Myth: Working out in the morning burns more fat

Our focus is to shed light on these hard-held beliefs on fitness, training and health, and to distinguish the misconceptions that despite the wealth of knowledge in the wellness industry, still exists today.

The Internet can be a gold mine of info, or a minefield, depending on where you look and how you research. It can be overwhelming though, so we have done the work for you.


Working out in the morning burns more fat.

Exercise burns both stored fats and sugars for energy. Whether we burn more fat or sugar depends on many factors including the intensity and length of the workout, stored sugar levels in the muscles, and other factors. The time of the day affects all these factors, which then determine how much fat we burn. It is therefore an indirect relationship and NOT a cause/effect relationship.

The hormone cortisol is generally highest in the morning and gradually decreases during the day. Cortisol helps the body respond to stress, including exercise. This means the body is better suited to respond to exercise in the morning.

However, some people may feel more energetic during the day, especially after eating their meals. Also, because most gyms in Saudi don’t open early in the morning and the sun is quite intense, it might be easier to commit to fitness in the afternoons.

People who are not used to exercising in the afternoon may find their sleep patterns disrupted as exercising close to bedtime increases cortisol; removing the benefits of an afternoon workout.

Workout times are a personal choice and a habit. Choose what works for you.

Whenever you choose to workout, make sure you are consistent and committed. If you can, mix it up by training some days in the morning and other days in the evening.

If you choose to exercise in the morning, have some days where you workout in on an empty stomach. For high intensity trainings however, it’s better to eat something like a small fruit or shake before your workout.

Stay tuned for more fitness myths in our upcoming issues.

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