Cardio in the morning or at night?

Mar 12, 2009


Photo by ryancbriggs

I received this question from Gaetan on my Facebook (add me) and I thought it was a great one to post today. Do you burn more fat in early morning (in a fasted state) or later in the day after having had some carbohydrates?

Before I answer you must know that there is a big difference between someone that measures his food and someone that doesn’t when it comes to cardio. Here’s why:

If you measure your calories and you’re on a strict diet. Let’s say you take in 2000 calories and you burn off 300 calories by doing cardio. Whether you burn those calories in the morning in the afternoon or at night or whether or not it was mostly glycogen you where burning at the time of doing the cardio does not matter, because you still have the same deficit in calories.

Now here’s the difference;

If you are NOT tracking your calories then it’s a totally different story, because now you may burn 300 calories by doing cardio, but it makes you feel hungry and you go eat an extra 300 calories to break even. Meaning no fat loss, no results.

Answer: When you are not following a strict plan, then first thing in the morning on an empty stomach will assure that you are at least burning fat during your cardio because you will have been in a fasted state while you sleep. That way you will not be using as much sugar as fuel and using more of your own body fat. If you follow a strict diet where you calculate your calories, it doesn’t matter what time of day you perform your cardio, the result is the same.

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