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New Study: The Timing of Your Workout May Make a Difference

A new study reveals that the best time to work out is during the day, when you and your muscles can work together with your internal circadian clock, the Daily Mail reports. The study found that your body’s circadian rhythm responds to exercise in different ways, depending on whether it’s light or dark outside.

Circadian rhythms affect nearly every living organism
, including plants, bacteria, insects and human beings. Largely based on signals of light and darkness, they are your body’s internal clock sending signals to all of your cells directing how and when to conduct certain physiological processes, and previous studies have shown that exercise helps regulate these rhythms, especially if it’s done in the middle of the day.

However, there is also evidence that exercising in a fasting state, which is easiest to do before breakfast, offers the highest metabolic benefits.

To that end, it’s been found that women may burn more fat by eating before they exercise, while men may burn more if they eat afterward. The discrepancy likely has to do with the body's preferred source of fuel. Men tend to have more muscle, where carbohydrates are stored, making this their preferred fuel. Women, on the other hand, may burn fat more readily in order to conserve carbohydrates.

If you do choose to fast before exercise, you may want to try intermittent fasting, which has numerous benefits for your health, and which calls for restricting your eating to a six- to eight-hour window, and avoiding eating for at least three hours before bed.
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