Strength

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Q: Is it better to work out in the morning or at night?

I typically workout in the evening after work. I'm curious, is it better to work out in the morning or at night? With the daylight hours getting shorter, I may have to switch to morning workouts. Jared Philadelphia, PA

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A:

The best time to work out is the time that consistently fits into your schedule and enhances your day instead of disrupting it. There is no physiological benefit to working out at a particular time of day, so choose a time that you know you can stick with. Some people have better luck getting their workout done in the morning, before they have time to make excuses for not doing it. Other people don't feel very motivated in the morning, or find that a workout is a great way to blow off the tension after work, so they choose to do their workouts in the evening. And still others have the luxury of being able to escape to a trail or gym at their lunch hour and get their exercise. So don't worry about what time of day you're getting your workout in, as long as you are getting it in.

One tip if you do switch to morning workouts, though, is to eat a small, carbohydrate-rich snack as soon as you wake up. Overnight, your body uses up almost all the carbohydrate stored in your liver, and this is your brain's primary source of blood sugar. A PowerBar and glass of orange juice, or a bagel and a piece of fruit will give you the carbohydrate you need to get through a high-quality morning workout. Afterwards, eat a normal breakfast, with plenty of whole grain carbohydrates, to replenish your energy and power the rest of your day.

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