Sunday, September 30, 2012

Review for Sambazon Energy

It’s 5:00 in the evening.  I’ve just finished taking an advanced human anatomy test followed by an organic chemistry test.  Next up is a calculus quiz.  I’m wandering aimlessly through the store, my eyes glazed over and a vacant expression on my face.  I am completely worn out.

I need something.  Not just anything, though.  Your run-of-the-mill energy drinks are probably out of the question, just because I can’t afford a crash should it come.  No…I need something that will energize me, yes, but I need the sort of energy that will revive me, something that will keep me going long enough to finish everything up and then go home and go to bed.

Wait, what’s this?  Another Sambazon energy beverage?  Yes, right here with the other fruit smoothies!  Could this be it?  The beverage I’m looking for?  The one that will brush away the fatigue and lift me up upon the blessed wings of functionality?

Let’s find out…


50 mg (yeah…you read that right.)


Found most everywhere that fruit smoothies are sold.  Local chains of intermediate size tend to be the best place to look.


This is a nice-looking bottle—about what you’d expect from an organic foods company.  It’s clean, it’s straightforward…and, of course, it’s purple.  My only complaint with regards to it is this: if you’re going to make an energy smoothie with a relatively low concentration of caffeine, why wouldn’t you make it big?  That would completely resolve the low energy/dinky smoothie problem.


Tastes pretty good, certainly better than either of their Amazon Energy drinks.  The açaí is front and center (as one would anticipate) with subtle nuances of the other berries in the blend.  Only problem is the prominent earthiness of the açaí, which offsets the whole experience by just a bit.  Other than that, it’s something I wouldn’t mind drinking regularly.


I wasn’t looking for a huge kick when I bought Sambazon Energy, and yes, I know it only had 50 mg of caffeine in it, but I was still a bit disenchanted by the minimal nature of its perceptible effects.  I didn’t really feel any more functional or awake or any less brain dead than I did before—even though I have to say I did feel slightly better as a whole than I did previously.


There were hardly any effects to note—how am I supposed to gauge its longevity?


As far as an energizing beverage is concerned, Sambazon Energy falls short of what I like to get out of a drink.  Still, it tastes good, and does have potential.  Here’s my advice, Sambazon—discontinue the Amazon Energy drinks, up the size of this bottle (say to 20 ounces), and up the guarana and yerba mate.  You’d trim some of the fat off of your lineup and give us a better energy drink in place of the others.

Also, if there’s anything you can do to down the price, do it.  $3.50 is a bit spendy for a 10.5 oz. bottle of juice, even if it is tasty.


KEYWORDS: Sambazon Energy review, organic, yerba mate, guarana

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Review for Bad Girl


I seem to remember that it’s 166 mg, but I’d have to check the can to make sure.  I have the feeling, however, that it’s not an especially pressing matter to get this information online.


There are times that I wonder whether boxes of this stuff get lost in the inventory at gas stations, only to be found years later and placed on sale.  The spontaneous appearance of Bad Girl at a gas station that I knew had carried it long ago, coupled with the substantial amount of dust on the top of the can, leads me to believe that such is the case.  Other than this fluke appearance, Bad Girl is long gone.  I have no hopes for finding it in the future, and I doubt that anyone else will fare better.


With these female-oriented drinks, I can never decide whether they’re being serious or patronizing.  They’re always pink (because all girls like pink?), they’re always low calorie (because all girls drink low-calorie drinks?) and 90% of the time, they’re berry flavored (because all girls like berries?).  At any rate, Bad Girl is bold enough (hot pink and a creepy female face with eyes sans pupils or irises) that I’m more inclined to believe that it takes itself seriously and less inclined to believe that it’s the result of shameless pandering.


As indicated, this is another berry-flavored drink, as are most geared towards females.  I still don’t really get that, but I can at the very least say it’s more full-flavored and easier to enjoy than Go Girl’s bland attempt.  Only thing I have against it is that its’ got a very heavy artificial sweetener aftertaste—so if those bother you, you might want to stay away.


Bad Girl got me going alright; I imagine it would have worked just fine for its target demographic.  As for myself (white male, 6’1”, 170 lbs.), I found it perked me up and got me almost jittery.


Somewhere over three hours, without any perceptible crash.


To conclude, Bad Girl was an alright energy drink.  Given its years-long extinction, however, I doubt that anybody reading this review will be reading it in an attempt to make a decision regarding buying it.  If looking for an alternative, I’d suggest Rockstar Pink.

WEBSITE: Long gone.

KEYWORDS: Bad Girl energy drink review, diet, low calorie, low carb, sugar free, discontinued

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Review for MonaVie


60 mg


Very uncommon; distribution here in eastern Idaho is limited (from what I can tell) to a single gas station.


There is beauty in the simplicity of this can—I love the black, I love the blue bands, I love the unassuming logo/slogan/etc.  In a refrigerator full of drinks whose packaging practically shrieks at you from across the store, it’s funny how this small, understated 8.4 oz. can manages to stand out so nicely.


