Can An Apple Really Can Give You More Energy Than A Cup Of Coffee?

If you're feeling the negative effects of a daily coffee — which can include anxiety, insomnia, and restlessness, according to the Harvard School of Public Health — you may be wondering what else can wake you up in the morning the same way. And while you could turn to alternative beverages like matcha or green tea, some foods can be a great source of energy as well. In particular, apples have a reputation for being an effective substitute for your morning cup of joe, with some claiming they can give you even more energy than coffee.

But can you really get a significant energy boost from a morning apple? We know caffeine is the buzzy substance found in coffee, and although everyone tolerates it differently, one cup may keep you awake for up to 12 hours. And although apples are great sources of fiber and vitamin C, they don't contain any caffeine. So what do apples have that wakes you up — and is it more effective than coffee?

Apples can give you energy from sugar

While it is a misconception that apples have more caffeine than coffee, it may be true that an apple can wake you up more than a cup of java. The idea comes from apples' sugar content, which is typically much higher than coffee's: One medium-sized apple contains 19 grams of sugar, while each packet of sugar you put in your coffee contains about four grams. So unless you're dumping five or more packets in your cup of joe, an apple is the more sugary option.

But unlike the refined sugars in processed foods, the sugars in apples are natural, and don't give you the same energy jolt and crash. The carbohydrates in apples break down and turn into glucose in our bodies once we eat them. Apples are low on the glycemic index scale and won't spike your blood sugar — unlike the refined sugar that gets added to coffee. So you may feel more awake after eating an apple than drinking a cup of coffee (depending on added sugar), and you're unlikely to experience a "sugar crash" afterward.

The bottom line is, an apple can give you more energy than coffee, but it will come from sugar, not caffeine. And if that weren't enough reason to eat these fruits in the morning, they may also aid in weight loss, lower risk of heart disease, and support gut health, according to Healthline. It turns out an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but it can also keep your morning coffee away too.