Ever since being a junior in college, coffee has been a necessary part of my morning. Like many other caffeine addicts, I find it hard to focus on anything before I have a cup of coffee. Sometimes, however, I get sick of the bitter taste of coffee and milk. Having the same drink every morning can become mundane, even after switching to hazelnut or chocolate caramel coffee (yum!).
Being that I love natural approaches to everything, I have considered different ways to wake up easier. Exercising every day helps, and so does powering down your phone and other electronics at least twenty minutes before bed, but I still find I need a little extra boost in the morning. One of my wise professors during my senior year of college swore off coffee and found that eating apples worked just as well in giving her a jump-start to her day. While I still haven’t been brave enough to give up coffee altogether, I would like to know if having an apple with breakfast will work just as well as a cup of coffee.
Found in almost every grocery store, apples contain nutritious vitamins that function to keep our bodies energized. Vitamins from an apple’s skin, its natural sugar, and glucose content are all natural contents of an apple that help keep us going during the day. The healthy living blog Have a Namaste says that “vitamins from apples, specifically the skin, are released slowly throughout the body, making you feel more awake”; therefore, they help our body stay alert. Interesting, Have a Namaste also points out that “the process of digesting natural glucose… helps wake up your body, and then keep it that way — for about as long as it takes for your body to process the apple,” whereas, putting Splenda in your coffee will result in a crash. An apple’s natural sugar also brings you down slowly. On the other hand, when it comes to caffeine’s effect on the body, the health website Live Strong explains, “Brown University’s Health Services state that caffeine’s effects are most pronounced in the first hour after ingestion. And while some effects may still be detected as long as four to six hours after consumption, you may notice a ‘crash’ as the caffeine leaves your system,” which results in loss of energy. The study explains that this happens because “caffeine initially stimulates your body to produce more adrenaline and dopamine than usual, two substances in your body that contribute to energy and positive mood,” but when the levels drop down again, you are likely to feel sluggish. We’ve been there!
The informational website Reference tells us that the combination of high fiber, fructose, and carbohydrates keeps our bodies awake; “fructose, a natural sugar found in apples, will provide the energy boost. An apple contains approximately 20 carbohydrates, which are used for fuel by the body,” and the fiber makes our bodies absorb the natural sugar gradually, which also keeps us from crashing from a sugar high. So, the lessoned learned here? Carbs can be good and so can sugar! Just make sure it’s the good kind!
Verdict: True. Despite what I first thought when my professor told me she was eating apples instead of drinking coffee, apples actually contain no caffeine. So eating an apple won’t wake you up as quickly as coffee, but they are an effective, healthier option for giving us an extra boost. If giving up your morning cup of coffee sounds like too much of a sacrifice, then keep that routine, but if during the day you feel like you need some extra help, try an apple instead of another caffeinated beverage. An apple a day might just keep the caffeine away!