MonaVie is delicious.  It’s that simple.  I think I could count on one hand the number of energy drinks that I’ve enjoyed nearly as much.  The flavor’s that of açaí—tart, earthy, and just sweet enough to balance out the whole experience.  The drink is carbonated, but not by any means oppressively so—in fact, it’s so light that it almost comes across as a natural effervescent experience; sort of like what you’d get by fermenting fruit with lactobacilli.

I could easily see myself taking down four or five of these in one sitting—problem is that this is really expensive stuff.  My single can cost $3.69—not exactly conducive to wanton chugging.


After all that, it really pains me to say that a single can doesn’t give you all that much in terms of energy.  It’s enough to take the edge off the fatigue and wake you up a bit, but its uses are otherwise very limited.  I suppose that drinking a couple of them would deliver a more substantial boost, but again…it’s pretty cost-prohibitive stuff to consume.


Effects are noticeable for perhaps an hour and a half.


To conclude, MonaVie is insanely delicious, but it’s very expensive and not especially effective.  If you can get it cheap, go for it, otherwise, take the following bit of advice:

At Jamba Juice, there is a smoothie called the Açaí Super-Antioxidant that tastes every bit as good as MonaVie.  A 32 oz. cup, plus a 3G Charger Boost (with 120 mg of all-natural caffeine) will cost you about $5.69.  And yes, that’s more than MonaVie—but, as something that serves as, for all intents and purposes, an adequately caffeinated, all-natural meal, the value is light years better.  I would personally go that route unless MonaVie’s price goes way down, which I don’t foresee in the near future.

Now that I’ve written all that, I’m dying to go down to Jamba Juice and get one of those.  Too bad it’s 15 minutes past midnight….


KEYWORDS: MonaVie energy drink review, all natural, yerba mate extract, green tea extract, guarana extract, supremely delicious

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Review for Vitamin Water--Energy

I like the concept of the vitamin water line a whole heck of a lot more than I like the execution.  The main idea is to have a line of functional beverages, each with a blend of ingredients designed to carry out a specified function—one that is high in vitamin C for immune boosting, one with caffeine (this one) for energy, and so forth.

Like I said, the idea is good.  The drinks…not so much.  Whatever meager functional effects you get out of them is offset by the large amount of fructose used to sweeten the drinks—so rather than getting a really healthy functional beverage, as you are led to believe, you wind up glorified sugar water.

My question is…if you are going to go through all this trouble to make, produce, and market such a line, why not actually make it healthy?  Why not cut the sugar content in half or even fourth it or something like that?  I suppose if you wanted to get really serious, you could ask why you wouldn’t use stevia—except the answer to that one is that it’s nasty.

Point is that this line is kind of a joke, and their take on an energy beverage here isn’t really an exception.  But you probably didn’t look this up to read my anti-Vitamin Water rant; you’re probably waiting for me to cut to the chase and tell you how this performs.  Well then, read on.


50 mg/20 oz. bottle
80 mg/32 oz. bottle




At the very least, I have to say that these bottles look alright—even if they don’t look so appealing when drained of the colorful liquid inside.  Everything works to create the appearance of a beverage that at least looks like what it should, even if it’s a bit on the plain end of things.


This is where Vitamin Water—Energy runs into problems.  It tastes like nothing so much as a watered down, tropical-fruit flavored Gatorade with a hint of guarana.  The other big problem is the high levels of sugar in these things—it’s tolerable if you’re only drinking the 20 oz. bottle, but if you’re drinking two freaking pints of this stuff, you start to feel sick pretty quick.  It was about at this point where I knew that I had been duped into thinking this would be healthy and functional—it doesn’t even try to taste the part.



50 mg of caffeine is almost nothing, and you can tell—because that’s what you get in terms of energy.  Almost nothing—perhaps enough to notice that you’ve drank something with caffeine in it, but nothing beyond that.


Effects lasted perhaps an hour.


When it comes to Vitamin Water—Energy, you have the choice between zero energy and an a saccharine holocaust.  This 20 oz. bottle provides the former.



The 32 oz. bottle delivered enough caffeine to make me feel somewhat energetic, though I wasn’t really able to enjoy it through the onslaught of the sugar on my system.  What’s the point of a caffeine buzz if you’re too busy feeling gross to appreciate it?


I felt the effects for maybe two and a half hours—so that’s something, right?


There doesn’t seem to be a way to win with Vitamin Water—Energy.  As I noted, the 20 oz. bottle won’t do a thing, but the 32 oz. bottle will only provide a boost at the cost of your feeling well.  Look over both sizes in favor of better beverages.

KEYWORDS: Vitamin Water Energy review, Vitamin Water Energy 20 ounces, Vitamin Water Energy 32 ounces

Review for Ironclad--Triple Citrus


154 mg


Generally hard to come by.  This might change in the near future; unfortunately it’s probably because it’ll be seen at Big Lots with greater frequency.


Like the overall design (this is a very gym-appropriate energy drink), don’t like the bare aluminum.


I didn’t like this one as much as Goji Berry, but it’s still reasonably good.  It’s mostly lemon in terms of flavor, but you do pick up hints of lime and scarcer hints of orange.  Best thing about it is that it doesn’t have a heavy, sugary feel that a lot of similar drinks have—which makes it excellent for its purposes as a thirst quencher/hydrator.  You a citrus person?  You’ll probably like Triple Citrus.


