Energy drinks have become extremely popular in the last few years. I remember in college, the only energy boost options we had were coffee (which I hate) and Jolt Cola (which tasted like crap but gave you a nice buzz). That’s assuming you didn’t want to delve into the recreational use of pills like No-Doz and Dexatrim. In the last few years, though, energy boosting drinks have become all the rage. Red Bull was the first of the energy drinks to become hip and popular, but now you can find energy drinks branded with Las Vegas (a city), Hulk Hogan (a wrestler), Von Dutch (a clothing company), Orange County Choppers (a custom chopper shop) and many, many more. You can still find Jolt Cola in certain smaller markets in the US. TaB, the ever elusive diet soda, also has its own energy drink, and so does Ice T. That’s right, ICE-FRIGGIN-T has his own energy drink! Take that home, play with it, see if it rolls over. Anywho, I originally resisted the urge to try these things, but I’ve become curious to their energy-giving abilities whenever I wake up in the morning for work feeling like I was hit by a truck. I figured I’d either try these energy drinks and I would feel better, or they would make me feel like a crack addict; all twitchy and shifty-eyed, waiting for my next fix. With this review, I’ll let you in on some of my favorite energy drinks and I’ll give mini-reviews of each. I’ll let you know if it tastes good and if it does actually give you a boost in energy. Let’s take a look.
Red Bull – I’ll begin with the daddy of the modern energy drink boom. It’s become hip to drink these on the bar scene and quite a sizeable mixed drink menu has sprung up using this as an ingredient (i.e. Jager Bombs). It’s not bad. It has a very black liquorice taste which goes away when you are about half way through the can. I prefer the Sugar Free version as it has 100 fewer calories and the sugary, liquorice-y taste is somewhat muted. As you try more and more of these energy drinks you will see they have a similar taste: black liquorice. Just keep that in mind. As for Red Bull’s energy boost, I never got a slight buzz or energy lift from it. But that’s just me, you may find different results as people metabolize food and drink differently. For me, though, this is best used as a drink mixer. According to Energy Fiend, 170.63 cans of Red Bull would kill me.
RockStar – This is pretty popular too. Steph tells me that other teachers at her school (Club-A) drink the Diet version to give them a boost. The product has a great name, and their slogan rocks too; “Party Like A RockStar”. I bought it for my friend Dave who said it didn’t do much for him (he likes Red Bull), but I decided to try it on my own. As far as energy boosting, this gives me the biggest buzz. One can of this or the Diet Rockstar and I feel like a ferret on a double espresso. A few weeks ago, I had one at 7am and I STILL had trouble getting to sleep that night. The Diet Rockstar does have that “Diet” taste compared to the regular RockStar, but it has 0 sugar and 20 calories (220 calories in regular) and, like Red Bull, Rockstar has a very black liquorice-y taste. The taste does fade as you progress into the can, but the first few sips, for me, kick like a pissed off mule. If you need the energy boost, pick up a can of Rockstar and prepare for the onslaught of mind-buzzing energy shakes. If you want taste, you’ve bought the wrong can. According to Energy Fiend, 91.00 cans of RockStar would kill me.
TaB Energy – One of the first diet sodas on the market, TaB, gets its own energy drink. The drink itself is pretty tasty…and pink. Not only is the can the trademark TaB pink, but the actual drink itself is pink. Like neon pink. Almost EMBARRASSINGLY pink. TaB was originally developed by Coca-Cola in 1963. Originally thought, by me, to be discontinued, TaB is still available in limited markets because it still sells just enough to be profitable. So, in reaction to the growing energy drink market, Coke decided to release TaB Energy. The drink, I just found out, is marketed mostly for women, so I looked like the idiot when I was checking out at the Winn-Dixie. TaB Energy tastes nothing like the original TaB because it’s not a cola drink, they just share the same brand name. The drink is sweet, almost candy-like in its taste, but the energy kick is low, almost non-existent, consistent with Coke’s other energy drink, Full Throttle. Pretty good on taste, but an energy drink that doesn’t give you energy is like kissing your sister. Sure she’s hot and it tastes good, but why bother? It’s illegal. According to Energy Fiend, 143.68 cans of TaB Energy would kill me.
MDX – This is the Mountain Dew energy drink. It’s very similar to Coke’s other energy drink, Full Throttle, but does not taste as good. It’s almost bland, like Diet Mountain Dew, and there was NO energy boost. Period. If you are going to take the taste away, at least hit me with some nervous energy to make me forget that I drank bland sugar water. Both Sugar Free and regular taste the same. So if you like the taste of Diet Mountain Dew but think it should cost twice as much, this is your drink. According to Energy Fiend, 165.96 cans of MDX would kill me.
SoBe No Fear – SoBe is known for their juice drinks which aren’t bad. Unfortunately, their energy drink blows donkey. I applaud their attempt to make it taste like their juice drinks. The first few sips of this drink have a distinct apricot taste that is not un-welcome after so many black licorice flavors. Why must all energy drinks taste like spoiled black liquorice? Let’s mix things up a bit, people!! After several more sips of SoBe, though, the taste goes from apricot, to crap-ricot. I couldn’t finish the can it was so bad. I’m pretty sure I didn’t drink enough to get the energy buzz, but I don’t care. Worst tasting energy drink EVER. According to Energy Fiend, 172.78 cans of SoBe No Fear would kill me.
Okay, that’s it for today, class. Look for part 2 coming later this week.