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Anyone else hooked on energy drinks?

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Anyone else hooked on energy drinks?

Old 10-18-15, 04:33 PM
  #1  
chriskmurray
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Anyone else hooked on energy drinks?

Does anyone out there have tricks to help them cut an energy drink addiction? I know it is holding me back in many ways but am having a really hard time kicking the habit. It really is only energy drinks as I very rarely drink any other types of carbonated sugary drinks. I am not a big fan of coffee or teas so making the substitute with those is tough for me but I am trying to force myself into acquiring the taste for them but it is taking a while and between two jobs and raising a 5 year old autistic son I feel like caffeine is necessary for survival...

Anyone else out there struggle with this? Any tips are always appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 10-18-15, 04:55 PM
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I'd just cut out all the sugar from my diet if I was you. Get your energy from real food and up your water intake to where you're barely drinking anything else all day except for your morning coffee.

I'm a self employed truck driver and when I'm working, I put in hours that most people would not believe. The most often asked question about my job is..."how do you stay awake?" The answer is: getting enough sleep, not eating crap and drinking lots of water. I see drivers and tourists on road trips loading up on 5 Hour Energy, Mountain Dew, candy and chips.

They'd get more out of a couple pre packaged boiled eggs and water.
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Old 10-18-15, 05:11 PM
  #3  
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I've been there. I did a multi step method. Step one switch to the sugar free version. Step two switched to zip-fizz powder - diluted (1 serving in 1.5L of water) Final step was a b-vitamin in the morning and 1.5L of water when I would have had the energy drink. That broke the psychological pattern, and the energy drop wasn't too big to overcome.

Another step down option are GU chews, they have about half the caffeine of a can of soda-pop

Caffeine withdrawl wasn't fun. Each step down started with about 3-4 days of suckage as my body learned to deal without the caffeine. Now I occasionally have caffeine if I really need a pick me up, or in social situations, but I have rules.


1) never more than one energy drink in a day
2) no large doses of caffeine after 4pm - sleep issues
3) no more than 2 days in a row with and energy drink or pop.
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Old 10-18-15, 05:15 PM
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16 ounce can of Monster is 220 calories from like 13 teaspoons of sugar.

what to do? Cold turkey. Do no touch the crap again.
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Old 10-18-15, 09:43 PM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by yooperbiker View Post
16 ounce can of Monster is 220 calories from like 13 teaspoons of sugar.

what to do? Cold turkey. Do no touch the crap again.
Amen.

Good lord, that crap is nasty. And expensive. Just quit.
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Old 10-19-15, 05:56 AM
  #6  
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SWAT fuel. Look it up... That stuff is great. All natural too.
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Old 10-19-15, 06:24 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
Amen.

Good lord, that crap is nasty. And expensive. Just quit.
+2. One summer I many years ago I drank Rock Star or Monster or something on a few rides. That was enough to convince me "Never again."
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Old 10-19-15, 06:26 AM
  #8  
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no sense in going from on crutch to another. Just stop doing it. Let the man in you out, use your mind.
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Old 10-19-15, 08:39 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by DarthMonkey View Post
I've been there. I did a multi step method. Step one switch to the sugar free version. Step two switched to zip-fizz powder - diluted (1 serving in 1.5L of water) Final step was a b-vitamin in the morning and 1.5L of water when I would have had the energy drink. That broke the psychological pattern, and the energy drop wasn't too big to overcome.

Another step down option are GU chews, they have about half the caffeine of a can of soda-pop

Caffeine withdrawl wasn't fun. Each step down started with about 3-4 days of suckage as my body learned to deal without the caffeine. Now I occasionally have caffeine if I really need a pick me up, or in social situations, but I have rules.


1) never more than one energy drink in a day
2) no large doses of caffeine after 4pm - sleep issues
3) no more than 2 days in a row with and energy drink or pop.
I might have to try a step down thing like this, thanks! Caffeine and sugar are pretty nasty addictions to break for sure.
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Old 10-19-15, 10:04 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by chriskmurray View Post
I might have to try a step down thing like this, thanks! Caffeine and sugar are pretty nasty addictions to break for sure.
Another trick is help the psychological side for the first few days is drink water until you don't want to drink anymore of anything. After a few days of breaking the pattern the urge will start to diminish and it should be easier to ignore.

