There is a lot of controversy and disagreement about the best time for physical activity during fitness and bodybuilding. In the morning, metabolism is accelerated, and fat burning is faster due to more intense secretion of catecholamine. Nevertheless, daytime or evening workouts are most effective for muscle growth and strength development. There are several scientific studies aimed at clarifying questions about the best time of day, allowing the body to adequately tolerate the load with less activation of catabolism.
That is, the body adapts to the selected mode, which must be taken into account when participating in competitions.
The study showed that athletic performance can vary by 26% during the day. At the same time, the “larks” reach the highest sports performance at about 12 noon. Аnd the peak of the “owls” occurs at 8 o’clock in the evening. People who do not belong to either of these two categories trained best at about 4 p.m.
Nevertheless, even the “larks” does not reach its peak early in the morning, despite the early training gaining popularity even before the start of the working day. The body still needs a few hours to “swing”. The authors of the study believe that supporters of a healthy lifestyle and professional athletes should definitely listen to the internal clock of their body, choosing exactly the time for training, when they feel most comfortable.
A study by American scientists from Williamsburg determined that the best time for training is the period from 16.00 to 20.00. The study involved 100 healthy untrained men who performed a series of strength tests at different times (8:00, 12:00, 16:00 and 20:00). As a result, it turned out that the maximum muscle performance was achieved in the evening, but only during exercises with fast movements. This is because the activation of rapidly contracting muscle fibers (responsible for lifting heavy weights and fast running) is much better when body temperature is higher, which corresponds to the afternoon (evening time).
Also, scientists drew attention to the change in the level of hormones, in particular testosterone and cortisol, during the day. The first hormone has a direct effect on building muscle mass; the second is actively involved in the destruction of muscles and body fat. When resting, testosterone levels are higher in the morning; however, their growth after exercise in the evening is greater than in the morning. Cortisol levels are lower in the evening than in the morning. For example, the lowest level of cortisol is at the beginning of the evening (19:00). And the highest – at 7:00 in the morning.
The scientists noted that the most suitable time of the day for training is evening time, at about 19.00.
The main advantage of training in the morning is the increased metabolic rate. Studies confirm that weight loss workouts are most effective in the morning, before breakfast.