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TOPIC: Is late night workout as effective as a morning one?

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June 4, 2013 11:10 PM
I don't always get time during the day to do my workout. About half the time it gets done after I get all the kids to bed (after 10 pm). If all I do is shower and go to sleep after my workout, Is my workout being as effective as if I had done it at 10:00 in the morning?
  44689072
June 4, 2013 11:32 PM
The time of the day isn't really relevant. Your workouts will be most effective if you do them on an empty stomach. The longer you've gone without eating, the more effective your workout will be. For most people, the longest they fast is while they're sleeping, so their morning workout is most effective.

If you have children, alternating your fasting patterns probably wouldn't work since you would eat with them.

I don't eat between 11pm and 4pm. At 3pm, I workout, go home and eat until I'm stuffed. My work is more effective because I fasted for 16 hours, then worked out on that empty stomach.

So short answer: No, but just work out a little harder to make up for it.
June 4, 2013 11:36 PM
QUOTE:

I don't always get time during the day to do my workout. About half the time it gets done after I get all the kids to bed (after 10 pm). If all I do is shower and go to sleep after my workout, Is my workout being as effective as if I had done it at 10:00 in the morning?

What matters most is to fit your workouts in whenever is best for your consistency. A workout performed at 10:00 pm is more effective than a missed 10:00 am workout. Whether a workout is more effective at a certain time of day is irrelevant if you can't manage to do it at that certain time of the day.
  18984754
June 4, 2013 11:39 PM
QUOTE:

Your workouts will be most effective if you do them on an empty stomach. The longer you've gone without eating, the more effective your workout will be. For most people, the longest they fast is while they're sleeping, so their morning workout is most effective.


This has been debunked over and over again.
June 4, 2013 11:39 PM
Personally I think it depends on you. For me, if I go running first thing in the morning I'm so hungry and feel like I have nothing to burn. I can't work out as hard because it makes me feel sick and faint. I tend to go between 4pm - 7pm as I find this is when I can have my most effective workout for me. If I can't do then, I go later as I have the energy to go from the food I've eaten that day.

I don't mean to offend, but I disagree with the answer above in regards to fasting. Your body needs food - especially if you're going to be doing exercise so I wouldn't recommend doing a workout after not eating for such a vast period of time.

Just do what feel right for you and go when you can fit it in your schedule x.
  6345888
June 4, 2013 11:40 PM
I have found that the late night workout is FAR more effective than the no-workout-because-I-didn't-have-time-until-it-was-too-late plan.

Calories in vs. calories out is the main thing. Maybe not the only thing, but it really is the main thing. The most effective workout is the one you will DO. And I will not DO a 6am workout, lol. I am a night owl. I just have to go with it.
  7795021
June 4, 2013 11:45 PM
Morning workouts are better for me PURELY because I end up craving fruits and veggies if I get a good burn in the AM. If I don't, I crave crappy foods. I'm sure there is some scientific reason for it, but I don't care, I just like that I want the healthy stuff and it becomes easy to resist junk.

But not everyone is like me. I do not believe that the time of day impacts the effectiveness of the workout except minimally. At the very least it will be beneficial regardless of time of day.
June 4, 2013 11:45 PM
QUOTE:
About half the time it gets done after I get all the kids to bed (after 10 pm). If all I do is shower and go to sleep after my workout, Is my workout being as effective as if I had done it at 10:00 in the morning?


Sure. Time does not exist in the real world. It's a man-made concept that is of no significance to the biological process.
Edited by Deathangl13 On June 4, 2013 11:46 PM
June 4, 2013 11:59 PM
I do late workouts at times. I find it better than doing nothing. I have researched this topic before and it seems that there's no concrete evidence showing mornings are more effective than nights. Some people do feel too stimulated to fall asleep after late workouts. This isn't the case for everyone. You could give it a try and see how it goes :)
  43458419
June 5, 2013 12:11 AM
To answer your question, yes. The only difference is that you might find it a little more dificult to fall asleep at night. But, working out is better than not working out. :)
June 5, 2013 12:29 AM
In my experience, the most effective workout is the one you'll be able to stick to. If you're a night owl (like me), it really doesn't matter if there is a minor difference between times. If I tried to do workouts in the early morning, there's no way I could stick with it long term. Any insignificant benefit I might receive is far outweighed by the fact that I will actually do evening workouts, and will do them full out. Do what works for you.
  33268440
June 5, 2013 12:36 AM
The main thing I find with exercising late at night is that I'm already completely knackered by the end of the day, and I feel I don't put as much effort in as I would in the morning. Granted, as many have pointed out, ANY workout is better than no workout!
  43528151
June 5, 2013 12:45 AM
QUOTE:

The longer you've gone without eating, the more effective your workout will be.


This is not only wrong (as another poster already mentioned) but it is completely in the opposite direction. It seems like a good intuition, but the most recent real research on this topic has shown that actually eating a light snack just BEFORE you work out will help you burn more calories in the long run. It not only provides you with the energy to perform, it will tell your body that you aren't starving so it's okay to burn calories.
Edited by schmanarchy On June 5, 2013 12:46 AM
June 5, 2013 12:54 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

The longer you've gone without eating, the more effective your workout will be.