Also look at your life and when you drink the energy drinks. Are there specific triggers. Mine was a just time of day. Between 2-4 hours after I woke up I would start feeling a little slow and craving a boost. I know other people who get there coffee as soon as they walk in the office door, or when driving by a certain starbucks on their commute. If you find (or suspect) a trigger change your behavior or schedule to help avoid it until you have better control, then address the trigger.

As for the posters saying cold turkey. Cold Turkey works for some, but not everyone, and even then requires a plan to achieve success if starting from a true addiction(physiological or psychological). There is plenty of research showing addiction and Pavlovian habit breaking success for unsupported cold turkey to be less than 5% (lower than a placebo pill), just knowing you have support, a plan, tricks, or whatever outside help you are using, will increase your chances of success dramatically. This means that just thinking that you are getting outside help is more effective for beating bad habits than going it alone on sheer willpower. This is why denial diets without lifestyle changes(a plan) rarely last.

If you are able to easily walk away your weren't really hooked to begin with.


Good luck - You can do it!
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Old 10-19-15, 10:39 AM
  #11  
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It took me the better part of 6 months to get off caffeine in my life. The headaches were relentless for months as I gradually cut down the caffeine.

I recommend, if you feel dependent on the caffeine-energy, that you do it gradually and to start on a day you're not at work and can just "relax" at home with asprin and have a quiet day.

This decision was entirely internally driven: I felt like I needed to break the cycle as I could not function on weekends if I hadn't had sufficient intake and, if I missed the timing of my morning coffees, I'd have a headache all day. It was affecting the way I acted around my family and needed to stop.

I believe you need to make this your decision to make.
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Old 10-20-15, 08:06 PM
  #12  
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I like the no sugar/calorie "Propel", etc water additives that contain potassium and sodium. Just a couple of squirts in the water bottle, a little flavor, and some help pushing through and recovering on longer rides (over an hour)
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Old 10-20-15, 08:32 PM
  #13  
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Totally been there but with coffee. Wife helped wean me to teas and things are much better. I tend to agree with the psych approach to avoid the cold turkey then binge problem. Sounds like you have some significant and special responsibilities. I have child w special needs and have another w emotional stuff and a wife cancer survivor so sometimes you just grab what you can to get through the day.

Hey i think whatever approach, the water intake will really help. Helped me. Dilution of drinks may help too. Also consider taking in more filling protein sources to help stabilize metabolism. I also look at more natural energy choices: banana and pb, yogurt and honey, baby carrots, stuff like that that may help you transition.

I still drink gatorade to help replenish after really hard workouts, but also water. For riding you might look at Hammer products like Heed, which is much lighter but gives you the slow release maltodextrin that helps on rides and less sugar crash issues.

Not a doctor, but those things have helped me. Hang in there and good luck!!!! You can do it! Even if you fall off wagon, keep gettin back up...

Last edited by mattbikeggu; 10-20-15 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 10-20-15, 10:16 PM
  #14  
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I personally drink at least one cup of coffee in the am, and have consciously decided to limit my "sugarless" energy drinks to one or two a week. They do mess with your heart rate, and although vitamin-packed, the trade off probably isn't worth it. Besides, it seems that I "crash" harder after an an energy drink than with simple things like bananas or the like...
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Old 10-21-15, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by mattbikeggu View Post
Totally been there but with coffee. Wife helped wean me to teas and things are much better. I tend to agree with the psych approach to avoid the cold turkey then binge problem. Sounds like you have some significant and special responsibilities. I have child w special needs and have another w emotional stuff and a wife cancer survivor so sometimes you just grab what you can to get through the day.
The grabbing what you can to get through the day is definitely how it all started. It is safe to say I never drank the stuff until kids...

Thanks!
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Old 10-21-15, 11:25 AM
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Chris, I have believed sucrose acted in my body as a drug, both in terms of the boost/crash cycle and the craving it sets up. I saw this when I was bike racing in the '70s. I quit white sugar (sucrose, now sometimes called "organically processed cane sugar" and the like entirely. As result, I felt the effects of it whenever I had even a little like I just took a drug. I made exceptions for two things. A maple sugar candy for the final miles of races. (I knew from my reaction that maple sugar had sucrose though it was going to be 30 years before I read that maple syrup is 50% sucrose.) And a cup of black coffee with one or two packet of sugar to get me home after I bonked.

