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Is There The Best Time Of The Day To Work Out?

Some say morning exercise is most effective on an empty stomach. Others swear by their evening training ritual. And while working from home, many people have discovered the little fitness unit for themselves during their lunch break. To know more about it, and asked an expert whether it was there: the best time for a workout.

Morning, noon, evening, before or after dinner? The best time of day for the workout cannot be stipulated for everyone. That explains the expert Enrico Zessin, the doctor in other internal medicine and sports medicine, association doctor of the German Athletics Association and qualified molecular biologist. The time of day at which the activity is most effective depends on various factors and, above all, can also vary from person to person. But what time of day is best for a workout? 

Exercise In The Late Evening Hours

Some want to lose weight and improve their condition; others get stronger and build muscles. The training looks different depending on the purpose. expert Enrico Zessin recommends avoiding fitness training in the late evening hours. “In general, it can be said that you shouldn’t do endurance sports right before going to sleep, as the circulation is increased and it can lead to problems falling asleep. Weight training, on the other hand, can also be done well in the evening. “


Hormonal Fluctuations During The Day

One reason why a workout does not show the success you want can be hormones – for example, the well-known stress hormone cortisol. If too much of it is released, it inhibits weight loss, for example. The problem here is the chronic constant stress, which can be present at work or privately, and when training is too intensive without sufficient recovery times. Long-term fasting and lack of sleep also mean stress for the body.

Training In The Morning 

Cortisol is subject to daily fluctuations and is in the highest concentration in our blood in the early hours of the morning. This increases the metabolism and the supply of energy and prepares the body for the day’s activity. And at this time of day, we are also ready for a workout such as endurance sports. However, if you are in a permanently stressful situation, there is an increased cortisol level over the entire course of the day. This is where cortisol can show its catabolic effect, which means that muscle mass is broken down, among other things.

But don’t worry: regular sport, mainly endurance sport, reduces stress hormones and increases the body’s happiness hormones (endorphins). And even the short-term increase in cortisol due to weight training does not inhibit muscle building if appropriate recovery times are observed.

What Role Does The Individual Biorhythm Play?

About the larks and the owls … In fact, it also plays a role in training whether you are an early bird or not a morning grouch. “The best time of day for a workout depends, among other things, on the biorhythm of the athlete, i.e. when he gets going and when he gets tired,” says Zessin. Because with a tired mind, on the one hand, training is less efficient and, on the other hand, less safe: “In addition, due to the lower concentration, we exercise incorrect loads much more often and thus the risk of injury increases significantly.” He also warns against too frequent and intensive training experts: “This generally leads to injuries and less to an increase in performance in the long term. 

The regeneration of the muscles and the soft tissue such as ligaments and cartilage should be guaranteed by sufficient recovery time with good sleep and, above all, a well-balanced diet. “

How Good Is Training On An Empty Stomach?

The best time of day to work out? Clearly: in the morning and preferably on an empty stomach. This is what people thought for a long time, especially when it came to losing weight. But Enrico Zessin does away with this myth: “You can do a workout on an empty stomach in the morning, but it may not be as effective as about two hours after a light breakfast.” Tomorrow is an average of 600 calories in deficit, mainly due to energy-intensive regeneration processes during sleep. “This means that the muscles sometimes lack the appropriate energy to achieve high performance.”

Workout During Your Lunch Break – A Good Idea?

Anyone who has discovered noon as the best time of day for their workout while working from home should, however, be careful not to put it in immediately after lunch. The expert recommends training in the early afternoon. In addition, “a very fatty lunch should be avoided to avoid postprandial fatigue.” This means the well-known midday low or “eating coma,” meaning that you feel tired, limp and unfocused after eating.

Conclusion: Training Is Best Done Without A Lot Of Pressure

In summary, it can be said that the best time of day for a workout is not that general. Those grumpy in the morning should not force themselves to exercise in the morning, while people with sleep problems should avoid endurance sports later in the evening. Ultimately, everyone has to find out for themselves when they like to exercise best. Because in the end, the most effective training is the one that is pulled through – and not interrupted due to frustrating requirements such as a specific time of day. Enrico Zessin emphasizes: “There shouldn’t be too much pressure for healthy and prosperous training. Achievable goals ensure the right motivation and the corresponding successes. The focus should always be on the joy and fun of movement. ” 


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