Is It Better to Work Out in the Morning or Evening?

Morning Running
Photo by Chander R on Unsplash

You get two types of people in the world: early birds; and everyone else.

Early birds seem to rise with the sun (or even before!) and are quite happy to get their vinyasa flowing as part of their morning routine. The other half, however, can’t think of anything worse. 

Slower mornings, or perhaps a little extra shut-eye, are what this group prefers. When they do get their exercise in, they prefer it to be at a time when the day is drawing to a close and they can work off all the stresses that have accumulated.

Which is more beneficial, you might ask? Well, it depends what you’re after.

If you’re looking to boost your metabolism and burn fat, mornings are the way to go. According to research, morning exercise has a better effect on breaking down glucose in muscle tissue due to a protein called HIF1-alpha which directly regulates the body’s circadian clock. Getting your workout in at this hour also increases alertness and helps cognitive functioning.

Those aiming to improve their athleticism, however, should stick to an evening routine. Exercising later in the day uses less oxygen, allowing runners, for example, to run for a longer duration than they would be able to in the morning under the same conditions. Other athletes, like basketball or soccer players, may find their workouts are also more efficient at the end of the day.