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Science Says Coffee Naps Are Better Than Coffee Or Nap Alone

Science Says Coffee Naps Are Better Than Coffee Or Nap Alone

It’s 2pm and you’re beat. Work is piling up, messages are incoming, and all you can think about is how desperately you need a nap. After all, a nap is the best way to recharge, right? Or a cup of coffee would help?

Maybe not. Scientists say that coffee naps are the best. What is a coffee nap? It means drinking coffee quickly and sleeping for 20 minutes before the caffeine reaches your brain. Then when you wake up you’ll feel fully charged.

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Sound like madness? There is science behind why this works.

Both naps and coffee have one thing in common – they help blunt the effect of adenosine, the molecule in your brain that builds up during the day and makes you feel sleepy. Naps help flush it out of your system and caffeine looks so much like adenosine that it can plug into the adenosine receptor and block its action.

Together, the coffee and nap pack a punch in combating fatigue.

We all know that power naps have amazing benefits on health and productivity. They enhance memory, decision-making, motor skills, and perceptions, among other things. Plus they have the added benefit of reducing blood pressure and helping us deal with all the stress that we face every day. But a nap on its own can still leave you feeling tired – thanks to that bit of adenosine in your brain that wasn’t properly flushed out. Coffee – or more specifically the caffeine in coffee – is also one of our greatest weapons in reducing fatigue and staying on top of that never-ending list of things to do. But if you’re feeling really tired – and the sleep-promoting adenosine hasn’t been flushed out of your system – then the caffeine itself may not be enough. That’s why drinking coffee and taking a power nap will give you the best results – it’s like attacking an enemy from two different fronts. And studies show its superiority over either coffee or nap alone.

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But you have to time it right.

Caffeine takes about 20 minutes to make its way to your small intestine, into your bloodstream and up to your brain. To get the most bang for you buck, you need to drink a cup of coffee quickly – whether it is an espresso shot or iced drink – and then settle in for a quick nap. That way, you take advantage of that 20-minute lull period before the coffee kicks in. If you spend 30 minutes leisurely drinking a cup of coffee and chatting it up with friends, then you’ve missed the window.

If you’re on schedule with your nap, you get the benefit of both the restful nap and the energy-promoting caffeine. The result? That afternoon slump suddenly transforms into a few hours where you get stuff done.

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There is one caveat…..(isn’t there always?)

Weird as it sounds, you don’t want your nap to last too long. Any longer than 20 minutes and you risk falling into a deeper stage of sleep and waking up groggy instead of rested. This so-called “sleep inertia” usually doesn’t last long, but it can linger for up to 4 hours. Ugh….talk about a productivity killer. So, it’s important to keep on schedule with the coffee nap “protocol” to set yourself up for success.

While there isn’t a ton of new research coming out on the coffee nap (because getting Federal dollars for this when there are things like cancer out there might be a bit tough), you can do a little experiment on yourself. Next time you’re feeling that afternoon slump, try a coffee-nap instead and see how you feel. Hey, maybe that’ll be the afternoon when that pile on your desk doesn’t look quite so bad.

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Featured photo credit: Jeremy Ricketts via unsplash.com

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Published on January 11, 2019

17 Weight Loss Recipes That Are Incredibly Nutritious and Super Delicious

17 Weight Loss Recipes That Are Incredibly Nutritious and Super Delicious

Fitness is not limited to workouts. In fact, your workout is just the beginning. Proper nutrition and supplementation are key components for a well-rounded fitness plan.

This article not only provides healthy nutritional alternatives, but tips on which foods are best before and after a workout.

Before your workout, your body needs calories. Not just any old calories, not empty calories, but calories that will fuel your workout with energy. After your workout, your muscles need replenishment, so it’s just as important to eat not long after exercise.

The following recipes contain essential nutrients: Protein, fat, and carbohydrates. They are not only delicious and nutritious, these recipes will help you burn fat and gain lean mass. Not to mention, they are filling, easy, and don’t require a lot or prep time.

