3 Ideal Times to Workout and Eat for Optimal Energy

It is so hard to drag yourself to the gym and make a plan to eat healthfully when you’re battling low energy.

There is a science to your hormones. Cortisol levels should rise in the morning (when our ancestors were ready to hunt and gather), but not too sharply, and then slowly dwindle as the day turns into night.

Of course, that’s ideal, but our hormones can easily be whacked out of rhythm, which leads to low energy. No bueno.

Here are 3 Ideal Times to Workout and Eat for Optimal Energy:

The Early Bird (5am – 9am)

If you are a morning person and feel fantastic upon rising with heaps of energy, then yay you! Ideally you’ll linger in bed for a few minutes, stretching and enjoying and allowing your senses to wake up. Maybe that includes a small bite and a cup of coffee, maybe not.

It should include a tall glass of clean, filtered water upon rising.

If you feel hungry at this time, eat. If not, don’t.

You’ll be getting your workout in between 5am and 9am.

Eat within an hour of working out and then at natural intervals when your body feels hungry.

This time rocks because the first thing you did was something for you. You have all day to enjoy that feeling. Plus, this sets up your body cycle for a nice, deep, 8 hour sleep later that night.

The Bruncher (11am – 1pm)

You may or may not be a an early bird, but the thought of a 6am workout isn’t ideal, or just isn’t possible with your schedule.

This is where brunch workouts RAWK. 🙂

I am a perfect example. I’m a total early bird and crazy productive in the mornings. But I’m either working with clients or prefer to channel that energy into other projects. By late morning, I’m starting to get itchy.

If it’s noon, I’m climbing the walls. If I don’t workout now, lethargy is sure to set in.

Brunch time is fantastic to workout because the midday exercise actually increases your focus and acuity for the rest of the day (have you read the book Spark?), right as things could potentially slide downhill.

This is also an ideal time if you’re not a morning person and/or also know for a FACT (like me), that working out after 5pm simply isn’t ever going to happen.

If you’re a Bruncher, you’ll need to have eaten, even something small, within the last 2 hours. Enjoy your lunch after the workout, preferably within the hour.

And if you’re an office worker concerned about the shower and lunch situation, it’s a perfect reason to pack your own healthy lunch to eat afterwards.

And, you don’t need a full hour to workout. Kill it in 30 – 40 minutes, rinse off for 10, and you’re out of there.

The Slump Buster (2pm – 4pm)

This workout time is exactly what it says and is fantastic for that very reason.

Feeling a late afternoon lull where productivity declines is perfectly normal.

But if you prefer to maximize your other hours and would like to enjoy the evening ahead of you, then: Go. Work. Out. Now!



You’ll likely have plenty of fuel from your afternoon lunch, and if not, it’s nothing a pre-workout hardboiled egg and apple can’t fix right up.

You’ve got this.

Don’t forget your post-workout snack if it’s not close to your dinnertime.

My Least Favorite Workout Time:

After sunset.

A workout livens you up and should make you feel energized, which is exactly the last thing our bodies need as they slow down to rest for the evening.

Plus, I’m a big believer in protecting your evenings for relaxation, whatever that means for you.

See if you can juggle your schedule to make another time work for you.

So, are you an Early Bird, a Bruncher, or a Slump Buster? I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions in the comments below.

Have a beautiful, healthy day!



P.S. I’m working on putting together exactly what I’m eating and when I’m working out to get stage ready for my big competition so I can share it with you. 3 months and 25 days to go! Please subscribe below for updates that I’ll only share with my inner circle.

share this post:


Kickstart your clean eating now! Download the audio of the first 30 pages of my book Moan Out Louder Protein Shakes and learn simple tweaks to start crushing your fitness goals right away! (it's free)

more thoughts on motherhood...