Print Consultant and Graphic designer during the day, etsy shop runner, food blogger, amateur podcaster, novice YouTuber, needy-pomeranian-mommy, and freelance artist by night. My typical state of being is a zen-like zombie-mode where I get shit done and take names all while wearing industrial under-eye concealer and tricking everyone around me into thinking I'm still a human being.
All of this zombie-ness is fueled by nothing more than copious amounts of candy and water from my giant moonshine-sized mason jar. (It's huge so I don't have to refill it very often. It's all about function, not hipster aesthetic.) A lot of my friends and family rely on coffee and caffeine to get them through the day, and back in college I was right there with them with my daily iced espresso that was the size of a wiener dog, but I gave that up when my stomach issues began.
Now I'm a caffeine light weight.
I rarely drink energy drinks and coffee because the taurine and other energy packed chemical goodies tear my stomach apart and aren't worth the temporary boost they give me, but the people over at Phyzix contacted me with this healthier juice-based alternative and I thought I might give it a try to see if I can get all the pep without needing Pepto.
Full disclosure: This company contacted me after seeing my previous energy drink reviews and offered to send me this sample for free, but that did not influence my review at all. I'm a small time food blogger, who am I out to impress?
The logo reminds me of TAB branded beverages, but more modern, so it's new but kind of familiar at the same time. I like the warm color choices to pair with the tropical themed flavor, but all of this text is really hard to read. I have eyes like a hawk and have never worn glasses, but due to the reflective nature of the silver-can the nutritional info was nearly impossible to photograph. It's just so shiny and distracting! Especially in my photo set-up. (Which is bright white.) I had to pull in the kraft paper backdrop to get some more legible photos for the blog, which isn't a problem the normal consumer would necessarily have, but I felt it was worth mentioning. It's a pretty shiny can and I imagine it'd be difficult to read it in the sun. Other than that, the layout is simple and typical for skinny energy drink cans.
What really sets this product apart are the ingredients. I know it's a little hard to read, but there's no taurine in sight. Just carbonated water, crystalline fructose, erythritol (a sugar alcohol, but don't worry, it's not the laxative kind), white grape juice concentrate, orange juice concentrate, coconut water concentrate, citric acid, natural flavors, and stevia leaf extract. I'm no food scientist, but I recognize all these ingredients! This sounds like a sparkling energy fruit juice, and that doesn't seem too bad to me.
I opened the can and the liquid inside smelled like pineapple Now and Laters. It's fruity, tangy, but also syrupy, kind of like the liquid you'd find in a mixed fruit cup.
So here we go, what did I think of this drink? At first sip it tastes like some kind of tropical cocktail mixer, because it seems concentrated and almost syrup-y in consistency, but as someone who likes really fruity barely-alcoholic beverages, I thought that was a good thing. It's like Welch's sparkling white grape juice mixed with pineapple concentrate. Not bad at all! The bubbles help balance out the sweetness of this fizzy juice and it tastes a lot more natural than anything else energy-focused I've tried.
As I said before, I'm a lightweight, and this has 80mg of caffeine, so the energy effect hit me pretty hard. I drank this can 3 hours ago, ran around and got a LOT of my night-work done after my already exhausting 9-5 work day, and I still feel hype!
UPDATE: approaching hour 4 and I feel this slight tingly sensation behind my eyes, which might mean that a crash is on the way, but as I've said I am very sensitive to this stuff since quitting coffee and energy drinks a few years ago, and in the nearly 4 full hours since drinking this beverage I got a lot done and my stomach feels perfectly fine. I haven't felt nauseous or anything! Which is really awesome. Other brands like Red Bull or Amp murder my ulcer-prone insides, but this gave me a caffeine rush without any stomach pain, and THAT is awesome.
UPDATE: 4 hours and some odd minutes in and my bed is looking pretty good, but still no stomach issues or headache like I normally get when I crash from energy products. I think that's a pretty impressive rush from what's essentially a carbonated energy juice. I wouldn't want anything stronger, but this might not be able to replace those 5-hour energy shots for those of you who are true caffeine junkies.
I am not an avid energy drink consumer, and I never will be, but if I ever need another pick me up to get through an all nighter of freelance work after my 9-5 job (which is getting harder to do now that I'm nearly 30) this is the kind of energy drink I'd reach for. It gave me a little boost and I don't hate myself for drinking it now that it's worn off.
This brand is currently available online only, which is inconvenient for shoppers like me, but when it rolls out in stores I'll let the rest of you know.
© Maria Smith http://poison-and-antidote.netLike me on facebook to keep up with all my adventures!