There are two schools to beat the early morning and early afternoon drowsiness, two times during the day that you need to regain your sanity the most. Some people will opt for a quick solution with caffeine, others rely on dopamine and epinephrine obtained from exercise.
But whether a cup of coffee or a few minutes of climbing the stairs would be better in this case, let’s find out:
Caffeine vs exercise
Exercise and Health Psychology Lab, a laboratory of Western University, Canada, has conducted a number of experiments that examine the impact of exercise on human health and cognition. In a recent study, they placed caffeine and exercise on the scales to see how they affected working memory.
Task memory is the ability to temporarily store and manipulate information to help us accomplish a certain task. For example, when you were in a grocery store and recalled items on your list of items to buy, and you would collate that information with the prices you see in front of you, that’s when you using task memory.
Simply put, the task memory in the brain is the same as the memory cache in a computer. It will temporarily store certain data files, help you perform a quick task, and “smooth“more. After the task is completed, the cache is cleared to free up your brain resources.
This type of memory is used a lot in our daily lives, related to everyone’s ability to study and work.
In their study, Western University scientists recruited volunteers and divided them into two groups. One group will drink the same amount of caffeine as a small morning cup of coffee. The other group will walk for about 20 minutes on the treadmill.
The results showed that such a moderate-intensity exercise could, essentially, improve the activity of task memory equivalent to the dose of caffeine. This effect occurs both in people who do not drink coffee and regularly consume caffeine.
Another study was conducted in 2017 in which scientists divided healthy volunteers with chronic sleep deprivation into three groups to examine the effects of coffee’s energy boost and wakefulness. and fitness.
In the first group, volunteers were asked to drink 50 mg of caffeine equivalent to a medium-sized coffee cup. The second group of people exercised by climbing the stairs for 10 minutes. The final group was the control group, who were only given placebo.
Results showed that both the stair-climbing group and the caffeine consumption group reported higher alertness and energy levels than the placebo group.
Exercise has many more lasting benefits
Scientific studies show that consuming caffeine by drinking coffee regularly is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, lower blood pressure and obesity. However, drinking a lot of coffee can raise cholesterol levels.
Coffee may protect people against a number of conditions such as dementia and cancer, but it does cause the risk of osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
So, in the long term, coffee has many benefits, but it also seems to have certain side effects.
On the contrary, many studies show that exercise brings overall benefits. Not only does it copy the benefits of caffeine, such as reducing the risk of diabetes, cancer and other chronic diseases, but it is also an advantage because exercise is suitable for all ages and people, including people Do not drink coffee like children and the elderly.
Research by Western University shows that people who regularly drink coffee can also easily switch to exercise habits if desired. In one experiment, coffee drinkers were asked not to consume caffeine within 12 hours to assess the “detox” effect they encountered.
Often, people who drink coffee regularly without caffeine will experience headaches, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability and lack of motivation. The operation of their task memory is also affected.
However, after Western scientists asked coffee drinkers to exercise with a 20-minute brisk walk, their symptoms of caffeine deficiency were relieved. In particular, they are no longer tired and depressed. The exercise memory of exercise people is also unaffected.
The reason is attributed to dopamine and epinephrine, two hormones released by the brain when we exercise. They can mimic the effects of caffeine to help you feel more alert and healthy.
In short, in the short-term battle to regain energy and alertness, a cup of coffee with a few minutes of moderate intensity exercise will blend. But to form a long-term habit for a healthy lifestyle, exercise seems to be a better option than coffee.
In addition, some people sensitive to caffeine suffer from some of the short-term side effects, such as anxiety, diuretics and muscle tremors after drinking coffee. This drink is also not recommended for children and pregnant women. In these cases, exercise is the better option.
Refer Theconversation, Healthhavard