Some people wake up in the morning as if struck by lightning, whilst others crawl from their bed to the shower and take a dozen micro naps before they even get dressed to face the day. Likewise, many individuals find that they are most able to exercise in the wee hours before sunrise while many shudder at the very thought of exercise before noon.
If you are like one of the thousands of efficiency-minded individuals out there, chances are you are willing to tweak your schedule if it means getting the absolute most out of your exercise. Luckily, fitness professionals have spent the better part of the last decade attempting to decipher what time of the day (or night) is the best time to go for a jog, and the findings may actually surprise you.
Best Time for Fat Loss
When you perform any sort of exercise, whether it is a jog or a power lifting session, your body uses one of two primary fuel sources. This can be carbohydrates (short term energy) or fat stores (long term energy).
Carbohydrates are almost always utilized and depleted before fat stores. This is unfortunate for those looking to shed weight, as they must first burn through their carbohydrate fuel before they can even access the fat stores which they wish to eliminate.
Luckily, carbohydrates are constantly being burnt through normal daily activity alone. Unluckily, they are also being replenished rather consistently through the day as they are an integral component of a healthy and balanced diet.
Before you become discouraged from working out altogether, there is still hope; you wake up in the morning (almost) completely depleted of carbohydrate stores. As such, when you exercise in the morning you spend less time burning through primary fuel sources and get right to the fat deposits that you are targeting all along.
The morning, however, is not the best time for resistance exercises. If your goal is to build mass, you want to perform such exercises when you are not starving. Carbohydrates will give you crucial energy to exercise longer and better.
Best Time Overall
Yet the morning, as it turns out, is actually not the best time to exercise. That distinction belongs to “whenever you can stick with it”. This is because morning exercise, while it may provide fat loss advantages, is an unsustainable program for many individuals. Whatever benefits are derived from such timing are wholly eliminated when you begin missing workouts or cutting your sessions short because you are in a hurry.
The trick to exercise is consistency. Being able to work out regularly is far more important than deciding on when to do it. While the morning certainly seems to provide advantages for fat loss, it is simply not a reliable option for many people.
Instead, schedule your exercises for times of the day when you will be both unencumbered and wholly focused. Eliminating distractions and devoting your full attention to exercising will ultimately pay off significantly more than re-arranging your schedule for maximum efficiency.