WHY: consistency – morning exercisers are most likely to stick to their routine
Training in the morning is a great way to start your day. For starters, it means your exercise is done for the day so you won’t end up relegating your workout to later or missing it entirely because you end up being busier or more tired than you’d expected. Your blood glucose is on the low side which means your workouts are more likely to be fueled by fat which is good news if you are exercising for weight control and fat loss. However, if you intend to train long and/or hard – especially for improved performance, running on empty may leave you feeling prematurely tired so your workout is not as productive as it might otherwise have been.
WHY NOT: physically at your weakest
On the downside, after a night of relative immobility, your joints are stiffest early in the morning and muscles at their most weak at 8 am. Your back is not especially ready to support heavy weights straight out of bed; bad news if you intend to pump heavy iron at the gym. This is especially true for your spine and research suggests that heavy weightlifting immediately on rising is more likely to result in injury.
How to make it work: To make early morning training work for you, don’t roll straight out of bed and into a tough workout – make sure you spend some time waking up and then warming up. If you are going to train long and/or hard, consider taking a few extra minutes to consume a fast-acting energy drink or bar before you start.