A new study published in Experimental Physiology has found that half an hour of high-intensity exercise in the early evening may help reduce feelings of hunger.
In addition, evening exercise does not ruin the sleep at night.
The research was done by a team from Charles Sturt University in Australia.
For many people, even the thought of fitting exercise in after a busy day at work can be as tiring.
It is believed that high-intensity exercise should be avoided in the early evening due to its effect on sleep.
However, the current study shows that the view is not correct.
In this study, the researchers examined 11 middle-aged men to complete three experimental trials to examine sleep and appetite responses to exercise.
These people performed a high-intensity exercise in the morning (6—7 am), afternoon (2—4 pm) or evening (7—9 pm).
The high-intensity exercise included six one-minute cycling, maximal intensity sprints interspersed by four minutes of rest.
The team took blood samples from the participants prior to exercise and the following exercise to examine appetite-related hormones.
They also ran multiple tests during sleep to assess sleep stages.
The researchers found evening exercise did not have a negative impact on night sleep.
In addition, afternoon and evening high-intensity exercises were linked to greater reductions of the hunger-stimulating hormone, ghrelin.
The researchers suggest that evening exercise doesn’t have a bad effect on sleep and may help people lose weight.
They also show that participants were able to perform better during the latter parts of the day. This means time-of-day may need to be considered for making training schedules.
The team warns that the study’s sample size was small and the findings extended to other groups beyond middle-aged men may be limited.
The team hopes to conduct similar studies recruiting women, to determine whether sleep and appetite responses may be different depending on sex.
They also plan to examine the long-term effects of exercise in the morning, afternoon and evening in the near future.
The study lead author is Penelope Larsen.
Copyright © 2019 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.
Further reading: Experimental Physiology.