Morning vs. Evening Workout: Case Compared

Early bird or night owl

Image from Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

This is a debate that has existed for ages. Should you workout in the morning or in the evening?

Everyone has their own decisions about when to workout. Some prefer a morning workout while others do it in the evening.

In a survey of 1,000 people who work out, 41.5% worked out in the morning, 26.6% worked out in the evening, and 31.9% worked out at a different time.

Let’s first talk about the case for the morning workout.

Morning workout

A morning workout is a workout that is performed before you carry out the day’s major responsibilities. Most people eat breakfast early enough so their morning workout can occur about an hour after they finish breakfast.

Morning Workout Benefits:

It is much more convenient.

Compared to an evening workout, a morning workout is much more convenient. By getting your workout done in the morning, you are done before you start completing your day’s responsibilities. Incorporating a workout into your daily routine is a huge task. Not only do you have to find an open space free of distractions to workout, you also have to be fully concentrated in your workout mentally.

A morning workout takes place after a plentiful and healthy night sleep (hopefully). By being awake mentally coupled with a light meal beforehand, you ensure that you are completely prepared for your workout. Additionally, there are literally no distractions in the morning as most people are sleeping.

On the other hand, scheduling an evening workout is quite difficult to do. Not only are most people exhausted after coming home from work, but also there are a ton of stuff people have to do at home. There are so many distractions in the evening that it prevents people from getting a proper workout done.

It improves physical and mental energy.

Working out in the morning helps increase energy level for the day. Even after sleeping, many people are still tired and sleepy and this energy level carries throughout the day.

However, when you exercise in the morning:

  • Your heart rate speeds up
  • Blood starts flowing faster through your vessels
  • Oxygen delivery and consumption skyrockets
  • Muscles go into performance mode
  • Brain starts reaching its peak level

This happens in any exercise regardless of time of the day but a morning workout helps you power through the day. All of this has the added effect of increasing physical and mental energy which helps set the tone for the rest of the day.

It increases metabolism and maintains it.

It is well-known that exercising helps speed up metabolism since the body burns extra calories to supply cells with energy.

Working out in the morning helps increase your metabolism and this increased metabolism carries on through the day.

Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), which is sometimes referred to as oxygen debt, refers to the elevation in metabolism that occurs after the end of exercise. One study showed that participants burned an extra 190 calories in the 14 hours after exercise compared to people who didn’t exercise at all.

Since metabolism stays high even after exercise, any calories you intake will be used to replenish your body and meet your body’s higher metabolic needs. Less of your calories will get stored as fat since your body will use up any extra calories because of its higher metabolic needs.

Evening Workout

An evening workout is a workout that takes place in the evening. Some people prefer these workouts as soon as they come home.

Some benefits of an evening workout are:

You are able to tap into your peak performance.

Research has shown that the best athletic performance is achieved late afternoon and early evening. That is mainly because that is when several exercise-related rhythms reach their peak in the human body.

Circadian rhythms are 24-hour cycles that regulate physiological processes such as the sleep-wake cycle, performance levels, temperature, etc.

These rhythms fluctuate and because of this, many people experience their peak alertness, performance, reaction time, etc. in the late afternoon and early evening.

Working out in the evening helps your body take advantage of this rhythm which ultimately improves your athletic performance.

It helps improve sleep quality.

It has long been believed that exercising before going to bed can make it harder to get a good night sleep. However, recent studies have challenged this notion and have shown that evening workouts don’t really disturb sleep but instead improve it.

A research study that examined 23 studies found that evening exercise did not affect sleep and it helped people fall asleep faster and spend more time in deep sleep. This study also determined that evening workouts can improve sleep as long as the exercise was done at moderate intensity and ended more than 1 hour before bedtime.

Working out in the evening helps the mind decompress and relieve tension. Most people are usually tired and/or done with their day by the time evening comes. Exercise has been shown to stabilize mood, promote relaxation, and concentrate better.

It provides great stress relief.

Most people are tired and stressful by late evening or night. Incorporating an evening workout into your routine helps the body both mentally and physically. It helps promote relaxation and reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones.

Exercise done at any time of the day stimulates the production of endorphins which are the body’s natural painkillers and mood stabilizers. Exercise in any form is a stress reliever and helps relieve tension in the body.

By working out in the evening, you are able to wash away all the tension and stress that has accumulated through the day. Evening workouts also use less oxygen thus improving and making performance more productive and effective.

Morning vs Evening Workout Verdict

Deciding when to workout is based on personal preference. It all depends on how you feel mentally and physically after working out.

If exercising in the morning does not suit you, then by all means try exercising in the evening.

If you know that you won’t be able to exercise in the evening due to some other priorities or distractions, then try doing a morning workout.

If you don’t feel well after doing a morning workout, then shift to an evening workout.

Deciding when to workout is based on trial and error. Stick to whatever workout is the most convenient and helps you feel well both mentally and physically.

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Samir S.

Samir S.

Writing to Inform, Educate, & Teach | Obsessed with Health & Wellness |