In our pursuit of better health, we often focus on the importance of exercise and a balanced diet. But what if the timing of these two essential elements could make a significant difference in our overall health? Researchers at the University of Bath recently found a link between exercise timing and blood sugar control. Their six-week study reveals that exercising before breakfast can lead to burning twice as much fat, benefiting individuals in several ways, including improved blood sugar levels and reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolismthe study involved 30 people classified as obese or overweight. The study compared the results of two intervention groups, with one group consisting of people who had breakfast before/after exercise and a control group that made no lifestyle changes.
During the six-week trial, the scientists found that the muscles of the group that exercised before breakfast responded better to insulin compared to the group that exercised after breakfast, despite identical training sessions and adjusted food intake.
The research team found that individuals who had fasted at night may use more fat during excercise because their insulin levels are lower. This allows them to use more fat from their adipose tissue and muscles as fuel. As a result, their bodies responded better to insulin, helping to control blood sugar and possibly lowering the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
The muscles of those who exercised before breakfast also showed greater increases in key proteins, particularly those involved in transporting glucose from the bloodstream to the muscles.
Professor Javier Gonzalez, the University of Bath’s Department for Health, explained in a statement: “Our results suggest that changing the timing of when you eat in relation to when you exercise can lead to profound and positive changes in your overall health.”
“We found that the men in the study who exercised before breakfast burned twice as much fat as the group who exercised after. Importantly, while this didn’t have any effect on weight loss, it dramatically improved their overall health. The group who exercised before breakfast increased their ability to respond to insulin, which is all the more remarkable considering that both exercise groups lost a similar amount of weight and both gained a similar amount. fitness. The only difference was the timing of food intake.”
Reflecting on the analysis, neurologist Dr Sudhir Kumar told me indianexpress. com that one cannot run a long-distance run (such as a half or full marathon) on an empty stomach and that one would find it difficult to run faster on an empty stomach. These require occasional refueling during the runs.
“Running on an empty stomach (before breakfast) has a number of other benefits. It is useful to run in the morning, because time is available for this. You can’t go for a run right after breakfast, because then you have to wait a few hours to digest the food (by then it’s time to go to work). People who run before breakfast in the morning also tend to eat fewer calories over the next 24 hours, and that can help with weight loss, too,” says Dr.
This calls for valuable measures to optimize one’s exercise and eating routine. Dr. Hansaji Yogendra, director of The Yoga Institute suggested the following:
Try fasting workouts
Consider fasting workouts in your weekly exercise routine. However, it is essential to listen to your body and start slowly, especially if you are not used to training on a empty stomach. Light to moderate activities such as walking and yoga are excellent starting points.
Drink enough water
Before starting a fasting workout, it’s critical to stay well hydrated. Drinking a glass of water upon waking helps kick-start your metabolism and prepares your body for physical activity.
Conscious eating is vital no matter when you exercise. Be mindful of portion sizes, eat slowly, and savor every bite. Avoid distractions like screens while eating, as this can lead to overeating and interfere with your body’s natural hunger and satiety signals.
Whether you choose to exercise before or sometime after breakfast, try to maintain a regular schedule. Set aside special time for physical activity and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workout workouts as your condition improves.
By applying simple lifestyle tips like these, you can optimize your blood sugar levels, reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease, and maximize your health and vitality.
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