Pros and Cons of Working Out in the Morning. Are you thinking of working out in the morning? Worried if it is better than workout sessions at other times of the day or not? Like everything, it has both some perks and flaws at the same time.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this. Everybody is different. It depends on different aspects like your lifestyle, daily routine, and body.
Here is a complete guide showing both sides of the coin which is Pros and Cons of Working Out in the Morning. We will look at the benefits of working out in the morning, and the shortcomings to your workout gains if you do it in the morning.
Pros of Working Out in the Morning
Morning workout sessions have many benefits over afternoon or evening workout sessions. If you are on the fence about working out in the morning, here are some appealing benefits of it.
More Alert and Energetic
After the whole night’s rest, all your energy has been restored, and that’s what you need the most for a workout session. Cortisol is a hormone that keeps you awake, alert, and energetic. Usually, Cortisol reaches its peak in the morning and then drops in the evening.
Cortisol is at its peak from around 4 a.m to 6 a.m. If you follow a healthy circadian rhythm and get out of your bed early, morning is the prime time for you to exercise.
You are less likely to have any distractions in the morning. You have not started your to-do-list, and you are very less likely to receive any calls, messages, or emails in the morning.
With no distraction in the morning, you will get the most out of your workout session without any shortcomings. and this is one of the major pros of Working Out in the Morning.
Keeps You Active throughout the Day
Typically, cortisol peaks in the morning and then gradually drop off throughout the day. Your energy levels also drop off, and you feel incredibly lazy by the afternoon.
But if you workout in the morning, it boosts your cortisol further and delays the drop of cortisol throughout the day. This keeps you more active and energetic, reduces your fatigue, and improves your overall stamina throughout the day.
In a 2012 study, researchers claimed that women who exercise in the morning stay more physically active and energetic throughout the day.
If your workout session goal is to burn fat, morning workouts have an edge. In a 2015 study, published in EBioMedicine, researchers claimed that morning workouts support more fat-burn as compared to workouts in the afternoon or evening.
In the study, 10 young men were asked to exercise in the morning, afternoon, and evening for several separate days. The study concluded that 24 hours of fat-burn was highest during the morning workout days.
So, if fat-burn and weight loss is your primary goal, a morning workout is better for you.
Avoid the Heat
In summers, a morning workout is the best if you like to enact in the outdoors. It feels more convenient to work out in the cold morning than to work out in the hot afternoon and evening.
It is not recommended to exercise outdoors from 10 a.m to 5 p.m in summers, as it is the hottest during this time.
So, if you prefer outdoor workouts, better that you perform in the morning.
Better Mood and Focus
Exercise relieves stress, and physical activity in the morning also keeps you positive and optimistic throughout the day. It also improves your focus on other stuff during the day.
A 2019 study claimed that men pay more attention and perform better in learning and decision making on days they take a morning workout session than on days without morning workout sessions
Better Appetite Control
Exercise, in general, improves your appetite control by reducing ghrelin (the hunger-stimulating hormone), and increasing Peptide-YY and GLP-1 (the satiety hormones).
But appetite control is even better if you workout in the morning. A 2012 study, published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, claimed that morning workouts improve the way your brain responds to food insights.
In the study, 35 women were asked to walk on a treadmill for 45 minutes in the morning. After exercise, they were shown photos of flowers (as control), and foods and their brain activity were measured.
After a week, the same was repeated without morning exercises. The study suggested that women’s brains showed a more significant response to food insights when they didn’t exercise in the morning.
Improves Sleep Quality
The positive effects of morning workouts are not limited till the day. It also improves your sleep during the night.
A 2014 study, that appeared in Vascular Health and Risk Management, claimed that adults had a good sleep at night on days they worked out in the morning. They also enjoyed more deep sleep and had fewer nightmares during sleep. They also fell asleep faster than on days without exercise. Hence, overall sleep quality improves with morning workouts.
Exercising outside in the morning adds more to the sleep benefits. Light exposure early in the morning helps regulate melatonin levels and improves your sleep quality further.
Helps Control Blood Glucose
In a 2015 study, printed in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, researchers found that there is a very low risk of hypoglycemic events with morning workouts. In the study, 35 T1DM patients performed two separate treadmill sessions, one in the morning and another in the afternoon.
The study concluded that the risk of hypoglycemic events was lower with morning workouts. The researchers thought it to be Cortisol. Besides keeping you energetic and alert, Cortisol also promotes blood glucose levels. As cortisol levels are high in the morning, the risk of hypoglycemic events is also lower in the morning workout sessions.
Cons of Working Out in the Morning
While morning workouts may seem appealing to an early rising, motivated, and efficient individual, it also has some shortcomings if you are not an early riser or can’t adapt to the new routine. You should understand these disadvantages and decide whether you can bring changes to your routine or not.
Waking Up Early
You will need to wear up early in the morning to perform a morning workout session. For sure, You can’t accomplish while sleeping in your bed. You must be awake to play an early morning workout session.
And getting out of your best far before your routine time may not be joyful. One may have the best of his dreams a little before waking up in the morning. Everybody wants to enjoy morning dreams and stay in bed for a bit of time.
But it is not that difficult. You can easily change your sleep routine within a few days. Once you get used to waking up early in the morning, no one can stop you from enjoying the health benefits of morning workouts.
Although morning workouts improve sleep quality, if you change your morning routine by waking up early in the morning and going to sleep late on your previous routine time, you may go deficient in sleep.
Most individuals can’t go to bed early, especially if you are married and have children. Most families get together and spend some time with one another in the evening until late at night. If it is as same as you, waking up early for morning workouts may get you to sleep deficiency.
But if you can change your routine and go to bed early to get yourself enough hours to sleep, morning workout offers you many benefits with a little effort.
Risk of Injury
If you wake up and immediately set off to workout, most probably, you are not fully awake. You may get injured while performing and not paying attention to your body movements. You may run into something while you are not fully awake. While driving to the gym, feeling woozy, you may hit an accident.
Nothing to worry, you can easily avoid this by waking up an hour or so earlier than your workout time. This way, you will be fully awake and alert to enjoy the benefits of a morning workout.
Less Muscle Gain
This may seem contradictory to what I said before, but it is so. Glycogen stores in your body supply the necessary amount of glucose, during a workout, required for your muscle buildup. While after a whole night span, your glycogen stores are depleted, and you can’t maintain the optimal glucose levels.
You can overcome this by waking up earlier than your workout time and have some pre-workout snacks (like banana, bread, butter, and milk, etc. This will add up for the required glucose, and you can also gain muscle mass at your average pace.
It varies from person to person. Everybody is unique. Working out in the morning is more effective than working out in the afternoon or evening. But it all depends on your lifestyle and routine.
If you can’t maintain your sleep routine, better that you workout in the evening, but if you can easily change and adapt to your new sleep-wake cycle, a morning workout is getting to go for you.
This was all about Pros and Cons of Working Out in the Morning.