How the time of day impacts our exercise, according to Kate Allott, National Fitness Manager at Anytime Fitness.
The time of day that you exercise can have an impact on the results you’ll see. Some research has shown that fasted training in the morning – meaning you’ve had dinner the night before, but prior to breakfast in the morning – is potentially effective for fat loss.
The science behind that is because the first fuel your body uses is stored glycogen (which comes from carbs). If that glycogen isn’t there for your body to use, your fat stores will be the next port of call.
In saying that, our bodies can store glycogen overnight. Plus, your body can also look to use muscle as fuel, and that’s not something we want because lean muscle is essential for everyday life.
Afternoon or evening tends to be when weightlifting or load-based training can be effective. That’s when your body has more fuel readily available. You’ve eaten food throughout the day and you have the energy to lift heavier weights and do more reps.
If you have issues with sleeping, nighttime exercise might cause you to struggle to wind down because your endorphins will be pumping. We know that sleep is vital to your cognitive ability, keeping your stress down, and seeing results in the gym. If that is an issue for you, then you’re better to keep your workouts to the morning.
It’s really going to come down to what works for you – because, realistically, you can achieve your goals training at any time of the day. Whatever time works for you is the best time. Remember, any workout is better than no workout.