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Getting in Shape

Coffee vs. 5 Hr. Energy vs. Espresso?

Can anyone offer any insight on this?
I do not get enough sleep. H and I have been trying for the last year to go to bed earlier, and it just doesn't work. We have almost 1 hr commutes to work, work 40hrs+/week, then a 1 hr. commute home to all the chores of homeowners with dogs, horses, and an ongoing project of tearing down an old farmhouse and filling in its basement.

CN: We have a lot of shiite to do when we get home and don't get to bed early enough.

This leads to me absolutely needing caffeine in the morning and sometimes at lunch just to not fall asleep at my job (I sit at a desk in front of a computer doing drafting work).

My usual is a tall thermos of coffee in the morning with a Tbsp of sugar and about 1/2 a cup of heavy whipping cream. It's delicious and soothing, but it's ridiculous that I'm drinking about 200+ calories in my morning coffee! I've tried using half & half, milk, almond milk, and it's just not the same. I should also note I buy pretty cheap coffee.

I can't do black coffee, at least not 16 oz. of it. But maybe I should try Espresso in the am with a small dollop of heavy cream? That would cut out most of the 1/2 c. I usually drink, and i don't have to "suffer through" as much unsweetened coffee.

Another option is the 5 hr energy shots. I don't know enough about them to form an opinion on how they affect my health. Obviously I would watch the caffeine amount, but is there anything else to be concerned about? They just seem so... hokey? Diet pill-esque? In a so-easy-it-can't-be-good-for-you kind of way. Also kind of expensive.

I would appreciate any input. I love my morning mug of blonde and sweet, but it's killing my calorie count. I am a water drinker all day, I just need something first thing to wake me up, and something post lunch to beat the mid-day slump.

Sorry this is a novel. I'm known for being verbose.
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Re: Coffee vs. 5 Hr. Energy vs. Espresso?

  • My suggestion is to check out the International Delights brand of creamers.  They're delightful, around 40 cals per serving (and that's all you need), no need for added sugar, totally tasty (I like candy flavored coffee), and they come in a bunch of flavors. my favorite is the Hershey's chocolate caramel.  Give it a ashot.
  • @anna do you use the sugar free ones or regular flavors? I'm looking for a new way to flavor my coffee because the almond milk and stevia just isn't cutting it for me. I am just wondering how much sugar is in the creamer (I have been concentrating on lowering my sugar) I know sugar free usually means added crap though :(
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  • Hey! I can't give you too much input because I don't drink coffee or caffeinated drinks - but as far as 5 hour energy goes, you should watch this little clip from a news channel:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPGkTfo7cso

    Talks about how 5 Hour Energy can become dangerous!
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  • I like five hour energy, but only every once in a while (it is NOT a daily habit you should form!).

    I personally don't like coffee or tea, so on the occasions I feel like I really need caffeine I usually drink a diet soda. If I slept really crappy the night before, those are the only instances where I will pull out a five hour energy. In my opinion it works, but shouldn't be used as a daily solution to sleep deprivation.
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  • I'd recommend finding a different (perhaps more expensive, but not necessarily) brand of coffee.


    I love gas station coffee haha. UDF's is the best. 20 ounces of that with 1 creamer (40 calories) and I'm good to go. The flavor of the coffee is fantastic. If you find an actual coffee that tastes good you probably won't feel the need to put so much of the extras in there.
    June 16, 2012
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  • edited June 2012
    International Delights & other low-cal flavored creamers are really good, as stated by PP...however I CAN tell you that 5 Hour Energy and other energy drinks are TERRIBLE for you!! We learned about them in Psych class.  It may say "no caffiene" but the taurine and other things in there contain caffeine, they're just not the main ingredients.  It's caffeine PLUS other things, basically.  I can't express enough just how bad energy drinks are for you.  Caffeine intoxication can happen so fast, you want to be careful with what you put in your body...energy drinks can destroy your digestive system, stomach linings, etc.  Stick with coffee, it's a natural healthy(er) drink!!
  • We keep 5 hour energies in the house for those "holy eff I am going to die" moments.. I haven't had on in months, but it's nice to have the emergency haha.. 
    it's like anything.. You shouldn't be drinking them daily.. or even weekly, but once a month or something minimal would be fine because your body is resilient and knows how to process shockers like that. 
    Not a good alternative to coffee. 

    I'm somewhat anti-creamer with flavors beause of all the added crap it has in it. Can you pronounce and recognize all of the ingredients? Not so much? hmm... Not good. 
    But I'm a minimalist and clean eater. I undertand now everyone is that way. 

