With all this talk about which diet is best for your health a new study sheds some light that is not always necessarily about what you eat. Specifically, this new study has identified that working out before breakfast might be the most efficient way to burn fat.
According to researcher Dr. Javier Gonzalez, of the University of Bath Department for Health, “Our results suggest that changing the timing of when you eat in relation to when you exercise can bring about profound and positive changes to your overall health.”
Another way to understand this is that exercising on an empty stomach—like you would after fasting during sleep—might actually double the health benefits; that is to say, if you are already working out during the day. Essentially, simply moving your workout to first thing in the morning could get you that benefit.
Dr. Gonzalez goes on to say, “We found that the men in the study who exercised before breakfast burned double the amount of fat than the group who exercised after. Importantly, whilst this didn’t have any effect on weight loss, it did dramatically improve their overall health.”
It is important to take note that the health effect of morning workouts is not necessarily weight loss. The fat burning benefit contributes more to improved insulin response, which means that those who exercise before breakfast are better able to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Perhaps more importantly, though, this might also mean that it could help reduce overall risk for diabetes and heart disease.
For now, though, it is also important to note that the study only involved men; so more investigation is in order to determine that the same will be true for women.
Study co-author Dr. Gareth Wallis, from the University of Birmingham, comments, “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.”
Finally, it is also important to keep in mind that the study results are best observed under controlled conditions. Essentially, those who have a regular sleep schedule—and, thus, the same overnight fasting period—will see the best insulin regulation.