If you’re going to do cardio, you certainly want to optimize the results for your time and effort, right? So when to do cardio is an important question! You want to make sure you are burning maximum fat and optimizing your workout time. Cardio is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body, but there are optimum times to do it.
Really, any time you do cardio your fitness and health will benefit. And there will often times not be a perfect time to do a cardio workout given a busy schedule. But it’s still a good idea to know when the best time is to do your workouts.
And there are a number of factors to consider in deciding the best time: the time of day, before or after meals, before or after weights, and more. A number of these factors will be determined by each person’s goals. But it’s safe to say that most people spend time in the gym to burn fat, and increase muscle. So for this goal, we have the answer!
Cardio on an Empty Stomach
First, to understand the optimum exercise schedule requires understanding a little physiology. If you eat or drink prior to your cardio workout, this will increase your blood sugar levels, and as a result your glucose levels as well.
If your body has higher glucose levels, then this glucose will be used as fuel during your workout. This means the glucose will be burned for fuel, and not fat. And glucose makes an excellent fuel to power your workouts, so if your body is replete with glucose, your body will gladly focus here for the fuel source.
However, if you do your workouts on an empty stomach, you will have minimal glucose in your system to burn as fuel. As a result, the energy your body will utilize to fuel your workout will be fat. So it is always best to perform workouts on an empty stomach to maximize the fat you burn.
Cardio in the Morning or Evening
So it is always best to do your cardio workout on an empty stomach, which for most people means first thing in the morning. This will result in your body burning fat as the energy source, and not glucose.
This will maximize the fat burning aspect of your workout, which is a priority for most people. There are still many other reasons for cardio workouts, but fat burning is generally high on the list.
If you hit the gym first thing in the morning when you wake up, you can be rest assured that your body will be in maximum fat-burning condition. This is added motivation by itself, as you know one of your primary fitness goals is front and center.
Now, you might also be wondering whether it is best to do cardio before or after weights. This also has a glucose connection, and you can learn more about that here.