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Early Birds burn more fat!

Are you an early bird or a night owl? Did you know staying up late can impair fat burning? 

At rest and during exercise, whereas early birds burn more fat because they have healthier insulin levels. 

New research highlights these important differences in sleep and activity patterns influence our risk of illness and disease. 

Researchers from Rutgers University have confirmed wake/sleep cycles cause metabolic differences and alter our body's preference for energy sources. The study found that those who stay up later have a reduced ability to use fat for energy, meaning fats may build-up in the body and increase risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Published in Experimental Physiology this month, the researchers classified 51 participants into two groups (early birds and night owls). Based on their 'chronotype' our natural propensity to seek activity and sleep at different times.

Researchers found that the early risers use more fat for energy at both rest and during exercise than night owls. The early birds were also more insulin sensitive. Night owls, on the other hand, where more insulin resistant, meaning their bodies require more insulin to lower blood glucose levels. Also, night owls favoured carbohydrates as an energy source over fats.

The Early birds in this study were more physically active and had higher fitness levels than night owls who are more sedentary throughout the day.

More research is needed to understand the reasons for these very important metabolic differences. However, here are your take-home points that create Metabolic Precision 

  • There is a clear difference in fat metabolism between 'early birds' and 'night owls'.
  • Getting to bed earlier and waking earlier appears to help burn more fat during the day.
  • The differences in fat metabolism between early birds and night owls is due to our wake/sleep cycles which affect how our body uses insulin.
  • A sensitive or impaired ability to respond to the hormone insulin has major implications for our health.
  • This new information may help you get out of bed earlier which in turn will help you get to sleep earlier to improve health and fat loss.

FOLLOW Dr Paul Cribb PhD.



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