1. 15-Minute Tex-Mex Chicken Salad

    Got 15 minutes? This is a great post-workout meal. It contains Omega-3 oil, protein, potassium, carbohydrates and a host of other nutrients to help replenish those lost during exercise. This Tex-Mex Chicken Salad is courtesy of Registered Dietician Matthew Kadey.

    Check out the recipe here: 15-Minute Tex-Mex Chicken Salad, Muscle & Fitness

    2. Chocolate Chia Recovery Drink

      Think about it. Our bodies lose a lot of water during exercise, leaving us dehydrated. And what’s one of the natural supplements to replace lost electrolytes? Coconut water.

      After a spin class, Crossfit, or HIIT, a Chocolate Chia Recovery Drink is perfect. Chia seeds are full of “good” carbs, mostly fiber, which means your body digests them slowly, keeping your hunger at bay. Bananas contain potassium which helps to curtail muscle cramps. Just blend and go!

      Here’s the recipe from the “Minimalist Baker:” Chocolate Chia Recovery Drink

      3. Blueberry-Almond Overnight Oats

        Let’s face it, getting to the gym is hard enough. Who has time to muster up all kinds of ingredients, cook, and consume? Prepare Blueberry-Almond Overnight Oats. Full of fiber, protein and complex carbohydrates, this filling meal awaits you in the morning.

        The antioxidants in the blueberries will help kick up and spit out free radicals that exists in the body, making way for smooth cellular activity. Prep time: Five minutes!

        Here you go: Blueberry-Almond Overnight Oats

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        4. Asian Jalapeno Chicken

          Boost your metabolism! Spicy foods are great for speeding up your metabolism. They contain the almighty chemical, capsaicin, which will shift your body – and weight loss – into high gear!

          If you can take the heat, get this perfect combination of protein and spiciness here: Damn Delicious Asian Jalapeno Chicken

          5. Fat-Burning Chef Salad

            Getting lean can require a lot of discipline for some people, but when you eat tasty foods, like eggs, smoked turkey, and an abundance of greens, your goal is more attainable.

            Certain foods have fat-burning properties, such as turkey breast, tomatoes, celery, broccoli, blueberries, grapefruit, apples, onion, raw vegetables, and many others. Whether you’re getting in shape for a wedding or the beach, this salad will get you ready!

            Check out the recipe here: Fat-Burning Chef Salad

            6. High-Protein Chicken Meatballs

              Protein shakes aren’t the only way to put on mass. It’s always preferable to consume real food as the body digests these more efficiently.

              High-protein meals are best for gaining muscle mass, so if you want to get buffed or toned, a combination of protein, complex carbs, and heavy weight-training will get you there. Get the recipe, then get to the gym!

              Here’s the recipe: High Protein Chicken Meatballs Recipe

              7. Peanut Butter Banana Bulking Protein Shake

                If you do, however, enjoy the convenience of a protein shake, make your own.

                While it’s tempting to grab a protein bar or ready-to-drink protein shake, these usually contain ingredients which classify them as inflammatory foods. Unless you want to be bloated, steer clear.

                This Peanut Butter Banana Bulking Protein Shake has a whopping 58 grams of protein, it’s a powerful source of fuel for athletes, and it tastes incredible!

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                Here’s the recipe: Peanut Butter Banana Bulking Protein Shake Recipe

                8. The Best Protein Brownies

                  Not a quick recipe but worth the wait, these melt-in-your-mouth brownies provide just the right amount of protein and “good carbs,” not to mention decadent dark chocolate.

                  So, if you’re the type who skips dessert due to guilt, you can enjoy these brownies with a clear conscience. Don’t forget to complement them with a nice cold glass of unsweetened almond milk.

                  For The Best Protein Brownies, go here: The Best Protein Brownies

                  9. Trainer Terri’s Light ‘N Healthy Chinese Vegetable Fried Rice

                    Yours truly loves Chinese Fried Rice so I came up with a way to remove all of the oily fats and sodium that are typical of this dish while maintaining the flavor. It’s packed with vegetables and healthy carbs, so if you need a little energy before your workout.