I felt pretty jittery after drinking Triple Citrus, but not so much that it really interfered with everything I was hoping to get done the day I drank it—this is an excellent drink if you’ve got a long day of manual labor ahead of you.


Somewhat less than four hours, no crash.


All-in-all, this is a pretty solid energy drink, and don’t the sort of thing that actually deserves to be at Big Lots.  Get your hands on it if you can and give it a whirl—this is a drink that’s plenty worthy of any energy-seeker’s consideration.

KEYWORDS: Ironclad Triple Citrus energy drink review, hydration energy drink, electrolytes

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Review for Arizona RX Energy


112 mg


Never really paid attention to Arizona drinks until this one caught my eye.  Most are found almost everywhere, but this one seems to be a hair less common than the rest.  Still, it’s not by any means impossible to find; you just might have to make a few more stops than usual before you do.


I have mixed feelings about this can.  I like the semi-old school look, with the black and white image of the runners and the red “RX ENERGY”, but I hate the shade of yellow used as the background—the drink would look so much better with a vastly less ugly color.  The overall effect is somewhat lackluster, especially next to the flashier Arizona cans.


Wasn’t sure what to expect here—I know people who love Arizona drinks so much that they practically orgasm every time they pass by a can at the store, and I’ve known others who, trying one for the first time, open the passenger-side door and spray their first mouthful out, not even sparing a second to make sure they didn’t aerosolize the stuff all over the car parked next to us (which is what my wife did, if you were wondering).  I found it was about average in terms of pleasantness—I liked the mango, lemon, and orange flavors mixed in here (I found myself thinking it was somewhat like a superior version of Amp), though I didn’t like the high-fructose corn syrup taste that kind of marred the last little bit of the flavor experience, or the somewhat unpleasant aftertaste of the herbs used to provide the boost.  Still, it wasn’t bad enough to be a deal-breaker for me.


This is where Arizona RX Energy shone in my eyes—not because it was exceptionally intense, but because of how nice it felt to be in the throes of its boost.  This is a drink for which the term “kick” is almost misleading—it’s more of an energizing refreshing.  I honestly felt fantastic, like I’d had a good night’s sleep and a good breakfast and was properly hydrated and everything.  If only for this, I’d be happy to go back to Arizona RX Energy.


Three hours, without even so much as a hint of a crash.


You’ve got to try this one.  I wasn’t super wild about the flavor, but I loved how I felt after I drank it.  This has a kick that’s in a class of it’s own, and would love to see in other energy drinks.  But…since I haven’t experienced anything quite like it with any other beverage, I guess I’ll have to keep going back to Arizona RX Energy.

Did I mention it only costs 99 cents?

KEYWORDS: Arizona RX Energy drink review, herbal tonic

Review for Inko's White Tea Energy


184 mg


Regrettably, the only place I’ve seen this one make an appearance is at the local Safeway (not sure if they’re being sold at other Safeway stores?).  Hope to see it become more widely available soon.


This is one of those drinks that I can’t help but love the look of.  I love the color of blue, I love the design in the background (whose cultural origins I could not place)—heck, I'm even tickled by the use of orange in the text.  This is the sort of drink that has virtually no chance of fading into the background, whether it’s stocked with the healthier stuff or with the regular energy drinks or wherever.


I like a lot of different energy drinks, some of them enough to give a full 10/10 for taste.  I hope I have not been wanton with this blessed rating—but sometimes I feel like I have been when I encounter a beverage like Inko’s White Tea Energy.  It is so out of the ballpark in terms of flavor that it makes me want to go back and rerate every energy drink I’ve tasted—which would be a monumental pain in the butt, but almost worth it to show how much beverages like this one shine.

All right, now that you know I like it, what does it actually taste like?  Well, the most obvious thing is the white tea, which is sweet and earthy, and well balanced by tartness of the lemon and warmth of the ginger that blossom in the second half of the taste experience.  It is enormously refreshing, and especially great as a hot-day energy drink.


In addition to excelling in the taste department, Inko’s White Tea Energy excels when it comes to the kick.  You won’t experience jitters to any extent, but what you will get is a feeling of almost unmatched alertness and functionality—something I’d love to feel on a daily basis, in truth.


It would really suck if after all this, the drink didn’t deliver in terms of longevity.  Fortunately for everyone, it does!  Five hours with no crash, to be precise!


Inko’s White Tea Energy is one of the best energy drinks out there, period.  I could go on and on in terms of how delicious is and write paragraphs about how satisfactory the energy boost it delivers is, but what really impresses me is how this drink took things to the next level for me.  Every energy drink I have from here on out is going to measure up to Inko’s White Tea Energy in one way or another before it earns so enthusiastic a seal of approval.  From now on, ask me what to get if you’re looking for an energy drink, and ‘Inko’s White Tea Energy’ is going to be one of the first out of my mouth.


KEYWORDS: Inko’s White Tea Energy energy drink review
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