A cup of coffee in the morning is an essential ritual for most of us. As one of the most consumed drinks in the world, the day starts with caffeine, which can overcome the drowsiness of the day. New research has shown that getting out of bed and exercising may be a better way to start the day.
As a psychoactive agent, caffeine can help us feel more energetic, improve our mood, and increase our alertness. But it can also trigger anxiety and muscle tremors in those who are more sensitive to caffeine. Therefore, it is recommended that children and pregnant women avoid caffeine, and even those who tolerate too much coffee may experience headaches, fatigue, or irritability.
The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, shows that exercise could also be involved in this debate. In the lab, they decided to test the tests that determine our ability to complete mental tasks, our memory capacity, exercise and caffeine intake. A group of healthy adults took a 20-minute brisk walk on a treadmill. And they compared their mental abilities to their performance after taking a dose of caffeine that resembled a cup of coffee.
The findings revealed that the prescribed exercise was as effective as a dose of caffeine in improving memory and cognitive function for both those who consume a lot of coffee in their daily lives and those who do not. The good news is that replacing a cup of coffee with a morning walk can provide the same increase in cognitive function. It may also provide other health benefits associated with exercise.
Caffeine withdrawal period
The team also wanted to investigate whether the same exercise could resolve caffeine withdrawal symptoms, thus giving caffeine consumers a 12-hour period of caffeine withdrawal.
Following this, they showed common symptoms such as fatigue, difficulty concentrating, lack of motivation, headache, and some moodiness. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the researchers asked them to take a 20-minute walk. But fortunately they found that exercise actually reduced withdrawal symptoms, improved mood, and eliminated fatigue. Previous research has suggested that exercise can provide these benefits by improving blood flow to the brain and releasing neurotrophic factors such as a type of food for brain cells. In addition, the release of exercise-related hormones such as dopamine and epinephrine will also follow a pathway aimed at increasing mood and energy.
So the next time your mood is low or you have trouble focusing in the middle of the day, try going for a brisk walk. It can cure you without having to spend money on expensive coffees.