The question of when is the best time of day to exercise is still the subject of much debate. Researchers have found, in a mouse model, that exercising in the morning increases fat burning compared to exercising in the evening.
Exercise plays an important role in overall health. Not only can it help with weight loss, but previous studies have also shown that physical activity can help reduce the risk of diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, osteoporosis and heart disease. high blood pressure. Although people know they should exercise, there is a big debate about the best time of day to exercise and get the most benefit from it.
For example, a study in October 2021 showed that exercising in the morning may be more beneficial for obese people, while another study in September 2021 showed that evening workouts were more beneficial. effective for overweight men. Now researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have found that exercising in the morning increases fat burning compared to evening training in mouse models. This study was recently published in the journal PNAS.
Why is the time of day important?
According to the researchers in this study, many of our internal rhythms are governed by an intrinsic molecular clock. This clock coordinates much of our physiology, including body temperature, blood pressure response, Trusted Source hormone release, and even strength and alertness. Therefore, if we can align what we do – for example, our daily exercise routine – with this clock, we might be able to fine-tune the health benefits.
Measurement of adipose tissue (fat)
For this study, researchers examined the fat tissue of mice after they had done a high-intensity exercise session at one of two times of the day, a late morning or late evening session. After analysis, the researchers found that early exercise increased the expression of genes involved in the breakdown of adipose tissue and certain other functions associated with a higher metabolic rate. Early active-phase exercise increased expression of genes linked to fat burning, heat production, and blood vessel production Trusted Source. These changes occurred even when exercise-induced hormone levels were similar between phases, meaning that the sensitivity of body fat to exercise-induced hormones may differ depending on the time of day the physical activity is practiced.
Scientists only found these signs of increased metabolism in mice that exercised in the morning. The researchers were surprised to find that early active phase exercise, corresponding to late morning exercise in humans, had such a profound impact on boosting fat cell metabolism. Initially, they thought that this time-of-day-dependent effect was due to nutritional status. However, they were able to later confirm that the genetic signature of a higher metabolic rate was not affected by food intake.
Next steps: Human trials
When asked what the next steps for this research would be, the researchers said the limitation of the current study was that the work was only done on healthy mice.
The next step is to conduct a similar study in men and women of healthy weight or obesity. It is important to understand whether these results can be applied to refine the well-known benefits of exercise on metabolism. The right timing appears to be important for the body’s energy balance and for improving the health benefits of exercise, but more studies are needed to draw reliable conclusions about the relevance of our findings to humans.
No scientific agreement on the “best time”
There is no current scientific agreement on the “best time of day” to exercise, as what is likely more important is what is behaviorally healthier for that particular individual. . It is also unlikely that the time of day one exercises is more effective than the concept of “calories in versus calories out” for overall fat loss.