Is the Middle of the Day the Best Time to Exercise?

There’s a lot of speculation as to the optimum time of day to reap the most benefits from exercise. A recent study, however, shows that our muscles may respond best in the middle of the day.

Get Your Groove On

No matter what any study reports, exercise will be beneficial any time of day. As long as you show up and do the work, your body will love you for it. This information from this particular research will help those wanting to reap maximum benefits from a workout—whether you’re someone who hits the gym four times a week or if you’re a seasoned athlete.

Circle, Canadian, Cartha…What?

Researchers at Northwestern University discovered that cell metabolism is regulated by a person’s circadian rhythm. Your circadian schedule is basically your 24-hour inner clock. It informs your body when it is awake time or sleep time (and vice versa.)

It turns out that muscle tissue also responds to this inner clock. Energy efficiency, then, peaks for each individual (human) during the day. As part of the research, they studied nocturnal animals and their muscle responses. For them, logically, their finest hours of energy efficiency were in the middle of the night.

Breathing, Awake Muscles

As we carry on throughout our day, our energy levels will be more efficient than in the evening, for example. That’s not to say that you can’t workout at night. You can. And even then, your body’s metabolism will remain faster for hours afterwards. It’s just that burning energy and oxygenizing muscle cells won’t be at their peak.

It appears that muscle cells can utilize energy best (in humans) in the daytime. Exactly what time will vary according to each person’s personal circadian rhythm.

Muscle Performance

It’s true that if you workout in the morning, you will reap the benefit for hours as your day continues. Exercise raises your metabolism.

The researchers of this particular experiment believe that when your muscle cells are optimally oxygenated, the perks of exercise are even greater. So, depending on the time of day, along with glucose and then the generation of lactic acid, your workout could be fantastically phenomenal.

Other Benefits

Although this theory will require further studies, it’s an interesting look into how to possibly manipulate oxygen and sugar levels in muscles. That is something that could eventually lead to an alternative approach to treatment for diabetes.

It could also become a strategy for serious and professional athletes. Finding out their optimum time of day when to train could increase their performance potential.

Regardless of if you exercise for personal fitness, or if you push your body for sports or other training, taking the time—whatever time of day—is what’s most important. Get the job done.