Energy Drinks

As someone who tries to sleep as little as possible, I surprisingly have never indulged that much in caffeine. I have never drank so much as a cup of coffee in my life and I am anti-soda. Mid-way through my college career I took No Doz (a caffeine pill) to stay awake during classes because at that point I maybe got three hours of sleep at most at night and after hitting the gym in the morning I needed a boost. However, the “strength” I got from No Doz made me jittery and irritated so I eventually stopped. Over the past year and a half, I became a huge proponent of Jack3d, a caffeine-loaded workout supplement that actually had a wondrous impact on my gym life. But the point came where I realized that putting that much caffeine into my body every single day was not such a good thing. Over the past couple of months, I have weaned my body from it.

Since going off of Jack3d I have started to feel a little drowsy in the same way that I felt during my college years. Especially working long weeks and long hours now that the fall sports season is in full swing, I was finding myself in need of a pick-me-up. To help keep me alert and, as Katy Perry would say, WIDE AWAKE, I have started to reach for energy drinks.

For most of my life, I would not touch an energy drink. I categorized them right with soda. If a product is anywhere similar to soda, in my opinion the ultimate poison for the body, I will not consider consuming it. But because of my desire to get something that would make me more alert, combined with the growing energy drink industry that now offers limitless options for anyone’s taste, I decided to test the market a little bit.

First requirement I made for the energy drink I would start to purchase every now and then: It must be sugar-free. Once upon a time I did try an energy drink and not only did I detest the taste, I also could not stand the filmy sugary texture that seemed to surround my teeth after I finished drinking it. It seemed like the exact same thing as drinking a pop. There was no way that I would ever pour something like that into my mouth again.

Secondly, it had to taste good. There are some nasty tasting energy drinks out there. Some people say that the more disgusting it tastes, the better it works. That’s hog wash. Unless it is medicine, I am not drinking anything that does not taste halfway decent going down my throat. You would be surprised, there are energy drinks out there that don’t even have a flavor on the can. But again, because of the large market for these types of drinks, there are certain ones out there that pass my taste test.

Thirdly, and most importantly, it had to work. And not only did it just have to work, it had to still make me feel sane as well. I have had energy drinks that definitely gave me a jolt but also made me feel paranoid and shaky. No thank you. I have also consumed energy drinks that might have well just been juice…I drank it and I noticed no improvement on my groggy state. I needed a drink that made me alert, focused, and, as an added bonus, feeling good.

My first love was Monster Absolutely Zero. It tasted great, contained no sugar or calories, kept me alert, and it came from a reputable player in the energy drink market. It was my go-to energy drink until I made myself try something else. My friend posted an Instagram picture of himself with an energy drink called Xenergy. He also posted a link to its website as well. Billed as the energy drink for active and fit people, it caught my eye. Throw in the facts that it was also zero sugar/calories and came in several intriguing flavors and I knew I had to try it. On a drive from Missoula to Spokane, I bought a melon mayhem flavored Xenergy. I tasted it and was immediately hooked.

While Xenergy delivered on everything that Monster Absolutely Zero did (tasted good, was sugar/calorie free, and kept me alert) it also managed to cover my “added bonus” item that I explained earlier: it made me feel good. Xenergy gives you a nice, positive buzz. To a smaller degree, I felt the same way that I felt after taking a dose of Jack3d. It not only improved my alertness, it improved my attitude.

Myself with Xenergy, my go-to energy drink.

Okay, I will stop there because this post is not an endorsement or review for Xenergy. I just wanted to shed light on a product in general (energy drinks) that I used to look down upon but now realize that they do have a purpose. I by no means consume energy drinks on a regular basis, rather, I might drink one or two a week. If I am driving a long distance or if I am running out of gas at the end of a busy week I will crack one open. I drink them out of necessity, not for the hell of it.

If you do want a boost and are not a coffee drinker, I recommend sampling the energy drink market. I have learned that not all of these drinks are sugary, jittery, weird-tasting cans of mystery liquid designed for teenage boys. The industry is much more sophisticated than that…and more helpful too. Give it a try. Don’t Blink.