Death by Taurine: Energy Drink Reviews Part II


Welcome to part 2 of my energy drink reviews. If you missed part 1, just click here for reviews of Red Bull, RockStar, MDX, SoBe No Fear and TaB Energy. If you read those, then move along to part 2 below where I discuss 6 more energy drinks.

Full Throttle – This is Coca-Cola’s first entry into the energy drink market. So far, on taste alone, this is one of my favorite drinks. It’s like a stronger Mountain Dew or Mello Yello. Very good and the Sugar Free version (0 cals, 0 sugar) tastes exactly the same as the full Full Throttle. As far as its energy boost, there is none. No energy boost in an energy drink is like taking the bus to cross the street. What’s the point? On taste alone, this is one of the best, but there is, inexplicably, no energy boost.

Full Throttle also makes a version called Full Throttle: Fury. There isn’t a lot of difference between Fury and the regular FT. The taste isn’t as potent, and the kick is still non-existent. That’s the difference. Just acknowledge that it’s there and move on.

Von Dutch – You’ve seen the Von Dutch label on celebrities’ clothes, jeans and trucker caps, now taste the energy drink. Overall, it’s really good. It has the second best energy kick next to Diet Rockstar, and its taste is actually better, not so black licorice-y. What the hell is in the drinks that make them all taste like black licorice? I hate black licorice. Sugar Free has the same kick as regular with an even better taste. I would almost say this is my favorite because the taste is pretty good and the energy kick isn’t so potent that I feel like I just freebased cocaine and chased it with heroin.

Vault – This has had a pretty big marketing campaign based on the slogan “Drinks like a Soda, Kicks like an Energy Drink”. That tagline should read, “Drinks like watered down soda, Kicks like a One-Legged Man”. It tastes like an even blander version of MDX, if that’s possible. The Sugar Free Vault even manages to step down the taste ANOTHER notch. It’s like drinking water with a splash of Diet Mountain Dew…and no energy kick. Very disappointing. Move along.

Monster Energy – This energy drink has the tagline ‘Unleash the Beast’. Somewhat silly for a drink that tastes like jolly ranchers. This is a fairly good tasting energy drink with a mild kick. If Diet Rockstar has the highest kick, and Von Dutch is second, this would be third. Von Dutch still tastes better as this drink is too sweet. Even the Lo-Carb version tastes sugary. Calorie levels are similar to all the other drinks; regular has 200 calories and Lo-Carb has 20 calories. A not bad, if somewhat pedestrian, choice for your energy drink.

Like RockStar, there are like 4 versions of Monster Energy. I only tried regular and lo-carb. I didn’t even bother with the other two.

Arizona Green Tea with Ginseng – This is not officially labeled as an energy drink, but it definitely gives the buzz of an energy drink. Back in 1999, before the energy drink boom and during the time when dot-coms were considered good investments, I was consulting at a client in Tampa, FL. A fellow consultant liked this tea and he got me liking it too. We weren’t really using it for the energy boost, at first, but it gave us such a great buzz that we began to use it for that very reason. He would drink them like crazy. He drank like 5 one day and was bouncing off the walls. Back then the tea came in a really cool bright blue/violet bottle with finger grooves in the side. Now it is sold in a regular bottle with a picture of a tree on it. It’s also sold in giant cans that look like the regular bottle. Still gives a good kick and it tastes pretty good too. Check it out, there’s also a Diet version with only 20 calories.

Jolt Cola – I used to drink this in college when I was cramming for an exam. The last time I used it was in 1997 while studying late for my COBOL final exam. It gives a great buzz but the sugar crash is heinous. You actually feel hungover after drinking a bunch of this stuff. I thought it had been discontinued, but it’s still sold in certain parts of the country. Jolt Cola today has a new package that looks like a battery (get it? Energy=Battery…clever) and it comes in several varieties (Cherry, Ultra, Blue, Cola and Red). I’ve tried the Cherry and Ultra. Very tasty and still has the sugar/caffeine kick I remember. The sugar crash has been toned down with some other ingredients like Vitamin B and Ginseng. If you can find it, I still recommend it.

UPDATED!! Click here for Death by Taurine Part III – 5 NEW energy drink reviews.

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25 Responses to “Death by Taurine: Energy Drink Reviews Part II”

  1. hey i past out a few days ago cause of the energy drinks should i be scared or what if you could tell me more about them please

  2. If you passed out because of the energy drinks, I would think you might want to cut back. Just a little, though.

  3. blhaalsdfj Says:

    i dissagree with everything u said. i drank a full throttle at 10 and i stayed awak all night. and also von dutch is the worst one i tasted, it tastes like smoke! and it definetly doesnt have a good energy kick!! and monster is definetly the second best energy kick, and it doesnt tast sugary, it tastes just fine!!

