People can burn up to 20% more body fat by exercising in the morning on an empty stomach, according to new research from Northumbria University.
The researchers asked twelve physically active male participants to perform a treadmill exercise at 10 am, either after they had eaten breakfast or in a fasted state having not eaten since the evening before.
Following the exercise all participants were given a chocolate milkshake recovery drink. Later in the day, participants were provided with a pasta lunch which they were asked to consume until they felt 'comfortably full'. Their lunchtime consumption of energy and fat was assessed and calculated, taking into account the amount of energy and fat burned during the morning period.
The researchers discovered that those who had exercised in the morning did not consume additional calories or experience increased appetite during the day to compensate for their earlier activity.
They also found that those who had exercised in a fasted state burned almost 20% more fat compared to those who had consumed breakfast before their workout. This means that performing exercise on an empty stomach provides the most desirable outcome for fat loss.
According to the researchers, the results showed that "exercise did not increase appetite, hunger or food consumption later in the day and to get the most out of your session it may be optimal to perform this after an overnight fast."
Source: British Journal of Nutrition, online January 24, 2013
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