We begin to exercise (such as going for a walk or running) and we all wonder: what time is it better to do it? Does anything change if I do it in the morning or at night? Will I get a good night’s sleep if I exercise in the afternoon?
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Since we start to do it and we take time and desire, it is convenient to maximize the results by choosing the right time to train, don’t you think? Let’s see what the experts say about it.
What time of day is it advisable to exercise?
From a logistical point of view, exercising in the morning has many advantages: we already go to work (or start the working day) with everything is done and it gives us extra energy. But it’s good?
Studies support the idea of training in the morning. A study evaluated how women responded to food after exercising first thing in the morning and found that their cravings for sweet and caloric foods decreased and they felt more energetic during the day.
To this, we must add that if we exercise in the morning we will accelerate the metabolism, which means that we will continue to burn calories during the day while we consume them.
To this must be added that if we exercise in the morning we will accelerate the metabolism, which means that we will continue to burn calories during the day while we consume them
In addition to the above, different investigations have put on the table that exercising at night could cause insomnia since training increases the heart rate and body temperature. In this regard, experts recommend exercising at 7 in the morning for this very reason.
Morning exercise, but on an empty stomach or after having breakfast?
Once we have detected that exercising in the morning is the most recommended and that 7 am is a good time, we will see if it is better to do it on an empty stomach (fasting) or with food in the body.
If we want to lose weight, it would be a good idea to train on an empty stomach. When we wake up, the levels of glycogen and insulin are very low in our body because we have not eaten for many hours; therefore, if we begin to do aerobic exercise (cardio), our body will use the stored energy in the form of fat. Some studies have shown that athletes who exercise on an empty stomach burn up to 20% more body fat than those who do.
However, and although fasting exercise makes us lose more weight, we must bear in mind that after a while, the body will begin to use muscle for energy in a process called ‘muscle catabolism’. For this reason, the cardio that we perform on an empty stomach always has to have an adequate intensity and a specific period of time so as not to force our body to resort to muscle.
What if it is impossible for me to train in the morning?
The morning is the ideal time to train but that does not mean that doing it in the afternoon is bad. In fact, it also has other benefits, such as increasing your body temperature throughout the day, which optimizes body function, endurance, and muscle strength.
In other words: that in the afternoon you will be more active and you will be able to train at a higher intensity than in the morning. So if you can’t exercise in the morning, don’t worry: moving your body is his thing.
What to eat and drink before and after training
Although exercising on an empty stomach has its benefits, we should not train without anything in the stomach if our exercise is going to be intense. Therefore, you must follow these instructions at least two hours before going for a run (or by bike or substitutes):
- Drink a lot of water.
- Eat healthy carbohydrates like whole grains, whole-wheat toast, low-fat or fat-free yogurt, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, fruits, and vegetables.
- Avoid saturated fats and healthy proteins, because these types of fuels digest more slowly in the stomach.
- If you only have five or ten minutes before exercising, eat fruit like an apple or a banana.