According to new research out of the Universities of Bath and Birmingham, there’s a specific time of day to work out if you want to max fat burning: first thing in the a.m.
For the study, a group of 30 overweight men were split into two groups. One group was made to eat brekkie before participating in a cycling class, while the other group skipped the meal altogether.
After six weeks, the researchers saw “profound and positive” changes to the general health of those who exercised on an empty stomach. In fact, they burned twice the amount of fat than those who didn’t. The reason? Their insulin levels were lower after fasting overnight, causing the body to use fat reserves to fuel their sweat sesh.
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But before you go flaking on your arvo gym buddy in favour of a morning run, know this: it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll shed kgs any faster. Researchers reckoned there was no notable difference in weight loss between the two groups.
"The group who exercised before breakfast increased their ability to respond to insulin, which is all the more remarkable given that both exercise groups lost a similar amount of weight and both gained a similar amount of fitness. The only difference was the timing of the food intake," Dr Javier Gonzalez from the University of Bath said of the findings.
"This work suggests that performing exercise in the overnight-fasted state can increase the health benefits of exercise for individuals, without changing the intensity, duration or perception of their effort. We now need to explore the longer-term effects of this type of exercise and whether women benefit in the same way as men,” the University of Birmingham’s Dr Gareth Wallis added.