Developers turn more than pizza and coffee into code, what do you consume to code

samuraiseoul profile image Scott Lavigne ・1 min read

The old adage goes, "A developer is a machine that takes in pizza and coffee, and outputs code.", and while that is a fun little quote, if it were the truth, most devs wouldn't live past 35.

Many of us are very busy little developers, and have trouble getting the time to grab breakfast or lunch, and an even harder time grabbing something that's good for the brain. So my question is, what are your go to foods for quick, no-time dev sessions? Also what techniques do you use to stay hydrated?


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My main fuel is tea. I try not to eat while coding, or even 35 would be quite hard to reach ahah.

When I'm tired I have a tendency to use (and abuse) energy drinks too. I noticed that a cigarette really helps me focus, but I'm not a regular smoker so I usually don't do it.


cig in front of the screen... i did that daily when younger and i can't say how many times i got this damn smoke in the eyes, the hashes on the keyboard and everything becomes sticky. Really bad practice. Vap is much better, although you cant keep the stuff in the mouth but that's exactly how you got the smoke in the eyes so well nvm.


Which kinds of tea? Also hot or cold?


Mostly green or black but I enjoy white and oolong as well, I just love tea and there is too much awesome teas to stick to one kind only!
As for hot or cold: mostly hot, sometimes cold in the summer but it takes more time to prepare so... laziness kicks in.

I just have never been able to get into hot drinks. I even had a hard time with soup until I studied abroad in Korea.

Well you can still try cold tea, it's awesome too!

I like cold tea, but as you said, its a pain. Have you ever tried to cold brew tea? If so how did that go?

Never tried it, no, I'm not sure the result would be great.

Just did some googling, looks VERY promising actually.

I just reuse my old Kevita bottles, add cold water and a tea bag, cap it, stick it in the fridge, leave it overnight, and drink it the next day. It's not gourmet by any means, but it's easy and tastes great on a hot day.

Ugh. Tea bags.

Eh, well, you've got to go with what's available, so it's tea bags or nothing for me. Well, unless I get confirmation on some of the native plants that started creeping into the yard - I may have a ton of sage tea one of these days.

And hipster mode? I mentioned brewing it in a Kevita bottle, so I think we've got that covered. It's all good.


Breakfast: Oatmeal (from loose granola mixed with almond milk), banana, pineapple tidbits, and flax seeds

Lunch: Recently, just an apple. But I have had quinoa mixed with chana masala, just quinoa, veggie sandwich, and a veggie wrap.

I drink water and have increased my chewing of gum to balance my need for snacking without the snacks.

If I had snacks they would be black bean tortilla chips with hummus, pretzels (order of preference: minis, nuggets, sticks, big sized pretzels), chocolate bars, or peanut butter bars.


Wow, you eat way healthier than I do! Do you bring that from home though especially the lunch stuff or is there somewhere close for you to get that?


Since I am vegan and we just bought a house. I make my own food aside from the store-bought chana masala, hummus, pretzels, and candy bars.

The oatmeal is easy, I prep that a few days in advance and then take out small portions. Then each morning I assemble it in a container and take it with me. I could assemble it in the evening, but I just don't have that in my routine.

Making my own food has definitely helped reduce my food expenses for the month and since I've made it a habit it's easy to follow through.

I didn't realize oatmeal kept. I didn't like it as a kid but maybe I'll give it another shot. Also, is your name related to SG-1? If so, it's always nice to meet another Stargate fan, there's too few of us.

I'm a Stargate fan too :D

(yes, this post has no other use than saying that)

There are literally dozens of us!

There are millions if us!

I'm a fan of SG1, SGU, and SGA in that order.

I am actually in the process of deciding whether or not to use my real name and/or change my GitHub username to something that resembles my name.

I haven't decided. The biggest fears I have is loss of name recognition and disassociating what I've contributed on other projects from the new name.

Name changes are hard, I would say don't bother changing it unless you become like twitter famous or something. But I'm not super famous, so no reason to listen to me!

Also SGU before SGA? Rare to see that preference! Anyways, is going vegan part of your journey to ascension? :P

No journey to ascension as far as I know. Just got some alone time happened to read some online articles about it and for ethical reasons decided to make the change.

Figuring out a way to have sweets was very helpful in keeping me on track.

