Don’t drink caffeine for an energy boost—climb the stairs

Many people rely on caffeine for a morning or afternoon energy boost. However, researchers at the University of Georgia found a slow to moderate walk up and down stairs for ten minutes provides more energy than 50 milligrams of caffeine—about the same amount in a can of soda.

The study, published in the journal Physiology and Behavior, followed female university students who slept less than 45 hours per week (about six-and-a-half hours a night). The students were divided into three groups—stair walkers, one 50 mg caffeine pill per day and the control group who took a placebo once a day. Results showed taking the stairs energized the women better than the caffeine.

The researchers acknowledged that using exercise as a method to boost energy was not a new idea and is supported by other research, but rather an idea of conveniently incorporating exercise into a workday in order to improve focus and motivation.

The study also referenced research supporting caffeine’s benefits although it’s also been found more than moderate amounts (approximately 300mg, or one to two cups of coffee) tend not to help, and in fact, can be detrimental to your performance.

So the next time you’re tired and need pick-me-up, hit the stairs and not the coffee machine.


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