I'm fond of 200mg generic No-Doze as a wake up dose. The only active ingredient is caffeine. I pop a pill without ever needing to leave my bed to brew a hot drink. During lunch, I may or may not have a tea to go with my meal, but I don't consume caffeine after lunch time.
I used to drink 3-4 energy drinks a day, but I found they made me irritable, and the monetary cost was ultimately unsustainable. Probably the inevitable health costs, as well.
I just voted for "coffee" and it seems to be the *only* vote in the system at that time, but then again, you could not have commented unless you voted. Ann, IIRC slashcode has a timer system. Displayed counts may only update every 5 or 10 minutes.
FWIW, I had my first cup of coffee at the the end of my 1st semester in college. The Student Union hosted a study session and provided fresh coffee and donuts every hour. It took some period of adaptation, but I've been a coffee guy ever since.
Before that, college studying was assisted by 2-Liter bottles of Coca-Cola. One was just the right size for pulling a late-nighter or an all-nighter.
In high school, it was just: eating a balanced diet, plenty of exercise, and going to bed when I was tired. (I tended to study early in the AM before anyone else was awake.)
Caffeine has given me tunnel vision and migraines since I was a teenager, so hot chocolate was my coffee substitute. Last year, after Covid and a few months of 70-80 hour work weeks mainlining my hot chocolate, I can't have sugar anymore. I am now without a suitable liquid stimulant.
It is possible to obtain hot chocolate made with sugar substitutes (saccharine, aspartame, sucralose, etc), or you can make your own - go authentic and make Xocolatl [wikipedia.org], which typically had no sweeteners.
I tried doing some cocoa powder and stevia. Doesn't come close to the Swiss Miss dark chocolate I was used to. I did find some decent sugar free solid dark chocolate.
Keep trying. After cutting almost all sugar out of my diet I can enjoy cocoa powder in a drink with almost no sweeteners at all. The sense of taste seems to adjust over time as your sensitivity to sweetness comes back.
Isn't that something like the way the Aztecs drank it?
If you've had mole with cocoa in it, similar to that, but runnier.
I take cocoa powder (plus milk) with no sugar at all, because I drink tea with no sugar either. (And coffee isn't my thing.)
I used to drink commercial hot chocolate as a kid, but then went off it in favour of tea. When I tried it again several years later, I'd gotten so used to unsweetened tea that sweet hot chocolate was an instant no-no.
Making cocoa at home isn't an issue, but the odds of finding a restaurant or beverage shop that does it is rather slim.
This is due to the horrible aftertaste that you get with stevia. It doesn't taste like sugar. Then again, it sounds like you may have been missing the milk part of the equation. Since Swiss Miss has milk in it. While Cocoa Powder and Stevia creates a drink akin to Nestle Quick as opposed to Swiss Miss.
Having switched back and forth between stevia and sugar a couple times, I'd say the trick is to choose one or the other and don't mix. Once you get accustomed to stevia it tastes "normal," while sugar's immediate and strong effects on your system can knock you for a loop. If you only ingest real sugar, stevia's taste will strike you as odd, the way that saccharine did back in the day.
It can be a challenge to find stevia in bulk, though, such that you can mete it out with measuring spoons and cups. I make hot chocolate with it but grow weary of tearing open several dozen packets to sweeten it enough. On the plus side, if you make it from scratch yourself and have one of those drink frothers you'll get an amazing mug of hot chocolate versus the convenient one Swiss Miss delivers.
I found another sugar alternative called Swerve. I believe it's an alcohol sugar. It tastes better. Adding lots of half-and-half helps too.
Thanks, I'll check into that. What supermarket chain carries it?
Walmart, Amazon, I'm sure several others. On searching, turns out they have a brown sugar substitute too, I'll have to try that in oatmeal.
Go for chocolate without sugar or with a lot less sugar?
If you can't then maybe your drug of choice was actually sugar and not chocolate.
p.s. on a related note I think it's wrong for sugar pills to be used as placebos in medical studies. Sugar is an active substance that lots of people (especially in the USA) are addicted to.
I drank this [kroger.com] because it was on sale once, before realizing it had more sugar in it than soda does.