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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 March 22, 2019

14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go

14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go

Greasy hamburgers at lunch or a buttered bagel is not everyone’s idea of a dream lunch. Healthy eating is important but not always so easy when you have little time on your hands. You may be forced to eat snacks that you do not enjoy in a rush.

However, there are recipes that do not involve spending a lot of time or having special culinary skills. Try these 14 healthy easy recipes for busy people on the go.

1. Green Salads

    Photo credit: bake your day

    Salads are super easy to make and require no cooking at all. Just chop up the ingredients and put it in a Tupperware and you are good to go. You can make a lot at once and keep for later.

    Ingredients:

    • Kale
    • Lemon
    • Olive oil
    • Salt
    • Pepper

    How to make it:

    1. Chop kale into small bite-size pieces. Squeeze out the lemon juice and whisk in olive oil, salt, and pepper.
    2. Toss kale in the mix and add bean sprouts or cheese

    2. Chickpea Slaw

      Photo credit: Unsweetened Caroline

      Ingredients:

      • ¼ cup plain yogurt
      • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
      • 1 tbsp. water
      • Salt
      • Black pepper
      • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
      • 2 ½ cups of sliced green cabbage
      • 2 stalks celery (sliced)
      • 2 shredded carrots
      • 2 tbsps. sesame seeds (toasted)

      How to make it:

      1. Stir together yogurt, vinegar, water, salt, and pepper.
      2. Add in chickpeas, cabbage, celery, and carrots.
      3. Toss and sprinkle in sesame seeds.

      3. Juice Your Greens

        Photo credit: Loving it Vegan

        Ingredients:

        • A handful of kale
        • A handful of cabbage
        • A handful of parsley
        • A stalk of celery
        • An apple or a pear

        How to make it:

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        1. Place the ingredients one at a time into your juicer.
        2. Put it in your favorite bottle and you are done!

        4. Steamed Veggies And Meat

          Photo credit: Gimme some oven

          This recipe includes meat but does not take years to prepare. Steaming cooks the meal really fast. If you are a vegan, you can use tofu to substitute the meat.

          Ingredients:

          • Broccoli
          • Meat (of your choice)
          • Olive oil
          • Salt
          • Pepper
          • Apple cider vinegar

          How to make it:

          1. Steam broccoli and meat in a steamer while drizzling the meat with olive oil and apple cider vinegar.
          2. Remove the broccoli when it becomes soft and the meat when it is well cooked.
          3. Remember to sprinkle on some salt and pepper.

          5. Seared Meat and Vegetables

            Photo credit: Gimme some oven

            A skillet will come in handy for this dish. And yes, it is another meal with veggies and meat, you cannot go wrong with this. It is a mix and matches meaning you can switch up the oils, seasonings, and vegetables according to your taste.

            Ingredients:

            • Ground meat (of your choice)
            • Vegetables (anyone you fancy)
            • Organic oil/butter
            • Store bought sauce/dressing
            • Salt

            How to make it:

            1. Cook meat with heated organic oil/butter in a skillet over moderate heat for 3 to 4 minutes.
            2. Add in shredded and chopped vegetables and stir until the meat cooks and the vegetables are semi-soft.
            3. Put your salt or dressing to give it some extra flavor.

            6. Green Smoothie

              Photo credit: Yummy Mummy Kitchen

              Smoothies are quite filling and combine fruits and vegetables for a healthy breakfast if you need to rush out in the morning.

              Ingredients:

              • 1 tbsp. Spirulina
              • 1 banana
              • 1 cup blueberries
              • Milk/Soy milk
              • Blend till smooth and enjoy. To make it thicker, add ice in with the ingredients.
              • A tea smoothie

              Note: If you like green tea, then try out this smoothie that uses your favourite tea and fruits:

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              • ¾ cup green tea
              • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
              • 2 tsp. lemon juice
              • 2 tsp. Agave nectar
              • 1 small pear
              • 2 tbsps. fat-free plain yogurt

              How to make it:

              Blend until smooth.

              7. Feta Omelet and Toast

                Photo credit: Improved Health Club

                Toast and eggs will definitely taste different from this recipe.

