Monday, December 15, 2014

Red Bull Total Zero Energy Drink Review

Name: Red Bull: Total Zero
Size: 8.4 fl. oz.
Caffeine content: 80 mg. per can
Energy blend: Caffeine, Taurine

Why wouldn't Red Bull make a "zero" energy drink? They're one of the most prominent energy drink brands out there, and it only makes sense to include a sugar-free, zero-calorie, and zero-carb energy drink in their line of products. In Ohio, this drink is slightly more elusive than regular and sugar-free Red Bull, although it's still not very hard to find. Wal-Mart sells this drink in packs of 4, while my local Circle K stocks this drink in both 8.4 and 12 oz. sizes. Red Bull does make a 16 oz. size of this drink, but I've actually never seen it. 16 oz. is my preferred size when it comes to just about any energy drink, but I've settled for an 8.4 or 12 oz. Red Bull on "a few" different occasions. Like the rest of Red Bull's line, this drink is fairly expensive. Circle K, which may be an irrelevant or unheard-of convenience store to some, has a deal in which you can get two 12 oz. Red Bull cans for $5.50. Alternatively, you could also get three 16 oz. Monster or Rockstar cans for $5, or two NOS or Full Throttle cans for $4. After overpaying for Total Zero, I at least hoped that it would be drinkable and enjoyable to some extent.


Total Zero isn't unlike regular or sugar-free Red Bull in design. For Total Zero, Red Bull decided to use a bland, unattractive grey rather than blue for the space behind the logo, and also included a yellow strip that spans the top of its can and states everything that this drink does not contain. The design fits in well with the rest of Red Bull's drinks, but doesn't do much to make this drink look good despite being a "zero" energy drink. Then again, it's made by Red Bull, and Red Bull probably isn't too concerned with getting people to buy their products. They either will or won't buy them, and if you're looking for Total Zero, you'll probably pick it up no matter how it looks. It contains all of Red Bull's usual can-information, and for the sake of  convenience, sticks out amidst a cooler full of regular and sugar-free Red Bull- making it easy to find if it's what you're looking for.


This drink doesn't taste very good. I mean, it tastes like you would expect it to taste if you had a Red Bull and thought, "Hm, I wonder what this would taste like if it didn't have any sugar or drinkable flavor?". Honestly, I drink a lot of "zero" drinks, and really didn't care for the taste of this one. Several other brands pull off the taste of their "zero" drinks much better, and I was actually kind of disappointed with Total Zero's. It's reminiscent of Red Bull to an extent, but I feel that Red Bull's sugar-free drink tastes better if you're willing to sacrifice consuming 10 calories. If you really want to try this drink, you might like the way that it tastes. Personally, I expected something slightly less-bland and more like sugar-free Red Bull, but without calories or carbs.


The breakdown for Total Zero's caffeine content per can size is as follows:

  • 8.4 fl. oz- 80 mg. of caffeine
  • 12 fl. oz.- 114 mg. of caffeine
  • 16 fl. oz.- 154 mg. of caffeine

The subject of this review was an 8.4 fl. oz. can, which was pretty useless as far as energy goes. I was already anticipating a small lift in energy when buying this, but hoped that its flavor would make up for it. A 12 oz. or 16 oz. can will certainly work better energy-wise, but an 8.4 fl. oz. can isn't going to do much for anybody. Total Zero's energy wasn't nonexistent, but it was far from substantial or noteworthy, much like its flavor was. If you actually like the way that Total Zero tastes, I definitely recommend buying a 12 or 16 oz. can to get your money's worth in terms of energy.

