When is the best time of day to do cardio for weight loss?
A question that is often asked is: When is the best time to do cardio for optimal body fat loss?
To start, any time you do cardio, you burn fat, period, so there is never a wrong time to do cardio with fat loss in mind. But of course, there is an ideal time to do cardio to maximize fat burning. Losing fat requires your body to use fat stored in your adipose tissue and convert it into energy.
When we perform any type of exercise our bodies immediately search for a source of energy to fuel our exercise. The first source of energy our body searches for is glucose – not fat.
Although our bodies do use fat as an energy source, fat has a much slower conversion process and is therefore less immediate and less desirable as an energy source than glucose.
Glucose is sugar present in our bloodstream, liver and muscles and is a result of consuming carbohydrates. Because glucose is the first source of energy our bodies search for, it makes sense to do cardio when we have less glucose in our bloodstream, liver and muscle cells, allowing our body to use fat cells for energy during cardiovascular exercise.
Our glucose reserve is the lowest when we first wake up in the morning and after intense activity/exercise. Thus, the best time to do cardio with fat-loss in mind is first thing in the morning prior to consuming any food, or right after a weight training workout. By doing so, we ensure our body is using the right calories, calories sourced from fat, to fuel our exercise rather than calories sourced from food in the form of glucose.
A third source of energy our bodies could use to fuel exercise and activity is protein tissue (muscle), which is the worst thing that can happen in the fat-burning process.
To preserve existing muscle tissue and prevent wasting, especially when undergoing a weight loss regimen, we must consume an adequate amount of protein throughout the day to preserve and recover existing muscle tissue.
Muscle feeds off protein and it is especially needed for muscle recovery when the muscles are being put under stress; whether that be lifting weights, doing cardio or any type of functional activity.
In conclusion, a diet high in protein and fiber, lower in carbohydrates and fat, combined with well-timed cardio will lead to optimal fat loss results.Go back