Morning, Noon, or Night? When Should You Workout?

So far the 21st century has unveiled many amazing discoveries about the human body and human performance. We’ve gotten rid of plenty of misunderstands and created just as many it seems. With the introduction of worldwide mass communication, the amount of opinions, conflicting studies and misinformation can be daunting.
When IS the best time to workout? The truth has to do with the earth’s daily 24 hour rotation. Otherwise known as your Circadian rhythm, on an instinctual level your workouts should really cater to your own internal schedule.
Are you a morning person or are you someone that really hits their energy peak closer to noon? Or, is exercise best kept for the later hours? Hey, maybe you work out at 2 a.m.! Let’s take a look at some of the benefits from each part of the day.
3 Benefits of Morning Workouts
A fair amount of people workout in the morning and when studied over the last decade or so and surveyed, these are among the top three reasons why.

  1. Early Meta-Booster: By getting in a moderate to intense workout and hitting that “afterburner” level, they tend to burn more calories (relatively) throughout the day. For some, this could be as early as 4 a.m., while for others, 8 to 10.
  2. Consistency: Some studies have shown early riser fitness lovers to be among the most consistent. Probably because there’s so much less to be distracted by while most everyone else is still sleeping or just waking up.
  3. Appetite: Other studies, and tons of people, seem to show that earlier workouts help control appetite throughout the day – less big cravings and crashes.

3 Benefits of Afternoon Workouts
Okay, let’s head into the busier afternoon hours when the gym floor is bustling with activity and the smoothie bar blenders are running full-tilt.

  1. Productivity: Studies from the corporate world show “lunchtime” and “noonish” employee workouts boost productivity! Many people claim this is true from the personal perspective as well.
  2. More Social: Because there’s so many people and eye candy getting their pump on, it feels more social and some people prefer that to working out alone, or literally alone with barely anyone else around.
  3. Classes: Fitness classes of all kinds are on the rise across the board, and peak hours for many gyms and instructors is in the afternoon when working folks are done for the day.

3 Benefits of Evening Workouts
So much good stuff going on here. Now let’s take a look at the night owls.

  1. Better Sleep: Some people just have TONS of energy everyday whether they like it or not. To help rid themselves of all that excess energy in the evenings before bed, they workout hard before dinner.
  2. Hormonal Changes: Hormone levels, in general, tend to peak around 5 pm, so for a fair amount of people out there evening workouts (5-8) are the most effective.
  3. Daily Wipe: For many gym rats out there, even workouts are a way to decompress from the day, completely de-stress, and wipe the mental slate clean. It’s works wonders!

And there you have it folks. So when do you tend to workout? And do you agree that technically evening workouts are the most effective in terms of muscle building and fat loss?