We all know exercise has many benefits from helping treat high blood pressure to even protecting against Alzheimer's. Now, a new study is revealing that the time of day when the workouts happen could play a key role for patients with metabolic disorders.
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Researchers from the University of California, Irvine found that exercising in the morning, rather than at night, offered metabolic benefits.
"Using mice, we compared the impact of exercise on the skeletal muscle metabolism at different times of day," said Paolo Sassone-Corsi, PhD, Donald Bren Professor and director of the Center for Epigenetics and Metabolism at UCI's School of Medicine.
"We discovered that exercising at the correct time of day - around mid-morning - results in more oxygen in the cells and a more rejuvenating effect on the body."
It was already known that the time of food intake played a crucial role in moderating one's metabolism but the effect of exercise timing remained a mystery until now.
"Exercise stimulates metabolism, leading to the improvement of metabolic health. While the metabolic benefits from exercise have been extensively uncovered, the question of when it is appropriate to exercise has remained virtually unexplored," said Sassone-Corsi.
The team explored high-throughput transcriptomic and metabolomic approaches to identify the changes in the metabolism of mice that occurred during morning or evening exercise. They found that impact morning exercise exhibited a higher use of carbohydrates and ketone bodies, as well as the breakdown of fats and amino acids.
"Our results clearly indicate that time-of-day is a critical factor to amplify the beneficial impact of exercise on both metabolic pathways within skeletal muscle and systemic energy homeostasis," said Sassone-Corsi.
Will you be switching your workouts to the morning?
This study is published in Cell Metabolism.