To Top

What Is the Best Time to Work Out for Optimal Results?

What is the best time to workout to optimal result? While we can’t yet adjust our biological clocks to enhance exercise outcomes, new research provides fascinating insights into the connection between our circadian rhythms and physical activity.

Timing and Exercise Efficiency

Studies featured in the journal “Cell Metabolism” reveal a crucial link between workout timing and its benefits. Dr. Paolo Sassone-Corsi, from the University of California, Irvine, explains that our bodies respond to exercise based on the time of day.

The research, involving both mice and human participants, showed that the body’s internal clock adapts to exercise in various ways depending on whether it’s performed during the day or night.

what is the best time to workout

Instagram | ucischoolofmedicine | Research in “Cell Metabolism” links workout timing to benefits, says Dr. Paolo Sassone-Corsi.


Findings from Research on Mice and Humans

The studies examined nocturnal mice and diurnal humans. Mice benefited most when exercising towards the end of their active phase, comparable to their “evening.” Humans, who are active during daylight hours, displayed similar patterns, suggesting possible parallels. Although it’s premature to determine what is the best time to workout, these findings shed light on how circadian rhythms impact physical performance.

Daily Body Rhythms and Their Impact on Exercise

It’s well-established that our bodies undergo hormonal changes throughout the day. Dr. Steven Feinsilver from Lenox Hill Hospital points out that hormones like growth hormone and cortisol fluctuate according to our internal clocks. This hormonal rhythm suggests that certain times of day may be better suited for specific fitness goals.

Exercising at unusual times might disrupt natural rhythms. For example, vigorous aerobic workouts in the evening could make it difficult for some people to fall asleep, even though this might be an effective time for calorie burning.

Influence of Circadian Rhythms on Athletic Performance

what is the best time to workout

Freepik | A 2018 study on NFL players suggests circadian rhythms impact performance.

In 2018 study on NFL players supports the idea that circadian rhythms affect performance. Data indicated that teams played better in night games compared to day games, likely due to their circadian alignment.

Despite complications such as travel and time zone changes, these findings support the idea that early evening might be the best time for effective workouts.

Aligning Exercise With Natural Rhythms

Though humans are diurnal, modern lifestyles often disrupt this pattern due to factors like shift work or poor sleep habits. Establishing a consistent sleep routine, even for those who sleep during the day, involves leveraging the body’s reaction to light. Dr. Feinsilver recommends bright light exposure to wake up and wearing dark sunglasses to block light when heading to bed in the morning.

Physical activity also plays a key role in maintaining healthy sleep patterns. Morning light exposure and exercise can improve sleep quality and alertness. For those with sleep issues, maintaining a consistent wake-up time is crucial, regardless of the previous night’s sleep quality.

Future Research and Practical Advice

what is the best time to workout

Freepik | Blood analysis can reveal the broader effects of workout timing on health.

As research into circadian rhythms progresses, more detailed insights will emerge. Dr. Sassone-Corsi’s ongoing studies aim to explore how exercise affects various body tissues beyond muscles, such as fat, the gut, and the brain. Blood analysis will help reveal the broader impacts of workout timing on health.

So, What Is the Best Time to Workout?

Although there isn’t yet definitive data to recommend the best time to work out, evening workouts show promise for maximizing exercise benefits. Understanding the influence of circadian rhythms on exercise and sleep can help tailor workouts to align with our natural biological clocks. Future research will continue to illuminate this fascinating interplay, offering more precise guidelines for optimizing fitness routines.

Recognizing what is the best time to workout can enhance the effectiveness of physical activity and well-being. By aligning workouts with our body’s natural rhythms, we can achieve better results and maintain healthier lifestyles.

More inFitness

You must be logged in to post a comment Login