So, when is the best time to exercise?

You could supercharge your calorie burning power just by changing the time you go for your daily run, according to new research.

Your body burns about 10 per cent more calories in the afternoon and evening in comparison to the morning, a study into the effect of timing on metabolic rate found.

This suggests that swapping the time you exercise might affect the weight loss benefits you’re getting from it.

The study involved the close monitoring of seven people in a laboratory to determine metabolic changes over the course of the day, separate to effects of activity, sleep-wake cycle, and diet.

There were no clocks, windows, phones, or Internet and participants had assigned times to go to bed and wake up, with those times adjusted by four hours each night.

Sleep times were adjusted to reflect the participant traveling westward across four time zones each day for three weeks.

“Because they were doing the equivalent of circling the globe every week, their body’s internal clock could not keep up, and so it oscillated at its own pace,” co-author Jeanne Duffy said.

“This allowed us to measure metabolic rate at all different biological times of day,” she said.

Researchers found participants’ respiratory quotient, which reflected macronutrient utilisation, varied by circadian phase.

Results showed this was lowest in the evening and highest in the biological morning.

The findings were the first to offer insight into fasted resting energy expenditure and fasted respiratory quotient, outside of the effects of activity, sleep-wake cycle, and diet.

“It is not only what we eat, but when we eat – and rest – that impacts how much energy we burn or store as fat,” Duffy said.

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