As far as I SGA, I still like all the shows of Stargate, I just was ready for a show with a different formula than SG1.


I tend to go for a strange combination (but not all at once) of coffee, tea, kombucha, salads, and whatever my husband plans for dinner, with a bit of heat added by me. I can't help it if I grew up on chilies. I also can't help it if he can't handle habaneros, much less ghost peppers.

TL;DR Caffeine and spiciness.


Work him up. One capsaicin molecule, then two, then three, increasing by one a day until he can handle spicy food! It may take a long time though.


Well, it's been 20 years, and he's still in the ketchup is hot phase. The weird part is that we lived in Korea together for a year - he should be used to it after that. Gochujang on all the things...

Has no excuse then lol. Were you teaching there? I studied there for 2 semesters.

I was stationed there for 3 years, actually. US Army...

He was allowed to stay with me for only 1 year of it, though.

No, Weagwan and Uijongbu, actually. Where did you go for your 2 semesters?


For me, it's cannabis. Give me a couple puffs and a blank text editor and I can usually pump out something awesome. It just gets me so focused and in the zone I'm way more productive.

Coffee also helps as a workplace friendly alternative.

Give me a little of both and who knows what I could accomplish!


Haha living the sober life here, but that's an interesting method. I would just eat 100 chicken nuggets and pass out if I tried to code while high.


It's definitely the thing I am most disciplined about. If I wanna be high all the time, I HAVE to be productive while I do it. Can't slip into the lazy stoner bum stereotype.

After a while it became normal and if I get stoned and don't do anything, I'm usually thinking about what to do and then that makes me want to go do it.

That's some next level discipline there.

Yet somehow I can't get myself to the gym 3 times a week! [Crying_while_eating_a_pizza_emoji.png]


I'm a big fan of Uncrustables(frozen pre-made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches) for a quick breakfast. Unfortunately though if I don't have leftovers, the chance of a healthy lunch, or lunch at all are slim. :(

I try and keep sparkling water around and drink it liberally but if its gone I often forget to drink enough water. Normally due to a lack of a water cooler(getting one though).


I don't know what your tap water is like, but for the longest time we had one of those Brita things that screws on over your kitchen faucet like this. Instant delicious filtered water.


We talked about getting one but our sink in the office sucks, like the actual sink unit, not the water, and we can't really fix it, so we're gonna get a cooler that hooks into the water line from the sounds of it as long as the building owner agrees.

Oh ya, a water-line fed cooler is probably the way to go then. At my work we use one of those 5 gallon jug coolers and refill our jugs at the closest place with quarters out of our massive gumball machine (The office is part retail store, so the staff aren't the only ones funding our water).


A lot of gum! gets my brain going real fast.


Does your jaw not tire after a while? Also I find gum makes me super hungry after a bit of chewing.


Depends on how furiously I want to get stuff done, but generally my jaw doesn't get tired. Gums used to make me hungry but I've been abusing it so much it doesn't produce that effect on me anymore πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™‚οΈ

I chew gum too while coding, but it just makes me thirsty, then I drink water :)


Would really love to do this too! Unfortunately I live in Singapore...


Wow, TIL gums are banned in Singapore. 😞

Not gum itself. The sale of gum is banned.


In my country, especially in my state, there is a snack called "Tareco", which is some kind of bite-sized wheat and butter cookies. I can easily eat a whole sack of these in a regular day of work.
To make a combination, I just get black coffe or water, whatever it is available to get to work at the moment.


Interesting, they look a lot like Nilla wafers here in the ol' USA. But ours have vanilla flavoring and are the most important part of banana pudding....


These Nilla wafers looks delicious too, :3. I need to remind me to prove some when I get the chance.


In the heat, smoothies, especially from frozen fruit with mint.

Also, italian salad, almost every delivery service has it here in Germany. It isn't as heavy as a full meal, but more than a regular salad.


I love coffee, so the adage is quite true on me. However, although I'm immune to most of the effects of caffeine (doctor-confirmed), I do have to be extra mindful of my hydration.

I've noticed that, if I keep a cup or mug of anything in front of me on the desk, I will instinctively drink from it, and refill it whenever it goes empty. Thus, instead of keeping my coffee mug there, I keep a water glass. If I'm bored of that, I'll switch to a mug of herbal tea.


