleep is what gives your muscle tissue time to recover between workouts.
Getting enough sleep is also important for getting the energy to exercise, so not getting enough sleep can lead to you being less physically active during the day and reduced muscle tone during workouts.
3. The inability to build muscle
Exercising in the morning generally does not help build muscle.
This is because your body needs a few hours to refuel the stores it consumed during the night.
Your muscles primarily use glucose to fuel weight-lifting and resistance training. Morning exercise does not lead to significant gains in muscle mass or strength, as you do not have enough stores yet.
Therefore, if increasing muscle or strength is your primary goal, the workouts will see more benefits later in the day.
4. Your metabolic rate can affect your eating habits
Since exercising early in the morning will boost your metabolism earlier in the day, your metabolism generally slows again in the evening.
Whereas an afternoon or evening workout will boost your metabolism later in the day, which is more beneficial if dinner is your main meal of the day, as it provides you with the most calories.
For those looking for results in weight loss or weight maintenance, ideally, you want to align your workouts with the largest amount of calories to ensure the best results.
If you want to burn calories and fat, changing your workout routine to when you eat your biggest meal of the day can be very beneficial.
Late night workout – 7:30pm onwards
1. Higher energy levels
A study from the University of Birmingham showed that you can increase your workout duration by 20% when you exercise in the evening at a higher intensity.
Therefore, performing workouts at a longer, faster, and stronger rate will show results a lot faster.
2. Muscles will become faster
Muscle strength and function peak in the evening, when fluctuating hormones can make workouts later in the day more effective.
High levels of cortisol in the morning can inhibit muscle growth, but high levels of testosterone in the evening promote it.
3. It’s a myth that Afternoon workouts have a negative effect on sleep
While many people think that exercising late at night can be very disruptive to the quality of your sleep, as endorphins are still buzzing, this is a myth.
Endorphins actually help improve the ability to fall asleep, which also helps reduce stress.
A study in Sleep Medicine found that only 2% of active exercisers said workouts interrupted their sleep, with 30% sleeping better after a good sweat.
Of course, depending on how late at night you work out, people may tend to rely on caffeine and taurine which are popular pre-workout supplements.
While there is plenty of research to support its performance benefits, especially if you do strength training, caffeine can be problematic and affect sleep quality.
Therefore, opting for a caffeine-free workout is a better option, as it contains Beta Alanine and Citrulline Malate which helps maintain muscle pH and acidity levels – delaying lactic acid buildup and muscle fatigue.
4. Effective in relieving stress
After a long day, exercise can help you relax and de-stress.
This is because physical activity produces endorphins, which are brain chemicals that act as natural pain relievers.
Studies show that among those who exercise, 33 percent of high-stress adults say they feel less stressed after exercising, compared to 18 percent of low-stress adults.
Disadvantages of working out late at night
1. It can affect the consistency
Exercising later in the day can make it more tempting to carry it over to the next day because you’re so tired.
Studies also show that setting your workout session for the morning can make it easier for you to turn exercise into a daily habit, rather than at night.
2. Your post-workout fuel is used up too late
It is important to help your muscles recover to replace glycogen stores.
Therefore, it is recommended to eat a meal containing carbohydrates and protein after your workout session.
However, if you finish a late-night workout, it may take longer for your hunger levels to kick in, so you’re eating much later.
Eating late at night interferes with your body’s circadian rhythm, affecting your metabolism and making it difficult to maintain blood sugar levels.
3. Less time to stretch after your workout
You might get to the gym at 9pm, but it closes at 10pm, which can have you rushing out the door.
Not giving yourself enough time to complete stretches before and after a workout can put you at risk of injury.
Muscles and tendons that are not stretched properly after exercise may be more susceptible to injury.
While it is not only important to make sure that you are stretching after your workout, but also that you are doing the right types of stretching exercises.
Bulk.com experts recommend the RAMP method to help structure your workouts.
Following these steps for a warm-up that should last about 15-20 minutes should put you in the perfect condition to perform the exercise.
A spokesperson for Bulk said: ‘There’s never a bad time to exercise, it just depends on the types of workouts you do and the results you want to achieve.
In general, for those who want to achieve weight loss, early morning exercise is more effective, and for those who want to build muscle and strength, noon or evening is better.
“The most important thing is to find the time that works best for you, and if you feel better working early in the morning rather than late at night or vice versa, do it. Exercising should give you a sense of accomplishment and make you feel good.”
For those with specific physical goals, consistency is key, so pick a time you feel you can stick to to help your body ease into a comfortable routine.