Morning vs. evening workout: Lore of better fat burning, performance, or energy levels create an endless debate over the best time to get that workout in. Who or what to believe gets confusing. There are benefits and arguments for both; read on and the secret will be revealed…

It’s 4:55 a.m. and there are members lined up outside the door at the gym, hoping the doors open a few minutes early. These people proselytize better energy, more focus, and a less-stressed day. They are the ones many envy; they are free from the pull of

warm covers and comfy bed.

Morning workouts may be better for fat metabolism. This is because the morning hormones typically circulating in the body are better at metabolizing fat for energy, according to Anthony Hackney of NC Chapel Hill. Morning workouts often help with breakfast appetite and cravings. The fasted body has a high propensity to overeat — given the chance — in the morning. Cardiovascular exercise in the morning resulted in reported lower stress and higher energy.

Work all day, wait for the bell clock to tick to 5 p.m., rush to the gym and work out. Evening workouts combat the rigors of the day and set the tone for a relaxing night. Evening workouts also have a physiological benefit.

Recently a study examined high intensity exercise in the evening vs. morning. What was concluded was that hunger was reduced following exercise. They also found that the maximum power the exercisers could produce was higher in the afternoon. Exercisers in a typical moderate 45-minute session experienced lower blood pressure and lower perceived exertion for the same output. They felt like they were working less.

Still confused? Let the secret be revealed:

Fitness entirely depends on workout adherence and consistency. You must do your workout and stick to it. How often do the New Year’s rush of 6 a.m. workouts fizzle out? How tired are the legs after working all day? Eventually it’s easier to go home and relax.

Bicycling Magazine reported earlier this year that the people who cycled on a consistent schedule exercised one hour more per week than the others who exercised “when they had time.”

The secret to workout timing is finding a time that works for a consistent, enjoyable experience. The beneficial effects of morning vs. evening are marginal compared to the simple truth that the person who works out consistently reaps more benefits than the ones who do not.