Exercise has physical and mental health benefits whatever time of day you manage to fit in a workout, but the ideal time of day to maximise on fitness gains may be different for men and women, according to a recent US study. 

Not all of us have scope to shift our routines, but if you do have the choice of jumping on the turbo or heading outside for a ride, before or after work, researchers have found that there are differences in men’s and women’s response to morning and evening exercise.

Many research papers in exercise science, includings ones on this area, have predominantly focused on men. The reason for this is generally put down to the ‘complications’ of women’s hormonal fluctuations throughout the menstrual cycle – but the result is a gender data gap that leaves us in the dark about one half of humanity.

(Image credit: Future)

Because gender does make a difference, affecting carbohydrate metabolism, blood plasma levels and body temperature regulation – as well as inflammation and incidence of injury. Now researchers have found that the best time of day to train does differ between men and women.