Over the years, and through countless numbers of gyms, I've noticed a very interesting thing....people always tend to workout at the same time each day. And not just the ones that are forced to with busy work schedules or taking care of the kids. This leads me into another frequently asked question when it comes to our fitness regimens, that is, "What is the best time of day for a workout?"
I'm sure that most people have at least thought about this, if not had an extensive conversation with someone about it. You know who I mean....that person that swears up and down that the only way to lose weight is to do your cardio first thing in the morning before you eat anything. Or the huge guy in the gym that says that you have to lift after 6 pm if you want to get stronger because that's when your body temperature is at its peak. If you haven't thought of it, or if you are just beginning a workout program, then you're in luck, as you haven't heard any of the crazy rationales floating around out there.
So what's the answer?? First off, let's get one thing straight....EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. While there are many physiological changes that our bodies go through during the day, many of which will affect both the quality and effectiveness of our workouts, there really isn't a time when all of them line up. For men, testosterone levels tend to be highest in the morning but the body is also "coldest" at that time as well. For those trying to lose weight, while the body may have a greater tendency to oxidize fat when the levels of stored glycogen are lowest (usually upon waking in a fasted state) we also risk muscle catabolism if there is not enough blood sugar to power our workouts.
So the answer is.............THERE IS NO ANSWER! Or, at least, it's different for everyone. When asked, my answer to this question is always the same.....Work out when YOU feel the BEST.....and when you can. The number one reason for workout "dropout" is related to individuals putting too much stress on their life with their exercise. For example, if you hate-hate-hate mornings and feel like crap when you try to workout early, how long do you think you'll be able to keep it up? Or if your boss is all over you for getting back from lunch late because you're at the gym, what do you think you'll give up, your workout or your job? The main point that I try to get across to those with this question is, "Don't worry about it!" Workout whenever you can fit it in and whenever you feel good. The rest will fall into place :)