Facts Walking Is Better Than Coffee For an Energy Boost

July 11, 2023 0 Comments

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Having a cup of coffee first thing in the morning and coming back in the afternoon when you need a pick-me-up can easily become a habit. Try lacing up your walking shoes instead: research shows that a walk can be even better for you than having a cup of coffee when you need an energy boost.

A study conducted by researchers from the University of Georgia in Athens found that people who walked down a stairwell for 10 minutes at a low to moderate intensity felt more energetic than when they consumed 50 mg of caffeine, the amount in half a cup of coffee or a little more than the amount in a cup of coffee. Other research shows that walking for more than 20 minutes helps people feel more energetic.

“The best available evidence suggests that exercise induces changes in neurotransmitters in the brain that play a role in increasing energy,” says Patrick O’Connor, PhD, professor of kinesiology at the University of Georgia, author of both studies. “Norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin or histamine are probably involved in the brain.”

“Walking also increases blood flow, which allows more oxygen and nutrients to reach the brain and muscles and makes you feel more alert,” says Sabrina Jo, director of science and research at the American Council on Exercise in San Diego.

WHY RUNNING IS BETTER THAN COFFEE

1. IT IMPROVES YOUR OVERALL HEALTH

Going for a walk is not only a quick solution to feel more alert in the Moment. It is also an effective way to maintain or improve your health if you do it regularly. “Regular exercise, including walking, helps you feel more alert, improves mood, cardiovascular health and memory function,” says John-Paul Rue, MD, sports physician at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

2. IT HELPS TO CHANGE YOUR LANDSCAPE

“When we get up to leave, we change our environment, which is a great mental reset,” says Alysa Boan, a certified personal trainer based in Dallas. “When we feel tired or unable to concentrate, it’s often because of Stress,” she adds. “Walking outside for just 10 minutes can help you relieve stress better than a cup of coffee.”

3. IT DOES NOT DISTURB SLEEP

“Caffeine, especially in the after afternoon or evening, can lead to sleep disturbances, which means that you will be exhausted and less productive the next day,” says Joselyne John, registered nurse, certified sleep scientist based in Vancouver, British Columbia. “Going for a walk will probably help you sleep better at night, which will translate into More energy and concentration. Walking also gives you the opportunity to be outdoors and be exposed to light, which helps regulate your circadian rhythm, which affects the quality of your sleep.”

4. IT HAS NO SIDE EFFECTS

A short walk does not introduce substances into your system that can cause changes, whether positive or negative. “Although caffeine has been shown to improve alertness and concentration when taken in moderation, too much can lead to irritability, insomnia, nausea and nervousness — none of these are side effects of brisk walking,” says Boan.

5. IT’S CALORIE-FREE

If you drink regular soda or coffee that is not Black, your caffeinated drink could be a calorie (and sweet) bomb. “body activity trumps drinking a drink for a variety of health benefits, especially if the coffee you are drinking is flavored with a sweetener and cream,” says Jo. Regularly drinking sugary drinks containing caffeine can lead to weight gain, while walking is a great way to promote weight loss.

Final result

If you feel tired or if you are in a crisis in the middle of the day, go for a walk to feel more alert instead of reaching for caffeine. It is an ideal way to increase your energy level, improve your mood and help you lose weight.

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