Exercise supports the health of men and women alike – that much is certain. However, the time of day that we train can affect the success of our training. A new study shows that men and women exercise better at different times of the day.
Regular exercise is one of the basic building blocks for a long, healthy life. Physical activity strengthens endurance and muscles and boosts fat burning. They can also support the cardiovascular system, strengthen the immune system and have a positive effect on mental health.
In order to be able to see the fastest possible physical success, we adapt our training plan and nutrition to our goals, increase weight and intensity, plan regeneration phases or increase the frequency of sports units.
However, other factors can also affect the level of performance during training. A current study from the USA shows that the time of day we train can also have an impact on our training success. There is a clear difference between the sexes.
The study results show that women burn more fat when exercising in the morning, while men achieve a better effect in the evening. For the study, the scientists had 30 men and 26 women between the ages of 25 and 55 complete various sports exercises at different times of the day over a period of twelve weeks.
The test subjects were divided into two groups, each trained for one hour per day and completed the same exercises. They also all received the same diet.
While the first group did their daily training before 8.30 a.m., the second group trained in the evening between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Before and after the study period, the scientists examined parameters such as blood pressure, body fat percentage, strength and flexibility in all participants.
Although all subjects achieved results, there were clear differences between the two groups. The results at different times of the day differed significantly for women in particular, while the differences were less pronounced for men.
Paul Arcerio, leader of the study and professor at Skidmore College in New York, summarizes the results as follows:
Training session in the morning:
Training session in the evening:
According to the study, it has not yet been conclusively explained why there is such a clear difference between the sexes. Fluctuations in hormone levels and body temperature can be a possible influencing factor. Nutrition before and after training also has an effect on training performance and subsequent success.
Researchers led by Helmholtz Munich and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have already identified training differences at different times of the day with the help of the “Atlas of the Exercise Metabolism”, which records the various phases of the human biorhythm.
This study also recommends exercising in the morning on an empty stomach for people who want to lose fat in a targeted manner.
On the other hand, if you want to actively build muscle, you should postpone your training until the evening. By eating throughout the day, the body has enough energy available, which it can provide quickly and in high doses during training. Strength athletes in particular are dependent on glucose from food or the liver.
Since the liver’s glucose stores are only completely replenished in the late afternoon or early evening, the optimal training effect is only achieved then. The body is able to push itself to its individual limits.
Last but not least, the hormone level also influences the success of the evening training session. Since the body temperature and the level of numerous messenger substances are higher, muscle growth is specifically promoted. Due to the increased body temperature, the muscles are more flexible and less susceptible to injuries.
Finally, the study emphasizes that the best time to exercise is when you feel ready and can fit the training session into your own schedule – after all, exercise should always be fun and not lead to additional stress.