04/12/2013 06:01 GMT | Updated 04/12/2013 07:07 GMT

Coffee Vs Exercise: 30-Second Workout Gives Greater Mental Boost Than Caffeine

Many of us fail to function without our morning cup of coffee, but it turns out there are healthier - and cheaper - ways to get that energy boost.

Thirty seconds of exercise whenever you feel drowsy can provide equal if not greater mental stimulation, than a dose of caffeine.

Writing for The Daily Beast, Gregory Ferenstein explains: "I've found that 30 seconds of high-intensity body-weight exercise gives me the same mental boost as a shot of caffeine."


He adds: "Whenever I need a pick-me-up, I find a quiet corner and perform some form of body-weight exercise that jolts my heart up to at last 70% of the maximal beats per minute (for me, that's about 170). My favorite exercises are 20 burpees (a push-up to jumping jack) or 40 mountain climbers (push-up position, bringing knees to elbows)."

To test his theory, Gregory compared the effects of coffee and exercise on, a tool that measures cognitive performance through memory tests and measuring reaction time.

Gregory says that his overall cognitive performance increased by 6% after caffeine, but 12% after exercise - which is double the amount.

He notes that caffeine gave him better short-term memory, which improved by 26% compared to 16% with exercise.

Somehow we can't see people sidling off to the corner of the office to do squats, when they need a pick-me-up. What do you think - will this catch on?

See Also:

Morning Dilemma: Is It Better For Your Body To Get Extra Sleep Or Get Up Early And Exercise?

Great Grandfather, 64, Says It's Never Too Late To Get Fit