The other side of this is addiction. I won't go into it here, but I know all too well that journey. If this is a true addiction, managing it without acknowledging it as an addiction is probably not going to work well. For addicts, the addiction is a symptom. Stop it and some other behavior will pop up to serve the same function; to comfort us so we don't have to look at the issues we are trying to keep stuffed.

I make no claim to be a saint. I drink coffee every morning and treat myself to shots of espresso regularly. In total the equivalent of about 2-3 cups of strong drip coffee per day. If I don't, I feel it. (When I fly east to visit family, I often drink my last cup in the departure airport. Go through jet lag and coffee withdrawal simultaneously. Come home with a far lower caffeine requirement.) I am likewise not a saint on white sugar. I allow myself a small package of peanut M&Ms when I pass through the grocery line, buying more if they are on sale. But I generally do not bring home sugar in any other form (beyond 10 pound bags of white sugar, all of which goes to my hummingbirds and doesn't seem to have any bad effects for them at all). I love sweets, but I find my body reacts very differently to honey so I sweeten my coffee with it and make my own granola with it. (Good honey granolas can be tough to find and require reading the very small fine print in the stores looking for "evaporated organic cane syrup", and phrases like that.)

I have a theory on we we have so much trouble with sucrose. I think it is because sucrose occurs almost nowhere in nature where humans get get large concentrated doses of it. Where do we get it from? Sugar cane. The kids who live in sugar cane countries chew on the stalks and get a slightly sweet taste from the sap. THose kids do not have sugar issues. Sugar beets? That's working pretty hard for your sugar fix, chewing on one of those. Hard to imagine a native getting addicted to gobbling sugar beets. Maple sugar? That sap has to be reduced 40 times to get there. From the tree, you can barely taste anything. I have known that honeysuckle has a drop of pure sucrose at the base of each flower. I used to pull off my grandmother's and suck that nectar. My hummers feed on that same nectar. But they do it all the time. That drop is a real percentage of their body weight. And drinking vast quantities of straight sugar works just fine for them! (In winter, they drink their body weight or more every day of a 1:4 solution of sugar water. That is enough sugar that I have to bring it close to a boil to dissolve it. My 2 - 4 hummers consume about 5 pound of sugar a year. Not bad for critters that might weigh a penny.

Ben
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Old 10-21-15, 12:00 PM
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drink coffee to ween off all that sugar and caffine
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Old 10-21-15, 12:37 PM
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I'm no saint as well. I have coffee every morning and the occasional soda. I can say however I have never tried a Red Bull, Monster, or whatever brand energy drinks are out there. Sometimes I get weird looks when I tell folks that like I'm some sort of freak. I guess I've just been trading one crutch for another all these years.
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Old 10-21-15, 01:12 PM
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Never try any energy drinks . I'll have a double shot of espresso before each ride .
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Old 10-27-15, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by chriskmurray View Post
I might have to try a step down thing like this, thanks! Caffeine and sugar are pretty nasty addictions to break for sure.
it took me about 3 weeks withdrawal to stop eating sweets. Im the type if i decide to do something i have to do it cold turkey or not at all. Caffeine i went down from 3 cups a day to 1. that wasnt as tough. dropping the white bread was really tough but then i had no reason to use the margarine. now i dont even buy maragrine and dont notice when we do need some because i dont reach for it. Water was a very very very tough one for me. I just never drank water. I knew i was making the switch and at first I used sugar free juice enough to tint the water in the beginning for about 6 weeks. Then i switched to adding lemon in my water. Now i just always have water near me. Its a habit. Now with exercising, i always feel thirsty during the day and its just easy for me. If i can do it, You can do it!

i guess i felt it was cold turkey. but maybe it was lukewarm lol
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Old 10-31-15, 09:42 PM
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Guilty. A coffee energy drink is my grab-and-go liquid breakfast. The Starbucks Double-shot tall can (210 kcal) is on my way to a bike ride; workdays its a Monster Vanilla Light (~100 kcal).
They sit very nicely in my stomach while I exercise. Solid foods can be problemmatic. The Starbucks drink has first ingredient coffee, second ingredient reduced/skim milk. Maltodextrin is one of the "energy" components but the primary sweetener appears to be sugar (12% of the calories). I could do worse. Only rarely do I have a second can in a day.

The fruity-sugary energy drinks? I took a few sips once and threw the rest of the can out. That's a habit I can do without.
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