[ printer-friendly version
Do you sometimes feel sluggish in the afternoons, and crave a Coke
or coffee to get you going again? If so, youíre not alone. Thatís
because our bodies work on circadian rhythms, a sort of internal
clock thatís governed by biology, not the structure of the workday.
For some of us, the solution to this sluggishness is a drinkable
The Longwood Medical Area has lots of beverages to choose from.
To size them up, I checked out the sugar
and caffeine fixes served up by Starbucks, Au Bon Pain, and
Dunkiní Donuts. I also did some tea and soda research for those
who never touch a cup of Joe. Caffeine, a stimulant, and sugar,
a quick energy source, get many of us through the day. But those
calories add up, and when the buzz wears off you may find yourself
as sluggish as beforeóif not worse.
|The best afternoon
pick-me-up is a 10-minute break for a walk around the block
or up a couple flights of stairs. You'll find the natural burst
of energy will benefit you more than any beverage.
The good news is that you can have your pick-me-up and drink it
too, while minimizing the extra calories. First, pick something
without cream or whipped cream. (A Dunkiní Donuts Coolatta with
cream, for example, has 180 more fat calories than one made with
two-percent milk. For a daily drinker, that difference adds up to
12 pounds of body weight per year.) Sugar also adds more calories
to drinks than many people realizeórecent research at Childrenís
showed a clear link between daily soda consumption and obesity in
children. Although diet sodas eliminate the sugar problem, they
include aspartame, which some research has linked to cancer.
Two simple ways to minimize the fat and sugar are to choose smaller
beverages and to reduce the amount of caffeine in coffee by ordering
half-decaf. A small amount of caffeine will give you a bit of a
boost, but is less likely to give you side effects such as insomnia,
anxiety and irregular heartbeat.
The best afternoon pick-me-up, however, is to take a 10-minute
break for a quick walk around the block or to climb a couple flights
of stairs. If you get moving for just a few minutes, youíll find
the natural burst of energy will benefit you more than any beverage.
|How much caffeine does