“What time should I train” is an age-old question. While the morning and afternoons have their own benefits, everyone agrees that training at night is not ideal. Simply, training at night disrupts our circadian rhythm, and floods sympathetic hormones like cortisol and adrenaline when we should be gearing up to unwind and let our parasympathetic nervous system take over.
However, for many busy people, training in the evening is the only option. So, how do you make the best of a not ideal situation? Here are six simple tips you can apply immediately to get the most out of your evening workouts.
ADD ELECTROLYTES THROUGHOUT THE DAY
Whether that’s a protein shake or a drink mix, most nutritional drinks contain ample electrolytes. By giving our body ample electrolytes before our workout, we’re keeping our electrolyte balance intact throughout our training.
ADD IN COLLAGEN TO YOUR DRINK
Usually, you can add a scoop right into your beverage. So at the same time as you get the extra protein and electrolytes, you can get some collagen.
NAP DURING THE DAY
Getting a nap in can give you the energy you need for the workout. Even just 10-20 minutes will go a long way.
HAVE A SNACK
Get an afternoon snack. Digestion takes a few hours. So, by getting extra fuel in the afternoon it’ll be ready to power your evening training.
REPLACE CAFFEINE WITH BRANCH CHAIN AMINO ACIDS (BCAAS)
If you take caffeine in the middle of the day, it messes up your sleep. In fact, sleep consistency is the number one indictor of getting into deep sleep quicker, and ultimately having higher quality sleep with less actual sleep time.
BCCAs provide us with essential amino acids to help us preserve muscle while we train and provide an energy boost without the stimulant effect of caffeine.
UNWIND IMMEDIATELY POST WORKOUT
If you are doing an evening workout, you need to do some parasympathetic activities immediately post training so you can have a good night’s sleep. Journaling, meditating, breath work, or deep stretching are all great ideas to accomplish this.
CHOOSE FAST-DIGESTING FOODS
After we train, the tendency is to absolutely pig-out on whatever food you can get your hands on. Of course, getting quality nutrition in you post-workout is important, but slow, heavy digestion will hamper your body’s ability to get into deep sleep.
So, choose faster digesting foods after youre evening workouts. Choose eggs over steak, white rice over brown rice. A great solution to this is to make yourself a massive shake filled with all the nutrients you need.