I was pretty disappointed with Total Zero. As I said, for the sake of energy, reach for a can larger than 8.4 fl. oz, and if you hate the flavor, reach for a 12 or 16. can of sugar-free Red Bull instead.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Red Bull The Red Edition Energy Drink Review

Name: Red Bull: The Red Edition
Size: 8.4 fl. oz.
Caffeine content: 80 mg. per can
Energy blend: Caffeine, Taurine, B Vitamins

Red Bull is probably the best-known energy drink that there is. According to the always-reliable Wikipedia, it was created in 1987, and had sold 5.4 billion cans as of 2013. Red Bull's original drink is an essential drink to try if you like energy drinks, but if you're like me, you may find that it's pretty expensive and that there are better, cheaper, and larger-sized alternatives if you like the way that it tastes. In 2013, Red Bull decided to expand their line of energy drinks, with The Red Edition joining their Blue and Silver editions as new Red Bull flavors. Red Bull could have made some new drinks a long time ago, but in any case, it's definitely interesting to see if their new drinks are worth trying or if they're just random expansions to an already well-established energy drink brand.


The Red Edition's can is appropriately red, and while looking different, still kind of fits in with the design of Red Bull's original drink. The design is pretty minimalistic, and doesn't really shock or do anything extremely interesting in the way that it looks. Unlike the original Red Bull, The Red Edition is (currently) only available in 8.4 fl. oz. cans, which definitely makes for less design-space. Still, it contains all of the information that one would hope to find on a can of Red Bull, and probably isn't going to stop anyone that's interested in trying this from buying it.


The original Red Bull has a hard-to-describe taste. In fact, when you drink a lot of energy drinks, you may say, "This one tastes like Red Bull!" without really being able to describe what Red Bull tastes like. The Red Edition is supposed to be cranberry-flavored, which is an interesting choice over strawberry, cherry, or something else that would be a little more predictable. The Red Edition's cranberry flavor is as pronounced as actual cranberry juice in how strong it tastes, although it doesn't taste like straight-up cranberry juice. It has a similar tartness to it that a regular Red Bull does, and in my opinion, tasted a little better than it's design led me to believe that it would. I would drink a 16 oz. energy drink of this, and definitely recommend it if you like the taste of cranberries. Otherwise, you'll probably hate this drink more than I hated paying the amount that I did for it.


The Red Edition has the same caffeine content and energy blend as a regular Red Bull. So, if you define an energy drink by its energy, you literally are drinking "The Red Edition" of normal Red Bull. Several energy drinks, primarily older ones, advertise "Double the Energy!", which means that they probably contain 160 mg. of caffeine- 2x Red Bull's 80 mg. of caffeine. 80 mg. isn't very much, and I wouldn't anticipate feeling much energy from this if you drink Monster, Rockstar, or NOS on a regular basis. If you were to drink a couple of these back-to-back, the energy would be more substantial. However, while not completely ineffective, The Red Edition's energy isn't anything to brag or get excited about. Then again, if you've had Red Bull, you probably already knew that.

The Red Edition is worth trying if you'd like to try one of Red Bull's newer drinks. It looks pretty good, tastes pretty good, and can be found just about anywhere. It doesn't offer a lot of energy, but for some reason, I don't think that's what most people expect from 8 oz. Red Bull cans anyway.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Rip It Power Sugar Free Energy Drink Review

Name: Rip It Sugar Free: Power
Size: 16 fl. oz.
Caffeine content: 200 mg. per can
Energy blend: Caffeine, Taurine, Inositol, Guarana Seed Extract

Rip It makes sugar-free versions of several of their regular flavors, but like Citrus X, this is one of the most easily-acquired. I've seen this drink at every Dollar Tree that I've ever been to, with my local Family Dollar stores carrying this almost as reliably as they do sugar-free Citrus X. Power and Citrus X were two of Rip It's first flavors, and their respective sugar-free versions have apparently had plenty of time to make their way to a discount store near you for the convenient price of only $1 each.


The regular Power's color scheme is primarily red, with the sugar-free version opting for blue instead. This drink's color scheme works better with Rip It's sugar-free layout than Citrus X, and it actually looks pretty good. The front of the can states that it contains 0 calories, 0 carbs, and is, in fact, sugar free. For only $1, this is probably as good as an energy drink is going to get in terms of can design.


"Power" isn't a very descriptive name, and this drank may find a more flavor-hinting name with "Apple/Strawberry/Other Stuff That Tastes Good", or "Pretty Good for a Sugar-Free Energy Drink". The taste of this drink is pretty close to the original Power, and it tastes a lot less "artificial" than some other sugar-free energy drinks do. If you like Power, and hope to like the sugar-free alternative- you probably will. If you've never had the original Power, expect a hard-to-place, fruity flavor that is smooth, crisp, and pretty enjoyable.


