Monday, June 13th, 2016

Why do apple help us stay awake better than coffee?

Narada Desk | June 13, 2016 2:05 pm Print
Whats the secret?

As the old saying goes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” The  fruit is known for its vitamin C, as a good source of fiber, and its  legendary powers at sucking up to grade school teachers. But what else  can the all-powerful apple do? Is there more to the apple than the old  wives’ tale is letting on? Absolutely. After decades of using the apple  to help kick the flu, the fruit has proved it’s more than just health  food; it can help keep you awake. That’s  right, that healthy apple, the same one that you trade for a baguette at  Panera Bread, has similar effects to those of coffee.

No. Not even a little bit. Apples, as a pomaceous fruit, do not  naturally contain caffeine. They do, however, have about 13 grams of  sugar – natural sugar, which is much healthier than the 4 grams of  Sweet’N Low mixed into your daily coffee. So despite the high sugar  levels, eating an apple is a much healthier alternative to drinking  coffee. The sugars are also one of the main reasons apples have similar  effects to caffeine.
Vitamins from apples, specifically the skin, are released slowly  throughout the body, making you feel more awake. There is no jolt of  energy. No mood swings. And, most importantly, no crash. The results  wear off as gradually as they started. With this argument, though, any  healthy snack can help fight sleepiness. (Snacks that are too sugary or  fatty will actually have the opposite effect, causing your body to  crash.) So why apples? What do they have that other healthy foods don’t?
The vast information source that is the internet offered me several possible explanations to this question:

  1. It is actually the crunch of eating the apple that wakes you up.
  2. Apples are the chief chemical in methamphetamines (Although I wasn’t  able to consult with a reliable drug addict for a source, this was my  favorite — and least likely — answer.)
  3. Its “gentle and lingering” scent naturally wakens the body.
  4. It contains natural glucose.

The process of digesting the glucose (natural sugars)  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.
But, as was stated before, under this definition, any healthy foods  can have the same effects. So how did apples get all the hype? Perhaps  it’s because they contain less natural sugar? (The average banana has 14  grams, while an orange contains a whopping 23 grams of sugar.) Or maybe  it’s the combined sensory experience that can be achieved when eating  an apple. (When was the last time you heard a banana crunch?) Whatever  the reasoning, it has worked – a simple Google search will result in  hundreds of articles coming to the apple’s defense.