One of the most common questions our readers ask us is: what is the best time to train to get the best benefits?
First, we have to talk briefly about the chronobiology which has shown that all human functions (hormone production, temperature changes, mood, etc …) have a rhythmic course.
These rhythms take different names, but the ones that interest us most in sport are the CIRCADIAN or DAYS that have an average duration of 24 hours.
Let’s have a look of the most important circadian rhythms hormones that influence the workout:
The GH, also known as growth hormone, somatotropin or somatotropic hormone (STH), has three significant peaks during the day:
- The two highest occur in the first and fourth hours after falling asleep.
- The third, less important, happens in the early morning.
Testosterone has two peaks:
- One between 06.00 am and 07.00 am.
The second around 5.30 pm.
- between 07:00 and 08:00 in the morning.
So, which is the best time to train to get best benefits?
We can answer:
If you want to lose weight in a morning aerobic session, you will use the peak of GH and the highest levels of cortisol, as it is shown that the two hormones mentioned have a lipolytic effect (slimming).
Time training also studies have shown that if the aerobic activity is done on an empty stomach, the GH peak will be even more potent because of the hypoglycaemia that will elicit it.
Indeed, it is assumed that the last meal was made the previous evening, so night-time fasting will drastically reduce glycogen stores (the form under which man stores carbohydrates), so the energy lost during aerobic activity Will be directly at the expense of the fats.
However, if you need to increase your muscle volume, the workout should be done in the early afternoon as you will be supported by the testosterone peak (muscle growth hormone).
Additionally, in the late afternoon, we can exploit the peak of adrenaline (the hormone that increases energy and charges during exercise).
It is obvious that a workout at these times will give you maximum benefits, but if you can not keep them, do not worry.
It’s better to work out sometimes than not to do it right.
So, now it’s time to train! Read our article on Functional Hypertrophy – The Road to Performance.