Points that have been difficult to resolve for years: the first bird to exercise bird is compared to the night owls of the room. Who is better? Who does it well?
Should we all wake up at dawn – like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who works long before the rooster crows, at 4.30am – and then attack for a while before the whole world wakes up? Or is it better to rejuvenate your brain and body the next evening with a 45-minute safari around the gym after a long day at work?
When you consider that sports records are almost exclusively broken after sunset, the truth becomes hard to find, as the early birds and night owls work so well.
Let’s start with a click: the best training is what you actually do. More important than any science or humble opinion of when to train should be the tragic events of your day. When can you really get to the gym? When will you enjoy it? When does exercise make you feel “good”?
The key is, as always, the balance: training and eating in a way that is most enjoyable – whether that means a 7am spin session promoted by an espresso or a 7pm spin-off exercise.
Still not sure? The battle between the lakes and owls is long. To get things started, let’s look at testosterone. Your T levels stimulate your energy and muscle gain, increase in AM, moving at a much higher level of three times over in the evening. Similarly, dawn sweat sesh can double your fat burning capacity, say researchers at Bath University.
Compatriots, with a separate study that states that you will eat 100kcal less throughout the day after waking up in the morning, and the morning does not seem to be dark. Not surprisingly, 27 percent of the UK population identifies them as “specific types of breakfast”. Doing so, however, comes at a price: cortisol, a muscle-eating hormone, rises by 75% in the morning, but is common at night. (Continued below)
But where does your nutrition fit into the cage? A great breakfast will help you burn more calories during the day by charging your metabolism, according to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Interestingly, your portion of protein after exercise is better absorbed in the evening, reports the Journal of Nutrition. Making time to cook a proper dinner will enhance your benefits. Choose what works for you.
As anyone with a problem with bleary-eyed exercise will attest, your energy levels can change depending on your schedule. And labcoats find out why they don’t feel so different – for example, your muscles become more flexible as the day progresses and your anaerobic strength (essential for a large increase) is about 7 percent higher over the course of the day, according to the University of North Texas. In flipside, the British Journal of Nutrition Study found that cardio released in the morning light can burn up to 20 percent fat.
After all, it’s not all about your muscles and body fat. Sleep plays an important role in your new exercise routine. A study by the Appalachian State Uni showed those lifting 7am energy faster at night – and producing more human growth hormone – than evening trainers. However, the same study found time for evening exercise that raises body temperature as a warm bath and promotes sound sleep.
Alas, there can only be a winner here. Proud of the ideal profile for fat burning and understanding, waking up in the morning can be time consuming in controversy. Lifting times are acceptable in the afternoon, but they are very short, it is too late – especially if science says so, and even falsely, night owls have a hard night’s sleep. Listen to the rooster’s call