Do Apples Give You More Energy Than Coffee?
Eating an apple a day may or may not “keep the doctor away,” but this fruit certainly contains more calories and energy potential than a cup of black coffee. Apples are rich in fructose sugar and coffee is rich in caffeine, which is like comparing “apples to oranges,” to use another old expression. Caffeine stimulates your brain and fights drowsiness, but it’s not actually a source of energy. However, if you load your coffee with cream and sugar, that’s a different story.
Apples are great sources of many nutrients such as soluble fibre, vitamin C and antioxidants called polyphenols. Apples are also rich in fructose, which is the predominant sugar found in fruit. Fructose takes a little more time than sucrose to be metabolised into glucose, so it’s a good energy source that doesn’t spike blood sugar levels and insulin release too dramatically. A small apple weighing 200 grams contains about 20 grams of sugar and provides a total of 100 calories. Eating a small apple may not give you a dramatic energy boost, but it will supply a steady supply of glucose to your brain and muscles for at least an hour or so. Furthermore, the soluble fibre in apples will make you feel full for longer and help keep hunger pains at bay.
If your feeling sluggish when you first wake up, a cup of hot coffee provides warmth to counter the morning chill, but also contains chemical compounds that boost you quickly into a full waking state. The 100 milligrams of caffeine in a typical cup of coffee increases your heart rate and speeds your breathing. Caffeine also raises your blood pressure and stimulates your central nervous system. Caffeine makes you more alert and fosters a feeling of well-being.
However coffee isn’t actually giving your body energy because that cup only contains 2 calories and no sugars or other carbs. If you add milk, sugar or creamer, however, the calories in those will give you a small amount of energy, but an apple will still provide far more energy. For example, 1 tablespoon of a flavoured coffee creamer contains only about 20 calories and 3 grams of carbohydrates.