When is the Best Time to Workout to Build Muscle? (Morning vs Evening)



The time of day in which you train is something you’ve probably never taken into much consideration – but surprisingly, research shows that there’s actually a “best time of day to workout” that not only provides slightly greater strength gains and boosts performance, but seems to significantly accelerate the rate of muscle growth. Therefore, choosing whether you should perform a morning vs evening workout is something you should likely consider! And long story short – research tends to show that late afternoon or evening/night workouts tend to be the best time to train when compared to morning workouts. This is because in the evening, you’re more hydrated, more fueled with glycogen, and most importantly your core body temperature is at its highest. Since we know that core body temperature is highly correlated with exercise performance, this is likely why research tends to show that a workout at a night trumps morning workouts. However, before you go ahead and change your workout schedule, it’s important to note that there are benefits to both morning and night workouts. And if you prefer morning workouts over evening workouts, then what you can do to minimize any performance decrements is simply: ingest caffeine prior to your workout, ensure you’re adequately warmed up before your workout in order to raise your core body temperature, and be consistent with the time of your workout! But all in all, in the grand scheme of things, the time of your workout is not something you should stress over. Simply choose a workout time that best suits your schedule – because consistency and adherence to your training program are the most important factors when it comes to what will deliver you results! Cheers!

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STUDIES:
Morning vs Evening Comparisons:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27863207
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19910830
https://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Citation/2005/11000/NSCA_2005_Conference_Abstracts_.40.aspx
Core temperature:
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02640410801930150
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3761508/
Shift workers:
https://opencommons.uconn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1450&context=gs_theses
Caffeine ingestion reduces neuromuscular declines during morning workouts:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22496767
Importance of warm up for morning workouts:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3761508/
Importance of consistent workout time:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18075805 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22531613

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