During the day, many people are so busy with their duties that they leave the training and the meal for the evening. We explain: when this mode of functioning is appropriate and what you can eat after a night exercise.
Does evening training prevent you from falling asleep?
For a long time it seemed that exercising late at night was inadvisable, if only because of the resulting sleep problems. During training, the level of adrenaline in the body naturally increases, and everyone knows that it’s hard to fall asleep when you’re highly stimulated.
However, recent years have verified the topic and it results in almost the opposite. Well, exercise before bedtime is advisable when the workout does not exceed 35 minutes. On the other hand, a widespread study conducted by e.g. the National Sleep Foundation (2013) proved that regular physical activity improves the quality of sleep in general. Stressful activities should be avoided before going to bed, so a short workout that can calm you down is all the more recommended.
Morning, afternoon or evening training – which is best?
- Workout in the morning – it’s a great option for those who would like to start and awaken their still sleepy body. Jogging, swimming, cycling and other endurance disciplines will work perfectly here. However, for those who would like to bet on strength exercises, increasing muscle mass, we must advise against morning training. At this stage of the day you will not break your records.
- Afternoon workout – in fact it is hard to find a better time. This is the time when our body can cope with any challenge, so we can safely set to intensive strength training. The problem here is, however, time (most people spend this time at work or studying) and full gyms.
- Evening training – as we mentioned, it can be a great way to improve sleep, this time also supports weight loss. Evening training can be used for both strength and endurance training. However, we warn you that prolonging exercises until too late may in turn negatively influence our sleep. The best time to aim for is between 4pm and 6pm, when our body temperature is at its highest, which translates into muscle performance.
Eating before or after training?
A filling meal (e.g. dinner) should be eaten at least 2 or 3 hours before exercise. However, such a meal will be an excellent source of energy during workout!
Before exercising, especially in the morning, it’s a good idea to eat a delicate meal consisting of complex and simple carbohydrates. The former (e.g. dried fruit, juice, light bread) will stimulate the body, the latter (bran, oatmeal, etc.) will provide the energy necessary for exercise. However, we should leave out fiber (vegetables, fruits) and fats (butter, eggs, meat), because their digestion is much longer.
Meals after exercise are almost mandatory, we need to supplement, among other things, protein, which replenishes glycogen stores. If we do not do this, the body will begin to use the protein in our body, as a result we will not see any effect of our exercise (muscle catabolism).
What to eat after an evening workout?
As we mentioned, the meal after training is extremely important. So bet on: protein, healthy fats (oil, seeds, avocado, nuts and fish – especially steamed) and simple carbohydrates. They will allow your muscles to regenerate after an intensive workout. A good idea is to combine yogurt with fruit. Avoid fatty foods, sugars and processed foods.
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