This is not only wrong (as another poster already mentioned) but it is completely in the opposite direction. It seems like a good intuition, but the most recent real research on this topic has shown that actually eating a light snack just BEFORE you work out will help you burn more calories in the long run. It not only provides you with the energy to perform, it will tell your body that you aren't starving so it's okay to burn calories.


I've found I can eventually get a good workout on in a fed state, but I'm more sluggish getting warmed up.


I think if you choose random subjects, you might find fed workouts to be the same or superior, but if you took a bunch of people like me, you would find that fasted workouts are superior. They also keep me busy until I break my fast. Which means less chance of eating too early, which means higher chance I will stick to my planned diet because I won't spend that many waking hours tempted to eat. Perception wise, I am happier doing fasted workouts and more motivated. Also, no issues planning my pre workout meal so I'm not throwing up in my mouth.


However, that said, the best program is the one you stick to.
June 5, 2013 1:01 AM
Here's a great article by Lyle McDonald which helps put it in perspective:

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/fundamental-principles-versus-minor-details.html

Basically, too many people worry about minor details without having the fundamentals in place. It's like trying to put the finishing touches on a house when the walls haven't even been built yet. The "fundamentals", in this particular case, are consistent proper workouts. Any slight edge in effectiveness due to workout timing may matter to an elite athlete, but it's not going to make any difference for the average beginner/intermediate trainee. As Lyle says in the article, "Just Do Something".
  18984754
June 5, 2013 1:17 AM
QUOTE:

Here's a great article by Lyle McDonald which helps put it in perspective:

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/fundamental-principles-versus-minor-details.html

Basically, too many people worry about minor details without having the fundamentals in place. It's like trying to put the finishing touches on a house when the walls haven't even been built yet. The "fundamentals", in this particular case, are consistent proper workouts. Any slight edge in effectiveness due to workout timing may matter to an elite athlete, but it's not going to make any difference for the average beginner/intermediate trainee. As Lyle says in the article, "Just Do Something".


Awesome post, thanks!
June 5, 2013 1:19 AM
Yes, late night is just as efffective as morning. Personally, I cannot get up early to workout. I've tried, it just doesn't work. So I workout in the afternoon or evening and I have no problems at all with it. The most effective time to workout is the one you'll stick to.
  5650072
June 5, 2013 1:21 AM
Personally i do a slightly better job on mornings which i do Saturday and Sundays and on public holidays or when i'm on leave from work. Probably becuase i've had a good sleep and a feed, but it's not that far off in the evenings which is my Monday to Friday workout regime depending on how tired i am after work it's a bit harder to maintain a steady flow. as for best on an empty stomach thats bull crap and dangerous. you need fuel to give you the energy to workout harder.

You might lose more weight that way but it will be mostly muscle

Saying that when i was doing martial arts 7x2hr classes a week in my late teens to mid 20's i never ate til i finished but that was primarily cause i felt bloated if i ate and then did high intensity karate for 2hrs. Now i need something or my stomach aches and i feel sluggish doesn't have to be a meal, just a snack
Edited by paulperryman On June 5, 2013 1:27 AM
  38722420
June 5, 2013 1:22 AM
don't over think it, workout whenever you can, it's all beneficial
June 5, 2013 1:25 AM
Also, I find that I'm more likely to put my all into it and go that extra mile or lift that extra set when I'm overly tired. I call this state Super Tired. I'm already tired, that extra set isn't going to make me any more so. When I'm half asleep and bleary eyed, I want nothing to do with exercise or putting in extra effort. I just want to pull the covers over my head.
  5650072
June 5, 2013 1:26 AM
QUOTE:

The time of the day isn't really relevant. Your workouts will be most effective if you do them on an empty stomach. The longer you've gone without eating, the more effective your workout will be. For most people, the longest they fast is while they're sleeping, so their morning workout is most effective.

If you have children, alternating your fasting patterns probably wouldn't work since you would eat with them.

I don't eat between 11pm and 4pm. At 3pm, I workout, go home and eat until I'm stuffed. My work is more effective because I fasted for 16 hours, then worked out on that empty stomach.

So short answer: No, but just work out a little harder to make up for it.

What?
June 5, 2013 1:27 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:
About half the time it gets done after I get all the kids to bed (after 10 pm). If all I do is shower and go to sleep after my workout, Is my workout being as effective as if I had done it at 10:00 in the morning?


Sure. Time does not exist in the real world. It's a man-made concept that is of no significance to the biological process.


This ^^ I do my workouts at night anywhere between 7pm and 10pm at the gym, I just lost 6lbs this week so I can assure you it really doesn't make a difference :)
June 5, 2013 1:33 AM
My night workout is much more effective than my morning workout because I actually do it.

The only reason why I do workouts earlier now instead of after 11pm like before is because I feel so amazing after a workout I want to feel like that all day! But I still rarely work out any earlier than 3pm haha
  1364763
June 5, 2013 1:37 AM
I prefer a morning workout , it is more of a mind thing for me, because if i leave it for the afternoon i tend to be more inclined to skip it. But any workout is better than none. So you fit it in whenever or however you can. Good luck !
  41758830
June 5, 2013 3:40 AM
I can’t work put on an empty stomach either– I just can’t push myself as much and feel sick.

I tend to work out early morning but have a small snack (cereal bar, nuts, fruit) to break the fast

I’m no expert but I am sure that working out late at night is a million times better than not working out at all so if that is when you can fit it/prefer to work out in just do it
  30530542

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