Have you been constantly hitting the gym but not seeing any progress in your weight loss?
Well, experts say that it could be down to the time you choose to exercise.
Researchers in Denmark have found significant differences between working out in the morning and evening.
The team claim that exercising first thing burns more fat, while leaving it to later in the day increases the amount of calories you burn in the hours after you work out, reports The Sun.
“There appear to be rather significant differences between the effect of exercise performed in the morning and evening,” says Professor Jonas Thue Treebak from the University of Copenhagen.
“These differences are probably controlled by the body’s circadian clock.
“Morning exercise initiates gene programs in the muscle cells, making them more effective and better capable of metabolising sugar and fat.
“Evening exercise, on the other hand, increases whole body energy expenditure for an extended period of time.”
For the study, the team used mice to measure a number of effects in the muscle cells, including the transcriptional response and effects on the metabolites.
The results show that responses are far stronger in both areas following exercise in the morning.
Researchers say this is likely to be controlled by a central mechanism, which directly regulates the body’s circadian clock.
Morning exercise appears to increase the ability of muscle cells to metabolise sugar and fat, the findings show.
The team says it could be beneficial for people who are severely overweight and those with type 2 diabetes.
On the other hand, the results also show that exercise in the evening increases energy expenditure in the hours after exercise.
For that reason, Prof Treebak says they can’t explicitly conclude that exercise in the morning is better than in the evening.
“On this basis we cannot say for certain which is best, exercise in the morning or exercise in the evening,” he says.
“At this point, we can only conclude that the effects of the two appear to differ, and we certainly have to do more work to determine the potential mechanisms for the beneficial effects of exercise training performed at these two time-points.
“We are eager to extend these studies to humans to identify if timed exercise can be used as a treatment strategy for people with metabolic diseases.“
This article was republished with permission from The Sun.