    YOUR VIEWER blhaalsdfj

  4. haha…yeah, my friend Dave disagrees with me, too. He likes Red Bull but doesn’t like Rockstar saying it doesn’t give him a buzz. People metabolize and process food/drink differently, so I wouldn’t expect everyone to have the same tastes and reactions as me.

    Drink what you like, my friend.

  5. I just had someone tell me that people have been dieing from energy drinks, but all I can find on the net is like three freak accidents. I guess you spill protien in your urine, which is not good, so it’s bad for your kidneys? But what in it is bad? What if you only drink 8.4-17 oz. per day?

  6. i find monster very good it is my favorite and i got my adiction from it.
    You should try the other flavors.
    Monster Assault , to me, is better then regular , and the rest are good !
    i love full throttles taste

    also , with kelly. ive been told by alot of people that there deadly. People have been worried about my amount of intake from them. I drink about at least three a week, ranging up to about 9. not only is it “killing me, ” but its been getting VERY expensive..
    jolt tastes SOOO good as well.
    rockstar is pretty gross. but now that im horrribly addicted. it dont matter to me : (

    .adiction sucks.

  7. Yes, since I’ve done all of these reviews I’ve had to cut back my consumption of a lot of these drinks as the caffeine levels were too high.

  8. I know a 22-year old that just died over drinking Monster drinks. The only finding on autopsy was green urine. Please don’t take their use lightly and stop them now!

  9. Yes, drinking anything like this in excess is not a good idea.

    Everything in moderation.

  10. Nice reviews, Paxton. I had no idea that Von Dutch has an energy drink. Wow.

    By the way, I work with Stacker 2 and we have our own energy drink, the 6 Hour Power energy shot. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? We were wondering if you could help us out by taking this short, anonymous survey about the drink:

    We would really appreciate any input you sent our way. If you do take the survey, that would be great if you e-mailed me to let me know you did. Feel free to ask me any questions you may have about the drink, too. I hope to hear back from you soon. Also, I hope you don’t mind me commenting on your post. Have a great day.

    Franklin Keane
    Brand Ambassador

  11. Hmmm… I have been drinking energy drinks for a few months now. Started out with AMP but realized I bloated big time! Big surprise its made my pepsi… so its more of a carbonated drink. Love red bull and Monster. Just afraid of all the things I have heard (the scares.) But, being in school and raising for kids – it gives me energy!

  12. Hey Has anyone try FIXX i haven’t but im curious on it my friend says its the worlds strongest w/ 200mg of caffeine in one teaspoon. but i want to hear another person before i try it…

  13. Overall, good article. I have to comment on one thing though: You tried the wrong SoBe drink. No Fear is crap… next time try their Adrenaline Rush. Far from the usual black licorice overtone, this stuff has a nice citrous taste that to me seems like a cross between Mt Dew and orange juice.. very nice flavor. It also has the standard run of extra vitamins (B12 anyone?), minerals and supplements that you’ll find in just about every energy drink on the market except Red Bull – which oddly enough seems to lack just about every energy giving ingredient except caffeine itself.

    Adrenaline Rush is my favorite energy drink of all time, though I’ve started cutting back on all of them recently – headaches from caffeine withdrawal are terrible. I’ve managed to cut down to around 150mg caffeine a day right now and still cutting back… green tea is helping.

    And speaking of, you’re right about the green tea giving you a kick. Along with caffeine content (which is actually much less than coffee), two additional caffeine metabolites – theophylline and theobromine – are naturally found in green tea. Theophylline has a stimulatory effect on the central nervous system and respiratory center and the energy boost provided is greater than caffeine. Theobromine (also found naturally in cocoa, btw) increases heart rate while dilating (opening) blood vessels at the same time, temporarily lowering blood pressure. You should read up on it sometime…. 🙂

  14. alright monster energy is the best but if u chug down a nos in less than 30 seconds you will literally barf out parts of ur organs. It happened to me yesterday at school. Monster will always be the best and venom second and nos third. FUCK YOU GUYS MONSTER WILL ALWAYS BE THE BEST *FLIPS YOU ALL OFF* >:)

  15. colonel sanders Says:

    I persoanlly like the reviews you gave and I totally agree with you on the monster and rockstar but I’d like it if you included more of the drinks and the other monsters are actually pretty good I personally like the assult best besides the original

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  24. For most children, adolescents, and young adults, safe levels of consumption have not been established. Yet, heavy use may be harmful or interact with medications and cause untoward adverse effects. Health care providers should educate families and children at risk for the potential adverse effects of energy drinks. Children with cardiac conditions should be counseled regarding the risks of caffeine-containing products, including irregular heart rhythms, syncope, dysrhythmias, and sudden death.

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