                    Try my recipe here: Light ‘n Healthy Chinese Fried Rice

                    10. Stuffed Bell Peppers with Turkey and Vegetables

                      Vitamins A and C are your friends when it comes to maintaining healthy immune system, and bell peppers contain them both.

                      This recipe for stuffed bell peppers is the complete package, with protein, vitamins, metabolism-boosters, Omega-3 oil, antioxidants, and potassium.

                      Check it out here: Stuffed Peppers with Turkey and Vegetables

                      11. Skillet Chicken with Cranberries & Apples

                        Not getting enough fiber in your diet? If you’re irregular or you often feel hungry, it could be that your body isn’t getting enough of this much-needed nutrient.

                        Soluble fiber, like oats, beans, barley, and even Brussel sprouts digest slowly which keep you from feeling hungry. You are sure to cut back on grazing throughout your day when you incorporate more fiber into your diet. Happy eating!

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                        Here’s the recipe: Skillet Chicken with Cranberries & Apples

                        12. Herby Pea and Lemon Pasta Salad

                          Big on carbs? Try this wonderful medley of green peas, pasta shells, and rotisserie chicken and you’ll be in carbohydrate heaven.

                          Loaded with B vitamins, the green peas will serve as good source of energy. This recipe yields four servings so you’ll have plenty left over for your lunchtime meal at work.

                          Here’s the recipe: Herby Pea and Lemon Pasta Salad

                          13. No-Cook Chicken Lettuce Wraps

                            Not in the mood for carbs? Try these low-carb chicken lettuce wraps that have fewer than 8 grams of carbohydrates.

                            With minimal prep, this meal is great when you don’t feel like cooking. Kids will be so focused on the chicken they’ll forget that it is wrapped in a vegetable.

                            Get the recipe here: No-Cook Chicken Lettuce Wraps

                            14. Turmeric Tomato Detox Soup

                              In the winter months, instead of seeking out a good soup at a restaurant, you can have soup du jour in your own home!

                              Rather than use drugs, like Ibuprofen, turmeric is a natural source of relief to alleviate inflammation in joints and muscles. This anti-inflammatory-detox soup is perfect when snuggling under a blanket while watching a movie.

                              Get the recipe here: Turmeric Tomato Detox Soup

                              15. Almond Snowballs

                                The holidays just aren’t the same without cookies. These Almond Snowballs are yummy as an after-dinner dessert or to share at office holiday parties, or even as a reward after your workout.

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                                This recipe calls for all-purpose flour, a refined carbohydrate, and sugar, both of which have a high glycemic index, causing your blood sugar to spike. These ingredients can be substituted with almond flour which is high in healthy fats and fiber, and Stevia, a sweetener that has zero calories and is plant-based.

                                Get Rachael Ray’s recipe: Almond Snowballs

                                16. Avo-Tahini Toast

                                  Avocado toast has become a healthy trend that is now popularly-featured on restaurant menus.

                                  It only takes four minutes to prepare, unless you add the boiled eggs, which could take another ten minutes but will add protein to this toasty treat.

                                  The Omega-3 fat from the avocado and the fiber from the whole grain bread will leave you satisfied and full. A great pre-workout meal!

                                  Get the recipe here: Avo-Tahini Toast

                                  17. Salmon Salad Sandwich

                                    You’ll look at a fish sandwich differently with this 15-minute meal. Perfect for lunch, this high-protein, high-fiber, Omega-3-rich Salmon Salad sandwich serves four, which is great for a small luncheon with friends.

                                    You can even serve them as hors d’oeuvres for a dinner party by cutting the sandwiches into fourths and pin them together with toothpicks.

                                    Get the recipe here: Salmon Salad Sandwich

                                    Final Words

                                    It is important to consume the aforementioned nutrient-based meals 45 minutes to an hour, both before and after your workout. If not, your body will use muscle for fuel instead of nutrients and, ultimately, you will lose lean muscle mass and become flabby.

                                    There is also the risk of getting light-headed and fainting due to low blood sugar as well as poor brain function, nausea, and, of course, you won’t achieve optimal exercise performance.[1]

                                    Featured photo credit: Christian Kaindl via unsplash.com

                                    Reference

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