To Your Health
May, 2017 (Vol. 11, Issue 05)
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Need an Energy Boost? Say No to Caffeine, Yes to Exercise

By Editorial Staff

How many of us can honestly say we don't need a little energy boost now and then? In fact, for many people, that boost is needed throughout the day, every day. The solution is often caffeinated beverages such as energy drinks and coffee, but there's a safer, simpler, healthier definitely less expensive – and more effective – option: exercise.

And as little as 10 minutes of brisk physical activity could replace your usual caffeine-laden booster.

Sleep-deprived college students (reporting less than six-and-a-half hours of sleep per night) received a caffeine pill containing 50 mg of caffeine or completed a 10-minute stair-walking exercise. Feelings of energy and motivation, reaction times, short-term memory and other variables were assessed before and several times after the intervention, which was repeated several times over the course of three days.

Students who exercised reported significantly higher energy levels than students who took the caffeine pill, which contained approximately the same amount of caffeine in a can of soda or half a cup of coffee. Now that's the power of exercise in action! And considering the many proven health benefits of physical activity, why not kill two birds with one stone by limiting your caffeine intake and maximizing your exercise? You'll have more energy and be healthier. Your doctor can tell you more about the benefits of exercise and the risks associated with caffeine.