Sep 22, 2017
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Don't know if this is the appropriate forum to post, mods, please feel free to move if needed. So I have to take my board exam next week which is 8 hours. During residency, I've come to get dependent on energy drinks and have the luxury of using the restroom whenever I want. I am unable to tolerate coffee due to severe GI distress and I remember when I took step 2, I had to go use the restroom a lot. I was wondering if there is an alternative that i can use on the day of the test? I imagine using caffeine pills would have a similar diuretic effect as regular coffee/energy drinks?

Thanks in advance!
 

Raryn

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Whatever you want to drink. There's no scientific "best" here. I personally prefer diet mountain dew during big exams - but I also don't need to go to the bathroom more often than every block.
 
Aug 27, 2018
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I’m a regular coffee drinker but when I want something different I drink Gfuel.

It’s an energy drink for gamers ha but it tastes good and has 150mg if caffeine. It comes as powder you mix with water or there are now cans.
 

AdmiralChz

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I never really did much caffeine drinks during tests. G2 was typically my go-to - regular Gatorade a little too sugary for me.

I am thrilled I (probably) never have to take a multi-hour computer test again.
 

Crayola227

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Not the first and probably won't be the last time that I suggest wearing incontinence pads for a long test.

Also, consider caffeine pills. Be sure to empty your bladder before the test and on as many breaks as you can, even if it seems like you don't need to.
 
OP
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Sep 22, 2017
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I'm just going to put my energy drink in a thermos and take it as needed during the test.
 

indest

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I develop pre-renal azothemia before an exam and stay dry. The day of the exam, I take a caffeine pills with minimal water. I follow that up with Motrin for potential tension headache ppx. Followed by Pepto 1 hour later to "lock" me up. This is my normal exam cocktail for every exam since step 1.
 

Crayola227

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I develop pre-renal azothemia before an exam and stay dry. The day of the exam, I take a caffeine pills with minimal water. I follow that up with Motrin for potential tension headache ppx. Followed by Pepto 1 hour later to "lock" me up. This is my normal exam cocktail for every exam since step 1.
wat

and I thought my adult diaper suggestion was extreme
 
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Crayola227

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FWIW, I think the adult diaper suggestion is still way more extreme than caffeine/ibuprofen/pepto.
It wasn't so much the cocktail, which makes some sense, but inducing prerenal azotemia by voluntary dehydration.
 

Crayola227

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I get that he's being hyperbolic about the beans, still, I would take a diaper I need to change on my next scheduled test break over 1+ days of dehydration the day of a test.

I've never had to actually use the pad. But I've always been well hydrated for my tests.
 

dpmd

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Do you have a limited bladder capacity? Otherwise drink whatever you need beforehand and on breaks and pee during breaks. Do I just have abnormally large bladder capacity where worrying about emptying my bladder has never been a concern for me during tests or any other situation?
 
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Crayola227

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I'll admit that for whatever reason my bladder was a concern for me on the MCAT and at least a couple of the Steps, I can recall vividly in what ways I felt it had an impact on my experience during the test. So, I think it's a valid concern and one to consider ways of managing. That said, it's usually not drastic to manage or a make or break issue. Most of the time all you need to do is make a point of peeing whenever the opportunity arises vs waiting for the urge to strike you during a block or break. There are adequate opportunities for most people. For all my talk about a pad, all I can really say is that a lot of this is more about managing anxiety for most people, than a real problem. There are different ways for managing anxiety. Some people have more or less anxiety regarding their bladder.

I think it's useful as well to study in ways that simulate the test day experience, and that is an opportunity to practice coping strategies for test conditions. The advice I've heard is, drink the amount of caffeine and fluids you normally drink while you study. Then, simulate the test, while continuing to drink what you drink, or intend to the day of the test. Try having planned bathroom breaks. If that doesn't work, consider trying some of the above suggestions. I don't suggest you try reducing caffeine, or dehydration + pepto etc, or a pad, or caffeine pills, the first time, the day of the test. I appreciate that the OP is looking for ideas to try ahead of time.

But yes, some of us feel our bladders are more annoying than others.
 

Crayola227

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Do you have a limited bladder capacity? Otherwise drink whatever you need beforehand and on breaks and pee during breaks. Do I just have abnormally large bladder capacity where worrying about emptying my bladder has never been a concern for me during tests or any other situation?
well, you are a surgeon, surely the fact you also have an iron bladder is no coincidence? maybe even a selective factor? a protective one? or a result? :p
 

dpmd

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well, you are a surgeon, surely the fact you also have an iron bladder is no coincidence? maybe even a selective factor? a protective one? or a result? :p
You have a point. I took mcat paper and pencil so the only breaks were at the discretion of others, and don't remember any bladder concern so perhaps there is some self selection (like small bladder folks hate it as a rotation because they have to ask to go pee or suffer, meanwhile they notice anesthesia sneaking off whenever they want to and gravitate there instead).
 

Mass Effect

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Do you have a limited bladder capacity? Otherwise drink whatever you need beforehand and on breaks and pee during breaks. Do I just have abnormally large bladder capacity where worrying about emptying my bladder has never been a concern for me during tests or any other situation?
Ditto. I never worried about this. Unless you have bladder issues, I don't understand why this would be a problem for the average test-taker. As for the caffeine, Motrin, Pepto cocktail, that's also extreme. Many wonder why doctors have mental health issues. Self-inflicted pressure and stress is a large part.
 

samac

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I use 5hour energy in halves for long tests. 2 bottles, Half of one before the test, half at 1st break, half at end of lunch and if I feel like I need the last half take it in the afternoon.
 
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