Best Time To Exercise

There are times of the day where it may be more advantageous to perform cardio work. The best time is in the morning on an empty stomach as opposed to later in the day.

Aerobic exercise relies primary on fat as fuel. However, the amount of glucose in the blood influences "how fast" the body will dig into fat stores. In other words, a person chowing down a plate of pasta and heading off to the gym to perform 30 minutes of high intensity cardio exercise will burn less total stored body fat than an individual who performs aerobic exercise in the morning on a completely empty stomach. Why? Hormones. As we learned, the presence of carbohydrates or "glucose" in the blood causes the secretion of insulin and insulin drives up lipoprotein lipase levels which, in turn, exert a "sealing" effect on fat cells preventing them from being liberated. Where's the energy come from to do the cardio work? From glycogen stores and glucose in the blood alleviating the burden on fat cells. Contrast to the individual performing aerobic work on an empty stomach. Glucose levels are flat, therefore insulin is absent, so fatty acids derived from from fat stores become the main line of fuel. Furthermore, when insulin is low, glucagon increases and the characteristics of glucagon is the opposite to insulin. While insulin exerts a "sealing" effect on fat cells, glucagon exerts an "unsealing" effect by triggering hormone sensitive lipase to "open up" fat cells so fat can be used as fuel. The other fat liberating hormone involved is epinephrine. Epinephrine is the stress hormone released when a police officer pulls over a car or when an individual receives devastating news. Epinephrine is part of the "fight or flight" hormones. It helps liberate glycogen and fat stores allowing a person to gain access to additional fuel. Epinephrine is also released with any type of exercise and the higher the intensity, the greater the release. When released, epinephrine, through a multi step process, releases catecholamines which attach themselves to fat cells breaking down body fat. Unfortunately, a high carb intake preceding aerobic exercise can blunt or compromise the fat liberating effects of catecholamines. As you can see, the better time to perform aerobics is on an empty stomach in the morning upon rising.

If early morning aerobics wont work for you, try avoiding carbs completely in the meal of snack preceding an aerobic workout. Skipping carbs will keep glucose levels in the blood low which will favor the release of glucagon/hormone sensitive lipase/catacholamines. Remember fiber-type carbs (see page 27) are non insulin releasing foods so a combo of a chicken breast and broccoli in the meal 2 to 3 hours previous to an aerobic workout should keep insulin levels low allowing stored body fat to become the immediate source of fuel.

Diabetes 2

Diabetes 2

Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...

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