Are Morning Workouts Best for Burning Fat? Study Provides Answers

If you’re like a lot of people out there, you probably wonder what the optimal time of day for exercise is. The answer depends on many factors, but if you’re looking to burn fat, new research suggests morning workouts may be your best bet.

Study: Workout Time and Burning Fat

Researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark sought to determine how working out at different times of day affected post-exercise metabolism and fat-burning (aka the afterburn effect). They did this by examining physical activity in mice at various times of day.

Why mice? Because, as described in an accompanying press release on the study, “mice and humans share many basic physiological functions, and mice are a well-established model for human physiology and metabolism.”

Ultimately, researchers wanted to find out the optimal time of day to exercise in order to amp up fat-burning. They did this by studying the adipose tissue in the mice after two sessions of high-intensity exercise — one performed at an early active phase (equivalent of late morning in humans) and one at early rest phases (equivalent of late evening in humans).

They found that “physical activity at an early active phase increased the expression of genes involved in the breakdown of adipose tissue, thermogenesis (heat production) and mitochondria in the adipose tissue, indicating a higher metabolic rate. These effects were observed only in mice that exercised in the early active phase and were independent of food intake.”

A higher metabolic rate, of course, helps burn fat more than lower a metabolic rate, meaning morning workouts may help amp up your ability to burn fat.

”Our results suggest that late-morning exercise could be more effective than late evening exercise in terms of boosting the metabolism and the burning of fat, and if this is the case, they could prove of value to people who are overweight,” said professor Juleen R. Zierath from the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery and the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the Karolinska Institutet in the release.

Zierath added: ”The right timing seems to be important to the body’s energy balance and to improving the health benefits of exercise, but more studies are needed to draw any reliable conclusions about the relevance of our findings to humans.”

Other Fat-Burning Tips

While this is promising research and could encourage people to exercise early in the day, the truth is exercise at any time of day is beneficial. In fact, starting a fitness routine that works for you and your schedule is important. If that means working out in the afternoon, evening or night fits into your life better than morning, you should get your workouts in then instead.

If burning fat is your ultimate goal, here are some ways to enhance your ability to lose belly fat and fat in other areas:

Important Notice: This article was originally published at by Joe Boland where all credits are due.


The watching, interacting, and participation of any kind with anything on this page does not constitute or initiate a doctor-patient relationship with Dr. Farrah™. None of the statements here have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The products of Dr. Farrah™ are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information being provided should only be considered for education and entertainment purposes only. If you feel that anything you see or hear may be of value to you on this page or on any other medium of any kind associated with, showing, or quoting anything relating to Dr. Farrah™ in any way at any time, you are encouraged to and agree to consult with a licensed healthcare professional in your area to discuss it. If you feel that you’re having a healthcare emergency, seek medical attention immediately. The views expressed here are simply either the views and opinions of Dr. Farrah™ or others appearing and are protected under the first amendment.

Dr. Farrah™ is a highly experienced Licensed Medical Doctor certified in evidence-based clinical nutrition, not some enthusiast, formulator, or medium promoting the wild and unrestrained use of nutrition products for health issues without clinical experience and scientific evidence of therapeutic benefit. Dr. Farrah™ has personally and keenly studied everything she recommends, and more importantly, she’s closely observed the reactions and results in a clinical setting countless times over the course of her career involving the treatment of over 150,000 patients.

Dr. Farrah™ promotes evidence-based natural approaches to health, which means integrating her individual scientific and clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research. By individual clinical expertise, I refer to the proficiency and judgment that individual clinicians acquire through clinical experience and clinical practice.

Dr. Farrah™ does not make any representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, fitness, or completeness of any multimedia content provided. Dr. Farrah™ does not warrant the performance, effectiveness, or applicability of any sites listed, linked, or referenced to, in, or by any multimedia content.

To be clear, the multimedia content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen in any website, video, image, or media of any kind. Dr. Farrah™ hereby disclaims any and all liability to any party for any direct, indirect, implied, punitive, special, incidental, or other consequential damages arising directly or indirectly from any use of the content, which is provided as is, and without warranties.