This article brought to you by Victor Frankenstein; harnessing monster energy to infuse a spark of being into lifeless things since 1818.

 My humor is so bad. At least Mest will get this one.

Red Bull

Everybody knows the great-granddaddy of America’s favorite energy drinks, whether they love it, hate it, or just have a crippling addiction to it. It was originally a Thai energy drink, believe it or not! Not much more needs to be said here other than they were also the fastest to get on the market, way back in 1987. It took other energy drinks sixteen years to start hitting the market.

Rockstar Energy Drink

Drank it for the first time years after it became nationally famous, and as with the first energy drinks (and energy bars, really) it had and still has a distinct aftertaste of synthetic molasses. The flavor varieties then and now really did not change this to my palate. It’s all citrus-y and pleasant enough, but a bit of a strange taste.

The company has been big supporters of “Triple A” gaming for several years, but not any chips. Pepsi and Mountain Dew will hold that triforce for many generations more.

Monster Energy

One year after Rockstar, in 2003, Hansen Natural (ironic!) introduced the first tasty energy drink, and my own unhealthy levels of imbibing them began. Best described as lime Lifesavers candy melted into sparkling water and a little bit of Sprite soda.

Monster Energy has not only moved forward to massive video game sponsorships and multiple flavors as well, but coffee, water, even microbrewed soda!

This Igor recommends the Monster Import, Monster Ultra Zero, or Monster Mango Loco for the best tastin’ lack-o-healthiness. Second place goes to their “energy coffees” – all quite tasty, though I still miss the Russian!

But seriously. Never drink any energy drinks if you’re sensitive to caffeine or at all undernourished. I watched a friend drink one who not only drank massive amounts of caffeine regularly, was also regularly vitamin deficient. He was uncontrollably shaking for an hour. Not cool. Drink responsibly!


5-hour Energy

The next year after THAT, a strange little thing called the 5-hour Energy “shot” hit markets. Not a soda, not a juice, but an energizing concoction mixed in syrup and sold in a tiny 57mL bottle. That’s a little more than a tenth of the amount of drink in your standard Pepsi/Coke/etc. bottle.

The original marketing push by Living Essentials LLC was not about convenience or portability though; it was that their formula used no caffeine. Which admittedly is still rare amongst energy drinks.

5-hour Energy also owns the dubious honor of launching their “How do YOU yum your 5-hour Energy?” ad campaign. They were at such a point with their product that publicizing how people MADE it taste good seemed like a good idea.

My sympathies, Living Essentials LLC. My sympathies.


Rip It: Energy Fuel

The makers of Shasta and Faygo’s first foray into the fine field of energy drinks. I’m surprised Homestuck fans don’t guzzle this one. It’s also one of the tastier energy offerings – try Sting-Er Mo! Since its release in 2004, Rip It has also been by far the cheapest. Even in expensive markets – I live very near D.C. and Annapolis – a 16 0z. can will still cost you less than $3.00, with sales tax!

This company is BIG supporters of the United States armed forces.

They also have a pretty neat outdoor knowledge and survival guide on their website.


+Red Elixir

The energy drink race (at least with the “superpowers”) slowed down for a few years until 2007 brought us another strong contender. Conceived of by a former track cyclist, +Red Elixir’s (Rescue Extend Defend) stated purpose is NOT to confer energy, but to extend endurance. I have not had a chance to test out their claims yet, but I did just volunteer for twenty-two hour work weekends. Maybe then…

A noteworthy soda for interesting ingredients like a low glycemic index sweetener, calcium, and red algae.

It’s a soda can that has a cap to close it with too!



Much like its’ competitors, Uptime’s customer service and marketing are a tad mysterious. I tried calling Uptime and National Beverage Corp. (LaCroix, Faygo, Rip It, etc.) both, even tried FaceBook, and it took WEEKS to get a reply. Not that people were rude; just that both companies had no-one answer at all for three weeks! It was odd.

But we’re not here for their corporate structures, we’re here for their drinks!

Uptime the soda has me singing MANY praises. At first, this drink doesn’t stand out much, except for two things. The packaging is very simple, an odd thing for an energy drink in the U.S. The ingredients in Uptime are interesting, too: bee pollen and Coenzyme Q10, among others… but no vitamin b! VERY strange for an energy drink!

I’ll tell you, though – with an also anomalously smooth, almost delicate (almost!) taste, downing this bad boy just this past fall when I had the flu so bad my coughing actually gave me bruised ribs… It actually doubled my energy every time I drank it, and had no unpleasant feeling afterward – even though I drank at least twelve in a month.

Mind you, my caffeine tolerance is cartoonishly high, sooooo… Again, drink wisely, my friends!





Igor, Possibly a Box



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