I'm a young developer so my answer might be different, but I typically go for tea and candy. Caffeine upsets my stomach so I really stick with green tea, and I usually eat Skittles or Mike and Ike's or gobstoppers


For me it's porridge, cereals with cold milk (oat milk, I can't even stand the smell cow milk) and mocha tea.


What kind of porridge? Also what is mocha tea? I was under the impression that mocha was chocolate flavored coffee.


I meant matcha tea, sorry πŸ˜…too similar words. It's oat porridge, I boil a measure of oats with a measure and a half of water until the oats absorb all the water, some times I add some honey, and then I pour it into a bowl and add oat milk.

Isn't that oatmeal? Lol sounds good though. And understandable, matcha and mocha do sound similar!

I think in UK people tend to call it porridge.

Canada it's oatmeal porridge. 555 (thai for laughing hahaha). Love how the world is different and the same.


Do you really have 'quick, no-time dev sessions'? Sounds quite a rough job if you can't even get a five or ten minute break to have a decent meal. The only time I've had that in a developer job is when there was a production issue immediately before lunch...


Going to go against the flow here, but try to not do "no time" dev sessions. Take 30 minutes off to have an actual slow-paced lunch. Crunch time is not good, it doesn't earn you badges. In half an hour you can make eggs (any), fry bacon, make an avocado toast, or even put some chicken in the oven for 20 minutes and steam vegetables in 5.

Stay hydrated technique: I read somewhere that "if you don't have a bottle of water within reach of you RIGHT NOW, you're dehydrated." So always have a bottle (0.5L+) of water within reach on your desk. Plus having to stand up to refill it is great to move you.


I get by mostly on mixed nuts and diet coke (in addition to the standard pizza and coffee). I also keep a loaf of bread in my desk and a jar of nuts 'n' more for my chocolate craving and added protein.


Coffee? Yes, please. We have a very nice coffee machine in our new office that's great. I have to pace myself so I don't get a caffeine buzz. I also have to avoid the settings that make a sugary latte or the like.

Speaking of sugar and carbs, I used not to be careful with my diet. I'd eat almost constantly all day long as I coded. This caused me to develop health issues because I was 100 pounds overweight. I decided about 2 years ago to get rid of that excess baggage so now I'm about 90 pounds lighter and feeling better.

I mainly did it by eating healthier, low sugar and low calorie, and exercise. Most of my meals during the day were protein shakes with fiber to add bulk to make me feel full. While I'm not quite as strict now, I make sure that I maintain a limit on the amount of sugar, carbs and calories I eat so that I won't bounce back up.


Fun fact: I hate pizza. Anything with tomatoes, really. (except ketchup, but that's sugar and vinegar so it doesn't count)

  • Breakfast: Nothing. Sleep.
  • Lunch: Jimmy John's or Panera take out since I can order online and pick it up when I remember to. If I need to work on homework over lunch instead of taking it at my desk, I'll get something from one of the other eateries in the area and dine in with a laptop
  • Dinner: One of the eateries in the area or a convinience meal at home
  • Drink: Mountain Dew or beer

This week for groceries I bought little breakfast cookies to dip into coffee at my desk at work for breakfast and turkey and cheese for lunch. So we'll see how this goes. I won't get my new drink tumbler in the mail until Wednesday, but I need to figure out how to cut out pop by the end of the year since I dislike being chubby.


Usually my go to is coffee but I do like tea. Lots of tempting snacks at work but I try to stick to non processed foods. Usually nuts, carrots, grapes, yogurt. Sometimes I cheat and eat potato chips or m and ms


I'm the weird sheep among my peers and colleagues cuz I'm not the type that eats junk food and gets little hours of sleep working on code.
Usually I have green tea when I'm about to go on a focused coding session and have some biscuits or small pastries.
I eat mostly healthy don't like fast food in general (maybe only pizza hmm)
In non-vacation times I usually have a routine for going to the gym and I become very strict with my meals. (not to the point of counting calories, I already have an app for that :p)


I consume litres of green tea, sometimes when i need boost, i use Pepsi Max (because i am fat) or RedBull because it is fuel :)


In hot weather it's zero-alcohol beer for me. It's low calorie, not full of chemicals, and not sweet enough to make you crave more.

Mmmmm ... beer.


Coffe and sparkling water. I kinda just live with whats served from work etc. Never eat big meals because foodcoma is not fun to code with.