Saturday, April 28, 2012

Review for Red Bull Total Zero

It’s been a good couple of weeks for energy drink hunting—within a 14-day period, Monster Rehab—Orangeade, Übermonster, and Red Bull Total Zero all show up at my local grocery store!  Anyway, with the first two reviewed, it’s time for me to review all three sizes (they’re not doing this beverage in the 20 oz. size, apparently) of the much-anticipated Red Bull Total Zero—which differs from Red Bull Sugar Free, from what I understand, only in the fact that the sweetener blend in this newer beverage includes sucralose in addition to Ace K and Aspartame.  Let’s see how it performs….


80 mg/8.4 oz. can
114 mg/12 oz. can
154 mg/16 oz. can


I don’t think I even need to comment here.  If you can’t find it yet, you’ll be able to soon.  It’ll be everywhere.


The strength in Red Bull’s motif is in the fact that it needs to say very little to say everything that needs saying—that this is the original energy drink, that this is the drink almost everyone tries to duplicate, and that this is the drink that every energy drink company that’s ever been established since has to compete with.  Red Bull products exude confidence, and the new Total Zero, clad in dark grey, is no exception.


So here’s the big question—how does the new drink taste?  Well, as I mentioned, the only difference between Total Zero and Sugar Free is the fact that the sweetener blend in Total Zero includes sucralose.  Popping my first can and taking a sip, I notice immediately that the flavor is stronger and less watered down than Sugar Free.  Having previous experience with Red Bull, I knew I was going to be getting an aftertaste soon enough, and to be sure, it came on as soon as the actual taste fades.  Rather than compounding the bitterness of the original, as did Sugar Free, the added sucralose kind of blends the two, such that they kind of drown each other out.  So in the end, you have a product that tastes like the original, only slightly less muted, and an aftertaste that’s similarly distracting and distinct from that of the original.

8.4 OZ. CAN


Here’s where I’m going to be struggling to find something to write, because in terms of kick, Total Zero is like all the rest.  The 8.4 oz. can here delivers a decent boost, at least enough to clear out the cobwebs and leave you feeling slightly alert.


Drinking the 8.4 oz. can will give you about 2 hours of energy, after which it will have worn off without a crash.


If a slight boost is all you need, and if you like Red Bull but don’t like Red Bull Sugar Free, then I think it’s safe to say that an 8.4 oz. Red Bull Total Zero might be up your alley.

12 OZ. CAN


I didn’t find the 12 oz. can to be all that more potent than the 8.4 oz. can—even though you are getting more caffeine, it’s only enough to make a slight difference—just enough that you feel a little more alert.


Equally hard to distinguish from the 8.4 oz can—you get somewhere over 2 hours, but less than 2½.


The 12 oz. can is kind of in energy drink limbo—you’d probably wind up paying almost a dollar more than the 8.4 oz. can for a drink that’s only slightly more powerful.  Read on.

16 OZ. CAN


I actually found the 16 oz. Total Zero to be more potent than the 16 oz. Red Bull and 16 oz. Red Bull Sugar Free.  Not sure how that works, but in any case, it’s enough to get you alert, jittery, and yes, make you feel like you have wings.


The 16 oz. Total Zero will deliver about 3½ hours of energy before wearing off, leaving you feeling tired again but not as though you’ve crashed.


So…when it comes to kick, the moral with Total Zero is “go big or go home.”   The smaller sizes offer only a moderate buzz, and more often than not, I need more than that to really be functional.  Now, rating the 16 oz. Red Bull Total Zero overall, I’d say it’s a satisfactory, if spendy, energy drink experience.  It offers a taste that will please hardened Red Bull lovers, and is quite a bit more palpable than Sugar Free.  If I were the CEO of Red Bull, I’d probably just discontinue Red Bull Sugar Free and push Total Zero.


KEYWORDS: Red Bull Total Zero energy drink review, Red Bull Total Zero 8.4 oz. can review, Red Bull Total Zero 12 oz. can review, Red Bull Total Zero 16 oz. can review, 8.4 ounces, 12 ounces, 16 ounces, zero calories, zero sugar, zero carbs

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