Rip It drinks are reliably effective as far as energy goes, and this drink is no exception. This drink's energy blend more than makes up for its lack of sugar, and while it isn't ridiculous, you can definitely expect some energy from this drink. It's pretty much on the same level as any other sugar-free energy drink that you can find, but for only $1!

If you can find this, give it a try. Unless you hate sugar-free energy drinks, it's more than worth its $1 price, and definitely holds its own as a reasonable sugar-free alternative to Rip It's Power drink.

Friday, December 5, 2014

GO Energy Gummies Review

Name: GO Energy Gummies
Size: 10g each
Caffeine content: 100 mg. per gummy
Energy blend: Caffeine, Taurine, L-Carnitine, B Vitamins, Niacin

GO Energy Gummies are gummies that contain 100 mg. of Caffeine, 100 mg. of Taurine, 25 mg. of L-Carnitine, Niacin, and plenty of B Vitamins per gummy. Everyone loves gummies, and one that contains all of the familiar energy drink ingredients is, in my opinion, definitely worth trying. If there's a food or drink that you like, you can rest assured that there's probably an "energy" version of it that was, is, or probably will be available at some point in the future. I prefer energy drinks more than anything, but definitely like the idea of energy gummies more than some other "energy foods" that I've seen that just don't seem like reasonable ways to acquire energy at all. Gummies are obviously small and pretty insignificant in terms of how long they take to consume, and with a decent amount of energizing ingredients per gummy, there was definitely potential for these gummies to taste good, work well, and be an interesting way to acquire some satisfying energy.


GO Energy Gummies come in packs that contain two gummies each, with each gummy being small and square. The wrapper itself is silver, with the GO Energy Gummies logo as seen in the picture above on the front of the wrapper. Underneath the logo, the wrapper appropriately says "ENERGY GUMMIES", and just below that, the wrapper provides a link to GO Energy Gummies' website. Each package lists the amount of ingredients contained inside, and also says that each gummy counts as one serving, meaning that there are two servings per package.

The overall look of these gummies is basic, functional, and effective. The packaging is convenient, and doesn't waste any space or material in simply holding two small gummy candies. It isn't extremely flashy or fancy, but it really doesn't need to be either. The logo on the front is pretty big, and if you were to see these somewhere, there would be no doubt that they are, in fact, GO Energy Gummies.


As with any other energy product, I was definitely interested to see how good these would taste while also potentially providing energy via Caffeine, Taurine, B Vitamins, and other ingredients that can be detrimental to the taste of otherwise-good energy products. The gummies are blueberry flavored, which sounded pretty good. Blueberry is one of my favorite flavors of anything, and like other blueberry-flavored things, GO Energy Gummies are dark blue/purple and look pretty tasty. They have a slightly gritty texture to them that's similar to a Sour Patch Kid, although I didn't anticipate them tasting sour whatsoever. In fact, they actually do taste like blueberries and are actually really easy to eat. As expected, they have a very slight "caffeine taste" that isn't really unpleasant or very noticeable, as I was able to consume these on multiple occasions without having to drink water or something afterwards. I definitely think that if you bought these and expected a blueberry flavor that wasn't absolutely disgusting, you would definitely be satisfied with the way that these taste. They don't taste like straight-up candy that you could "accidentally" eat the entire bag or package of, but they're pretty close and definitely taste great for containing lots of energizing ingredients.


