Cardio in the morning or later? This is an often discussed questions among gym goers. Some believe that doing cardiovascular exercise first thing in the morning, even before breakfast, will burn the most fat. However, I have also came across articles which are contradictory saying cardiovascular exercise early morning will make us lose muscles instead.
Theoretically, doing cardiovascular exercise first thing in the morning allows maximal fat burning. That belief is correct based on the fact on empty stomach, that body use more fat for fuel to save much on the stored carbs. However, unless this activity can be done regularly, the additional fat burned is not a significant amount.
The other school of thought claimed that cardio in a fasted state in the morning causes the body to go into survival mode and save the fat – which means we may be using muscle protein for fuel. If that is the case, doing cardio in the morning will be counterproductive. Because once you lose your muscle, your metabolism rate will go lower.
So, which one is correct?
But, why people sit around a table and argue about it? Why not tackle the issue head on?
Remember that we will use both carbs and fat as fuel. Muscle loss could happen depending on the intensity and duration of the morning cardio session as well as nutritional status.
Instead of arguing, measure the body fat and calculate the lean mass, then we will know if we are losing muscle or not. The bottom line when evaluating any training or nutritional practice is to look at the result. If you are getting results from your training or eating in a certain manner, keep doing it.
While doing cardio in the morning may be effective, doing later in the day will give you similar results too. In fact, even if you cannot work out in the morning, exercising later on in the day can be just as productive and beneficial.
As long as you are exercising, you are doing a great service for your health, regardless of the time of day. Whether or not you want to work out first thing in the morning or later in the day is usually determined by what fits best into your daily schedule and how you feel at that time.
So, while looking at the small little thing, don’t forget the big picture.
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