Should I exercise better in the morning or in the evening?

 Set the alarm clock or take a night shift in the gym? Train in the morning vs. in the evening: We'll tell you when you can achieve your training goals faster.

Strong man training in gym

Endurance or strength training? Circuit training or station workout? Do you train in the morning or in the evening? What is better for your body and especially for your training results? There are a lot of questions that you can think of as you plan your workouts.


At least at the time of training, there are scientific studies and figures that make planning easier for you. Have you heard of your biorhythm - your so-called "internal clock", which among other things influences your sleep? Your muscles have the same biorhythm, according to a US study by Northwestern University in Chicago. Your body reacts differently to exercise at different times of the day. According to the study, the best time to train is: in daylight, when most people perform at their best. The reason: Special proteins that keep the metabolism busy when the oxygen content in the muscle cells drops during exercise, are more effective when you are very awake.


However, this does not automatically mean that a workout right after sunrise and the first coffee is ideal for all athletes. British researchers advise in a study in the specialist magazine "Current Biology" to orientate oneself to one's personal sleep-wake rhythm: Early risers should train best during the lunch break, while late risers are more likely to get their best athletic performance in the early evening hours.


Formerly gym bird vs. weight room night owl

Despite this recommendation, it is often more difficult to determine the perfect time to exercise better. Because this is individual, depends on your training goals and the type of workout you want to do. So you don't always have to sprint to the gym quickly before sunset. If you want to train in the morning or in the evening, you should heed the following rules:


When should I exercise better in the morning?

If you want to build muscle and have a normal day-night rhythm: Your testosterone levels speak for a workout in the morning, provided you sleep at night and don't work the night shift. The testosterone concentration is according to Prof. Dr Porst in the morning or after sleeping a third higher. The power hormone testosterone provides you with energy and supports muscle building.


If you have trouble falling asleep: Your sleep rhythm also benefits from training in the morning. Those who swing the dumbbells at 7 a.m. sleep better at night than evening athletes, as a study by Appalachian State University in North Carolina shows.


If you want to specifically boost your fat burning: Endurance athletes and those who want to lose weight should slip into their sports shoes in the morning, preferably before breakfast: Then you burn up to 20% more fat, as scientists from Northumbria University have found. The reason: blood sugar, insulin and glycogen levels are still below normal after waking up, so that your body is more likely to go to fat reserves.


Would you like a role model? Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson trains before the rooster crows. At 4:30 in the morning.


You can find even more motivational tips for morning exercise in our article on the subject.


Split training: effective training method or a waste of time?


When should I exercise in the evening?

If you are under a lot of stress: In this case, your cortisol level is already high. The levels of the stress hormone, which can promote muscle breakdown, are three quarters higher in the morning than in the evening and at night. Therefore, those who are very busy should better schedule their training in the evening hours. Scientists suggest this in an article published in 2016 in the journal "Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism".


If you want to lift heavily: Your strength level is at a low point in the morning and increases steadily throughout the day. You can expect maximum values ​​in the evening. This means that for effective strength training, you should check into the gym in the evening. However, this recommendation does not apply to all types of physical activity. Your performance with constant endurance exertion (such as easy running or cycling) is not influenced by the time of day. This is the result of scientists in the journal "BMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine".


Important for training in the evening: You should be through with your exercise program about two hours before going to bed. Otherwise, your circulation will still run at full speed at night, which in turn will mess up your biorhythm and your sleep.


Conclusion: burn more fat in the morning, less stress in the evening

Those who work out in the morning can record good weight loss, more testosterone for muscle building and better sleep.


More strength, less stress and the chance to avoid the bag of chips in front of the TV or the bar feast with friends speak in favour of training in the evening.


Ultimately, the decision to exercise in the morning or in the evening also depends on your preferences: Plan your sports units in a way that best integrates them into your everyday life. Your training will only pay off, no matter what time of the day, if you keep at it with fun and motivation.

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