Do you train in the evening through choice or necessity? Plenty of us do. Here’s how to fuel, perform, and recover better in the PM.
For many of us, training after work or in the evening is the only chance we get for a decent session. And others find that’s when they feel most energised and focused. If you’re an evening trainer, optimise your performance and maximise the benefits (because there are plenty!)
Can Evening Training Be Beneficial?
Motivational memes and internet experts might tell us to get the important stuff done first thing in the morning. But not all of us have that luxury. If home life, college, kids, commuting, or work mean you simply can not train in the morning, is that such a bad thing? Well, no. There are plenty of benefits to training in the evening. For some people, evening training could actually be preferable to an early morning workout.
6 Benefits Of Training In The Evening
#1 You can train for longer
Morning exercisers are usually up against the clock – after all, the boss won’t be amused if you turn up late because you hadn’t finished your giant set. But in the evening, your time is more your own. And there are physiological benefits, too. Studies have shown that muscular function and strength peaks in the evening, and your body may be better at oxygen uptake.
#2 Get as sweaty as you want
When you train in the evening, you don’t need to think about cooling off and smartening up afterwards. Sure, you’ll need to shower, but most of us can just put on comfy clothes and be ready for bed. Cut down the post-workout routine by at least 10 minutes!
#3 It’s more sociable
Evenings are often peak times at the gym. But instead of worrying about getting onto your key bits of equipment, think about the atmosphere. Gyms have a definite buzz in the evening, with everyone working hard and relaxing after work (not rushing to get finished and worrying about deadlines). Enjoy it!
#4 The perfect wind-down
What could be better after a stressful day at work than hitting the gym. Evenings workouts are the ideal opportunity to work through frustrations, burn off stress, and give your body that happy-tired feeling that only comes from a good sweat session.
#5 You get your mornings back
What would you rather: an extra hour in the morning, or a free evening? Many people don’t make the most of an evening at home, using it to binge-watch Netflix. Train in the evenings, and not only do you make great use of that dead time, but you claim your mornings back! No need to pack gym kit and shower stuff, rush your breakfast, tear about the house in a hurry. Have a calm, stress-free start to the day. Then hit the gym later.
#6 You’ll sleep better
Lifting weights in the evening can actually help you have higher quality, longer sleep than if you train earlier in the day. If you have a solid wind-down routine after training, this should mean you’ll sleep more soundly – which of course means better recovery.
How Does Evening Training Affect Your Body?
Although key hormones like cortisol and testosterone are higher in the morning, it seems that they body’s metabolism adapts well to an evening exercise routine. By training in the evening, you boost two endocrine hormones (cortisol and thyrotropin) and help your glucose levels stay low. Think of it as giving your body a double-whammy of hormonal help. Your body does its own thing in the morning, and then you give it another boost in the PM.
Top Tips For Evening Training
– Don’t go into your session under-fuelled. Eat a solid meal 1-2 hours before training, including carbs and protein.
– Keep carbs around training. If you have limited carbs for the day, hold back on them earlier on so you can fuel your session and recover.
– Use a caffeine-free pre workout supplement so your sleep isn’t compromised. Our Caffeine Free Pre Workout has over 18g active ingredients (including Arginine Alpha Ketoglutarate, Citrulline Malate, Beta Alanine and Creatine Monohydrate) – but no caffeine!
– Have a meal ready and waiting for you at home, or choose something you can make very quickly. Meal prep Sundays will help!
– Consider having a protein shake on the way home, so you can eat a smaller meal. This lighter approach might help your body to digest your post-workout food.
– Don’t stay up too late eating after an evening workout. Know what you’re going to eat, have it ready, and then get to bed.
– Calm your nervous system and prime it for sleep with key nutrients including magnesium. You could try Magnesium Bisglycinate or ZMA.
– Set your body up for recovery with a multi vitamin which is designed for daytime and evening, like our Sports Multi AM:PM™.
Morning or evening training? The choice is yours, but lots of people don’t have the opportunity to train earlier in the day. The best time to exercise is the time that fits with your lifestyle and routine. So celebrate the benefits, and make the most of it!
About the Author:
Nicola Joyce has been writing for (and about) sport, fitness, nutrition and healthy living since 2004. She’s also a keen sportswoman: her background is in endurance sport but she now competes as a natural bodybuilder, most recently winning a world title with the INBF. When she’s not writing content, she can be found blogging. Follow her here www.nicolajoyce.co.uk and on Facebook & Twitter (@thefitwriter) too.