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Old 08-05-2008, 11:42 PM   #1
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Default Caffeine help!

Ok soooo, basically, I'm a student. I sleep irregular hours and drink way too much Diet Coke and coffee to stay awake to study. Lately, I've been drinking these Starbuck's energy+coffee drinks that have 200 calories in each, which is WAY to many calories, I think. I don't have more than one per day when I do drink them, but I don't think I should be having them at all, since it's not helping me lose weight. I also drink Diet Coke excessively. With that too, I've been trying to stop because I've heard that Diet Coke can help you gain weight ultimately.

I need to find another way to stay awake. Are there any substitutes to help me stay awake, other than getting enough sleep? I try to get at least 8 hours somewhere throughout the day, but it's extremely hard with the schedule I'm balancing! Any tips/advice are greatly appreciated!!!

Last edited by Muffin Top : 08-05-2008 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 08-05-2008, 11:56 PM   #2
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I've heard that Diet Coke can help you gain weight ultimately.
You have to take everything you hear with a grain of salt.

There is no proof that diet beverages make you gain weight and from what I've seen it tends to vary from person to person. Some people are adversely affected by diet drinks - either they cause sugar cravings or they have some reaction to the sweeteners. Others, not so much. I've lost 70+ pounds and I drink a Diet Coke almost every day. I don't plan to give it up, actually. I *LIKE* my Diet Coke in the afternoons.

I would drop the 200 cal Starbucks beverages and go for plain coffee or tea, or a diet drink if you need the caffeine.

Obviously getting enough sleep is the key - but I totally get being a student (and might be about to be one again soon .. fingers crossed) and I know how hard it is to actually DO that. It's easy to give the advice ...

Another thing that helps me is getting plenty of exercise. I find that I actually don't need as *much* sleep when I exercise, but the sleep I do get is much more restful and refreshing. I sleep harder and wake up energized, vs the long and lethargic (almost groggy) sleep I get when I'm not exercising.

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Old 08-06-2008, 01:12 AM   #3
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I know how you feel with the energy stuff. I was drinking way too high of caloric drinks from Starbucks. It was hurting my cash flow as well. I switched to a Venti iced coffee; $2.70. I get it with a little creamer and no sweetener. It took a little getting used to. I save about 1.50 and get a lot more drink.
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Old 08-06-2008, 01:29 AM   #4
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For a caffeine fix, I like plain coffee or tea...negligent calories, and tasty! If I want something delicious and decadent-tasting, I get an Americano (either hot or iced), with sugar free vanilla or caramel syrup. Yum!

For what it's worth, I've used diet sodas, in moderation, throughout my entire weight loss journey. I definitely didn't gain weight by doing so (and I never drank them before...only regular sodas).
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Old 08-06-2008, 02:46 AM   #5
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there are tablets on the market here (such as prozak)....
that will keep you awake....
but i wudnt recommend taking them permenantly....
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:49 AM   #6
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Instead of the more expensive (and high-cal) options at Starbucks, I switched to a Venti Iced Americano for $2.90 and 25 calories. I add 4 Splendas and a little half & half and it tastes better than the sweetened iced coffees they're pushing now.

There are four shots of espresso in a venti Americano. Four! It gives me a boost, believe me. And that +energy crap they're selling you is just a gimmick to make you spend more money. It's the caffeine that's giving you the jolt. Save your money and your calories and switch to iced coffee or Americanos.

The only other advice I have is to make sure you're exercising regularly. Working out really does give you more energy in the long run, even though it seems counterproductive.

Being a student can be a real trial, schedule-wise. I admire you for trying to do all that and still lose weight. Good luck!
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:02 AM   #7
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How about you not stay awake late to study?

When I was in college (not that long ago) I always got my studying done in between classes, in the cafeteria, during my work-study job, or at night no later than 9pm. I never understood all of my peers staying awake until 3am to finish a paper, project, or study for an exam. Sounds like procrastinating to me....
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jellydisney View Post
How about you not stay awake late to study?

When I was in college (not that long ago) I always got my studying done in between classes, in the cafeteria, during my work-study job, or at night no later than 9pm. I never understood all of my peers staying awake until 3am to finish a paper, project, or study for an exam. Sounds like procrastinating to me....
That's good advice, but it might not be possible for every single student. When I was in college, I had to work full-time or almost full-time. When you're taking 12-16 hours of classes and working 35-40 hours a week, it isn't always possible to be finished with your studies by 9 PM.

It's always healthier to get more sleep, but sometimes we've got to make the healthiest decisions given not-so-great situations.
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:43 AM   #9
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here's one thing that people don't think about....exercise. I find that if i'm working out routinely...after about 2-3 wks of my body adjusting...i don't get the afternoon lag that i use to get. And eating healthy foods really do make a difference to you body being more alert!
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:44 AM   #10
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How about you not stay awake late to study?

When I was in college (not that long ago) I always got my studying done in between classes, in the cafeteria, during my work-study job, or at night no later than 9pm. I never understood all of my peers staying awake until 3am to finish a paper, project, or study for an exam. Sounds like procrastinating to me....
Wow. Condescending and judgemental much?

When I was in college I worked a 40 hour work week to put myself through school. I was lucky in that I worked a night shift at a hotel and could do much of my studying in the middle of the night after I'd finished my duties at the front desk. Even so, I still had to cram in papers, studying, research (this was before the days of the Internet and easy access to resources), and all the other related activities into in-between times. I rarely got as much sleep as I needed due to my hectic schedule .. and I know most students were in my same situation.

It's so nice for you that you were able to have the perfect college experience and could manage your time so nicely. Perhaps stepping off your high horse and understanding that not everyone is as perfect as you are would be nice.

Wow. That post just pissed me off beyond all possible measure.

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Old 08-06-2008, 10:52 AM   #11
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I doubt Jellydisney meant it as judgmental. I was thinking back on my masters program, when I was pregnant and working nights full time as an RN. I've never really gotten into caffeine or energy drinks. I do know about lack of sleep (oh boy don't I know about it!) but part of balancing life is figuring out how to incorporate healthy habits. Some sleep might actually enhance a student's ability to be productive more than energy drinks or caffeine.

Sounds like Muffin got some good advice about caffeine. Again, I did not read Jelly's post as condescending, but as trying to offer another way of looking at things.
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:29 AM   #12
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The "sounds like procrastinating" comment was perhaps just a wee bit judgmental. But she probably didn't mean it that way.
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Old 08-06-2008, 01:46 PM   #13
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Muffin top - I totally get where you're coming from. I gave up caffeine altogether when I was an undergrad (because I was having serious jitters - it was bad.) As much as I try to avoid it, there are still times when I just need a quick, easy burst of energy. There are a couple of things that work for me. One is good, old fashioned juice, usually orange for me. It's a jolt of natural sugar and gets my energy level back up, at least for a little while. The other, which works slower but lasts longer, is eating protein. I'll have something really high in protein, like turkey breast or eggs or peanut butter, and it wakes me up and clears my mind. Why? I have no idea, but it seems to work for me.

These are things that I only do when I must stay awake, and don't think I can. I don't think that they would work on a regular basis to keep you awake.

Good luck!

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