                Ingredients:

                • Chopped broccoli
                • 2 eggs
                • 2 tsp. Feta cheese (crumbled)
                • 2 slices toasted bread
                • Olive oil

                How to make it:

                1. Cook broccoli for three minutes in heated skillet.
                2. Mix feta, eggs, and dill in a bowl and cook in the pan for 3-4 minutes.
                3. Eat with toast.

                8. Banana and Almond Toast

                  Photo credit: Dolly and Oatmeal

                  This recipe is sure to keep you full until lunchtime.

                  Ingredients:

                  • 1 tbsp. almond butter
                  • 1 slice rye bread
                  • 1 sliced banana

                  How to make it:

                  Cover toast with almond butter and put banana slices.

                  9. Quinoa

                    Photo credit: Kitchme

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                    You can cook the quinoa the night before to reduce the amount of time spent on the dish.

                    Ingredients:

                    • 1 cup cooked quinoa
                    • 1/3 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
                    • 1 small tomato (chopped)
                    • 1 scallion (chopped)
                    • 1 tsp. olive oil
                    • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
                    • Salt
                    • Pepper

                    How to make it:

                    Gently toss all the ingredients in a bowl and voila, you are done.

                    10. Hummus and Beans

                      Photo credit: Pinch and swirl

                      Mashing your beans to create hummus takes just a few minutes.

                      Ingredients:

                      • ¼ cup canned white beans
                      • 1 tbsp. chopped chives
                      • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
                      • 2 tsp. olive oil
                      • Assorted Vegetables (chopped)

                      How to make it:

                      1. Combine beans, chives and lemon juice in a small bowl and mash till smooth.
                      2. Add assorted vegetables.

                      11. Egg Sandwich

                        Photo credit: Home Sweet Eats

                        Ingredients:

                        • 2 cooked eggs (chopped)
                        • 2 tbsp. Greek yogurt
                        • 2 tbsp. red bell peppers (chopped)
                        • ¼ curry powder
                        • Salt
                        • Pepper
                        • Rye bread
                        • ½ fresh spinach

                        How to make it:

                        1. Combine eggs, yogurt, bell pepper, curry powder, salt, and pepper and stir well.
                        2. Place the spinach on the rye bread and egg salad.

                        12. Swiss Sandwich and Ham

                          Photo credit: My Recipe Magic

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                          Whip up a simple but tasty sandwich.

                          Ingredients:

                          • 1 tbsp. Greek yogurt
                          • ¼ Tsp. dried dill
                          • 2 slices bread
                          • 1-ounce lean sliced ham
                          • 1 pear (sliced)
                          • 1 1- ounce slice Swiss cheese

                          How to make it:

                          1. Combine yogurt and dill in a bowl and stir until blended.
                          2. Spread mix on bread slices with ham, pear slices, cheese, and bread slice.

                          13. Salmon Noodles

                            Photo Credit: Killing Thyme

                            Noodles take just a few minutes to cook and are extremely tasty.

                            Ingredients:

                            • 4 ounces noodles or spaghetti
                            • 5 ounces asparagus (cut)
                            • 1 (6-oz) salmon fillet
                            • 1tbsp sesame oil
                            • Zest and juice of 1-2 limes
                            • Salt
                            • Fresh pepper
                            • 4 ounces cucumber (cut)
                            • ½ avocado

                            How to make it:

                            1. Cook noodles for 6-8 minutes until soft.
                            2. Strain and then add asparagus to boiling water.
                            3. Cook for 2 minutes then rinse with cold water.
                            4. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes.

                            14. Spaghetti Squash

                              This is one of my favourite recipes on the go (all it takes is 20 mins)! I substitute pasta for spaghetti squash. No plate needed.

                              Ingredients:

                              • 1 spaghetti squash
                              • 2 tsp of olive oil
                              • 2 pinch’ of salt
                              • 2 pinch’ of pepper

                              Steps: 

                              Check out the detailed steps in this full recipe here.

                              All these recipes can be prepared with ease and have carbs, proteins and fat to keep you energized until your next meal.

                              Featured photo credit: Brandy S via unsplash.com

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