Scheduling an exercise routine can be a challenge with our busy, on-the-go lifestyles. We all want to make sure we are getting the most effective workout, but when is the best time to workout?
Is it best to exercise in the morning or at night?
There are pros and cons to both.
A study from the British Journal of Nutrition found that doing cardio in the morning burns 20 percent more fat and other research suggests that a morning workout is better for weight loss, as it kick-starts your metabolism to burn more calories throughout the day.
However, according to Amway fitness trainer Kit Toenniges, “research suggests that we tend to be stronger later in the day and that weight training in the evening can lead to an increase in lean muscle mass. Working out after 6 p.m. can also cause your metabolism to increase at a time when it usually tends to decrease, which can aid in decreasing body fat.”
The truth is, it doesn’t matter when you work out, just that you do it.
“Really, the best time to work out is going to be whenever is most convenient and realistic for you,” said Toenniges.
Maintaining the energy and consistency needed for a great workout session are what’s most important, not the time of day.
Some people are more alert and active in the morning and have the energy to hit the gym early, while others might want to wait until later in the day for that energy to kick in.
Fuel your body with smart snacks
Regardless of the time of day, don’t forget to fuel your body with workout-friendly foods and snacks.
If you don’t like to work out on an empty stomach, grab a BodyKey by Nutrilite™ meal bar or meal replacement shake for quick, on-the-go nutrition.
If you opt for an evening workout, try to eat a nutritious meal two hours before you hit the gym to let your food settle (or drink an XS™ Sports Nutrition protein shake 30 minutes before the gym).
After you do exercise, don’t forget to refuel and recover with a 3:1 carb to protein ratio within 45 minutes, like tuna and crackers; cottage cheese and fruit; or pita and hummus.
Lastly, it’s important to remember that what works for your friends may not work for you. So rather than listening to them, listen to your own body. Experiment with different workout times to find the best time that works for you; especially a time that you can stick with to reach your long-term fitness goals.