Can Time of Day Affect Your Workout Performance?

by: Reagan Crichton

We all know the benefits of exercises and how good it is for us, but have you ever sat back and thought that you could be getting more benefits if you workout at a different time? Yes, you will always benefit from the physical activity and exercise you are participating in. There have been studies done that can suggest working out at night has added benefits and can help you reach peak performance during activity. However, there have been other studies conducted that suggest that it just depends on person to person, and it can rely on their genetics and habits. (Gorski, 2015)

Working out at night has been looked at as having an added benefit because as the day goes on your body typically relaxes allowing muscle power to increase the later it gets. Your muscle power increases at the end of the day because you become more relaxed resulting in lower blood pressure, heart rate, and even body temperature.  Some have found that working out in the latter half of the day can also help you sleep better at night, while others have shown it has been linked to an inability to fall asleep. With all that being said working out at any time will benefit you, there have just been “proven” added benefits to performing at a later time. 

File:Runners – Dodicesima Legnano Night Run, 09-09-2016 Piazza Giuseppe Frua, Legnano MI.jpg – Wikimedia Commons

When the other study was conducted it suggested that it depends on person to person when it comes to looking at time and working out, which is also true. You cannot make a night owl an early bird, and you cannot make an early bird a night owl. It is not simple but there are ways to train your body to adapt to your workout times. Dr. Philip Skiba is the regional director of sports medicine at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, and he suggested you just need to train your body clock to perform at its peak performance according to the schedule you are on. (Gorski, 2015)  Even though you can see difference when you change your performance time, you should not force your body to adapt to a schedule that it is not meant to run on. If mornings are when you feel your best and most motivated continue performing in the morning, and if it’s 1 o’clock in the afternoon then keep that going as well! 


Time of day could impact athletes’ performance peak. (n.d.). Retrieved March 27, 2021, from

File:Runners – Dodicesima Legnano Night Run, 09-09-2016 Piazza Giuseppe Frua, Legnano MI.jpg – Wikimedia Commons


Assistant Professor, Kinesiology and Health Studies department