But according to new research, there may be an alternative for those who are looking to cut back on caffeine. A study published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports has found 20 minutes of brisk walking on a treadmill can boost your brain focus as much as an average-sized brew.
Researchers from Western University and the University of British Columbia recruited 59 participants aged between 18-40. Half of them reported that they regularly consumed caffeine. They tested their ability to process and recall information in three different scenarios: after 20 minutes of light jogging or brisk walking, after consuming as much powdered caffeine as a cup of coffee and with neither of these interventions (the control group).
Both the workout and caffeine improved the participant’s accuracy on the test by approximately 20 per cent, whether they usually consumed caffeine or not. Interestingly, however, regular coffee drinkers performed better after the exercise (which, the study’s authors note, is likely due to them having a high tolerance to caffeine.)
In addition, the 20-minute sweat session reduced symptoms of caffeine withdrawal for those suffering – be it fatigue, sluggishness, or a lack of focus.
A good enough reason as any to skip that morning cup of Joe.