    My recommendation is unsweetened vanilla almond milk.. It's sweeter and very low in calories. It does had fat, though, so be aware of that aspect, but it's a GREAT alternative to creams and sugar. 
    I don't recommend swapping out your coffee for something like espresso, solely because I don't think it will be as satesfying to you. It also won't have nearly the caffeine content that your coffee has and you will be crashing sooner for the first couple weeks. 

    Ultimately, if you are drinking this 200+ calorie coffee drink and still staying within your caloric intake limits per day, i don't see a problem. We all have our favorite "things" and that's one of yours. if you make it work for your diet, than great. I certainly don't encourage the added sugar you're putting in.. your bod really doesn't need that.. but I understand that its' something you enjoy. 
    I used to bring very sugary coffee drinks (that's what happens when you're not a coffee lover but work at Starbucks for 4+ years lol) I realized what I was taking in, however, and decided to ween myself down to something more reasonable. Slowly cutting down the sugar, then swapping whipped cream , to half and half, to 2%, to nonfat... Now I drink coffee with a splash of either almond milk, nonfat, or just black. 
    It's easier to do than you think. ;) 


  • In addition.. I want to put out my personal experience with B6.. 
    B6 is an ingredient in most energy drinks (5 hour energy has 2000% your daily rec. intake of B6)
    It's an important vitamin to our diets, and can be found in natural foods as well. Last year I was a red bull fanatic.. That and 5 hr energies got me through my days of intense classes (finishing up my BS) 
    But, I was eating well other than that. I love things like peas, potatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, etc.. 
    Suddenly I started noticing numbness ocurring in my hands, thighs, and feet. It freaked me out and continued for months.. At first I thought it was a pinched nerve, but nope. All clear there. 
    turns out, between the food I was eating, and those beverages, I was overdosing on B6 without realizing it. 
    By overdosing, I was causing nerve damage and that caused the numbness. 
    Still today, when I get goosebumps on my legs, my thighs have random patches of skin that just.. Don't. The damage is done and some nerves are too damaged to respond. 

    Overdosing on vitamins is NO. JOKE. 
    I quickly stopped drinnk redbull (which is AWFUL for you anyway) and 5 hour energy.. and balanced my veggie diet out more so I wasn't eating all high B6 veggies... I haven't had the issue anymore, but like i said.. Damage done. 
  • As a coffee drinker you have no interest in tea? I love the Tazo Zen- gree tea with lemon grass and spearament! Or a good green chai, full flavor, more like coffee...ish... lol A good quality tea will taste better than a cheap one.

    Have you tried reducing your sugar intake slowly? Just like salt we can bulid up tolerances to sugar and it takes more for us to taste it.. It would take some time to reduce, but it can be done!

    Definitely NO to the 5hr energy!

    I am currently on a whole foods nutritional suppliment called Shakeology. You would be surprised how much energy you get from getting better nutrition. It is not a cheap soy shake, the base is whey protien isolate and all whole foods- no added vitamins or minerals or fillers etc. I'm not the only one that has gotten higher energy levels from it either..

    Just my to cents.
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  • In Response to Coffee vs. 5 Hr. Energy vs. Espresso?:

    Good morning,
    I was never able to drink my coffee black, but my SO introduced me to really high quality coffee (I prefer a good dark roast, but you may prefer a light roast) and I always drink it black. So, I say up the quality. Bad black coffee just takes like crap

    If I want a little treat, I usually add some chocolate almond milk. It makes for a rather tasty coffee.

    Good luck!
  • I agree with firsttimer that the International Delights and others are delicious, but I think they are a little over-processed. They are only 5 calories less per TBSP than heavy whipping cream, and I'd rather have the heavy whipping cream! It only has one ingredient!

    Honestly, i can do without the sugar, (sometimes I forget it anyway), but the creaminess must be there without "watering down" the coffee too much.

    I LOVE the TAZO green tea and that is a common lunch time pick me up for me, with just  a spoonful of honey or nothing. But tea in the morning gives me stomachaches. No clue why, and I'm not getting enough caffeine.

    I think I will keep a few "emergency" 5 hr energy shots on hand since it seems they are not completely the devil, but may be a little intense for a daily thing.

    I think I'm going to try a better coffee that doesn't taste like "burnt butt hair" (H's description. ha!) and start backing off on my cream. If I brew it super strong I think I could add just plain milk without it feeling too "watery."

    I do love my coffee, but I would like most of that 200+ calories to come from a snack or something because I am currently readjusting my calories and I'm starving.

    Thank you all for the suggestions! And for dedicating so much time to helping me out here!

    Now... where do you buy "nice" coffee?
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