This Morning Pick-Me-Up Will Boost Your Workout (It’s Not Coffee!)

A new study suggests caffeine isn’t the only way to help you focus and run strong. – By Liz Applegate

Runners love their rituals. And they don’t mess around when it comes to their morning routine (usually some sort of caffeine), especially when they need to be out the door for a morning run. And then there are some who need a quick hit of something that isn’t caffeine. Good news. New research suggests a pre-run apple can be just as effective as a cup o’ joe.

Researchers from University of Miami, Florida, questioned whether drinking a caffeinated beverage (black coffee, energy drink) or eating an apple prior to morning exercise had an impact on cognitive ability and endurance.

Runners came to the exercise physiology lab in the morning in a fasted state and were randomly assigned to get an apple, black coffee, energy drink, or nothing 30 minutes before a specialised test to assess reaction time and accuracy (measures of cognitive ability.) Following their test, they hopped on a treadmill for a timed run to exhaustion.

Researchers found that there was no difference in reaction time or accuracy among those who ate or drank something before their test. But consuming nothing before the run led to significantly reduced endurance (perhaps obviously). Eating an apple seemed to have the same endurance result as having caffeine.

This supports previous research, which suggest that quercetin in apples (a type of flavonol) may impact endurance and provide an energy boost.

Mitch Mandel

Mitch Mandel

An Apple a Day Keeps You Running Strong!

If caffeine jitters get the better of you, munching on an apple before your morning workout may be your ticket for an energised run.

Try this protein-, calcium-, and antioxidant-packed apple yoghurt snack before you hit the road.

1 honey crisp apple with skin chopped into cubes
3/4 cup vanilla Greek yoghurt
2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts
2 Tbsp. dried tart cherries
Cinnamon to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stir and eat up!

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