I tried my first two packages of GO Energy Gummies in different ways:

Package #1:
  • 1st gummy at 6:00 AM
  • 2nd gummy at 7:00 AM
Package #2:
  • Both gummies, one after the other
I won't deny that I was surprised with how well GO Energy Gummies worked when I first tried them. In trying the first gummy, I actually did feel a nice lift in energy not long after consuming it. When I tried the second one, the effects were even better, and I was actually really surprised. These do provide energy in a similiar way to an energy drink, but I feel that the energy is more sustained and drawn-out than most energy drinks are. On my first occasion of trying them,  I felt energized for about 5 or 6 hours after trying each gummy. Each gummy contains 100 mg. of Caffeine, which may be enough for some people. For me, I liked having one, and then having the other shortly after, which made for 200 mg. of Caffeine consumed in just an hour. When I tried both at the same time, I felt even more energized from the jump. However, I actually have to say that I preferred feeling energized, and then even more energized shortly after. In any case, I definitely think that these work, and have to say that they worked a lot better than I thought they would.  

I wouldn't normally purchase energy gummies, but I was actually really surprised and satisfied with how much I enjoyed these. I absolutely recommend them if you're into energy gummies or energy candy, and was beyond satisfied with just about everything that there is to this product.

If you're interested in learning more or purchasing some GO Energy Gummies to try for yourself, you can visit their website here.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Quick Strike Energy Drink Review

Quick Strike "Regular" (right)
Name: Quick Strike
 Size: 16 fl. oz.
Caffeine Content: 154 mg. per can
Energy blend: Caffeine, Taurine, B Vitamins, Inositol, Glucoronolactone

"Strike" is a word with a very broad context. You may "strike" a deal with someone, "strike" the convenience store employee that criticizes your caffeine addiction, or go on "strike" at the energy drink factory that you work at after finding out that your salary has been cut to fund more research on another energy drink company's secret formula. In any case, this particular energy drink is called Quick Strike, and I picked it up at a Murphy U.S.A. gas station alongside Blak Max, which is another energy drink that is exclusive to Murphy U.S.A. gas stations. I'm pretty sure that Quick Strike is just Red Strike, which I reviewed a long time ago and never had again after reviewing it. If I remember correctly though, Red Strike was just Red Strike, whereas Quick Strike has several other flavors and varieties available alongside their original.


For being an inexpensive energy drink, Quick Strike's design is actually pretty focused and effective at differentiating itself from other energy drinks out there. The can is red, gray, black, white, and even features a gear on the bottom of the front of the can's design. I wasn't drinking this to "gear up" for anything other than writing a review in the future, but can't really complain because this drink looks as good as it's supposed to. I've seen much worse designs from "off-brand" energy drinks before, and I personally think that Quick Strike's can looks better than Red Strike's did. It features a red pull-tab on top, actually lists the Caffeine and Taurine content, and unsurprisingly states that it does in fact contain Taurine and B Vitamins on the front.



Like I said in the first paragraph of this review, there are a few other flavors of Quick Strike available other than their original. The original however, is still pretty much a Red Bull clone in the same way that Red Strike was. It's not like they took Red Bull, put it in a new can, and sold it as Quick Strike, but if you've ever had a cheap energy drink and thought, "This kind of tastes like Red Bull!" then you know what I mean. As I said with Red Strike in 2012, you definitely get your money's worth out of this drink and I would be lying if I said that I didn't like the way this drink tasted. If you like Red Bull, or the "generic" energy drink taste, then this drink is definitely worth your while. The drink tastes pretty "quality", if that makes sense, and I wasn't really disappointed or surprised.



Per 16 fl. oz. can, Quick Strike contains 154 mg. of Caffeine, 1920 mg. of Taurine, B Vitamins, Glucoronolactone, and Inositol.  There's really nothing special about this drink's energy blend, although it does contain more Taurine than some other similar energy drinks do. I can't say if it gave me a "Quick Strike" of energy, but it definitely works. I felt an average and anticipated lift in energy from this drink, and really couldn't complain after paying just over $2 (tax included) for it. In fact, Murphy U.S.A. has had a "2 for $2" ($2.15 with tax) deal with these drinks for a while now, which is pretty reasonable.

If you can find this Quick Strike, and like inexpensive energy drinks, then it's definitely worth trying. Ironically, their original flavor is probably their least original flavor, but it isn't too bad and should probably be exactly what you're expecting if you drink energy drinks as often as I do.

Oh yeah, this drink's slogan is "A Kick in the Pants!", which is irrelevant but somewhat amusing.