Friday, 4 September 2015

Four Energy Drinks, No Sugar

I've been planning on writing this post for a while now but really I am a fairly lazy blogger (And by the way I was not sponsored/asked to right this post by any of the companies mentioned).

Let me give you a bit of back story as to how this post came about.

Sometime back in February (didn't I tell you this post was some time in the making?) I had a night when I didn't sleep very well (it happens to us all doesn't it?). So I went to work the next day on about 3 hours sleep so for the entire morning I felt like my head was going to hit the desk at any second. Lunchtime rolled around and I went in search of caffeine. And I spent a really long time staring at the energy drinks section. It might have been the lack of sleep but I had no idea which one to buy so I just opted for a 330ml can of Diet Coke which from previous research I knew to contain 42mg of caffeine (Regular Coca-Cola contains 32mg in a 330ml can).

So after this, on a day when I had had more sleep, I decided I would test run some of the sugar free energy drinks and decide which one I preferred for future sleep emergencies.

This would be a good time to point out to newer readers of this blog that I have type 1 diabetes so I was trying to avoid the sugar filled caffeine drinks at all costs.

I ended up testing 4 different drinks (3 different brands), all of the 500ml can variety, and I only had one about every 1-2 months so that is another reason for why this post took so long to write. They were all drinks that were widely available in my area as I didn't want to go out of my way to obtain any of them (hence there only being 4).

Monster Energy Absolutely Zero

This is Monster's only sugar free energy drink (in the UK at least) and the first one that I tried. This energy drink contains 30mg of caffeine per 100ml (so about 3X as strong at Coca-Cola).
I poured it out in to a glass and it tasted like strong dilutable squash and looked, in my opinion, like strong pee (like first thing in the morning pee!). I've tasted better drinks in my time than this but I've also tasted worse. And not too long after I drank some of it (I drank it over the course of the day rather than in one go) my to do list became clearly and felt more focused. However about half way through the afternoon I started to become a little jittery.

Relentless Origin Ultra

Relentless is a brand of energy drink made by Coca-Cola (although the UK Coca-Cola site seems to deny all knowledge of it). I've always thought the cans were pretty but anyway this energy drink contained 32mg per 100ml (so imagine drinking 5 cans of Coca-cola for the same effect!). The sugar free varieties are referred to as "stimulation drinks" as opposed to energy drinks.
This one was more orange and darker than Monster's offering (if your pee looks like this one you should see a doctor!). But it tasted a lot worse than the Monster drink. In fact I only drank half of it before I gave up. And I could tell about half way through the afternoon that I had not drunk the entire thing as I began to feel tired again.

Rockstar Pure Zero
This one was also 32mg per 100ml. And although I don't think the can is as pretty as the Relentless cans these cans are slightly textured unlike regular cans which are smooth. (The UK Rockstar website seems to deny all knowledge of a sugar free variety but I know there is one - it's right there in the photo!)
This drink surprised me as when I poured it out of the can it was pale pink (I was expecting something similar to the previous makes I tried). It's taste wasn't as strong as the previous two but it tasted nicer (less like dilutable squash) than Monster and infinitely better than Relentless.
I felt that I started to feel more awake faster than the other two however that have might been because I enjoyed the taste more - maybe, maybe not. With this one however I didn't feel as jittery in the afternoon as I had something non-caffeinated to drink with my lunch (so this was the point where the experiment lost its accuracy as I had started changing the parameters - my bad).

Relentless Mango Ultra

Another offering from Relentless. I was a little wary of this to start with given my experience with the original Relentless drink. This one was also 32mg per 100ml caffeine wise, same as the other Relentless "stimulation drink" (no surprise there). However this one looked like orangeade and tasted like a weaker version of it as well (a big improvement on Relentless Origin Ultra). This one seemed to take longer to get to work  and again I had something non-caffeinated to drink with my lunch to avoid too many of the mid afternoon jitters.

So which was the winner?

If you've read all of this post you might have guessed that my favourite was:

Yes Rockstar Pure Zero took the crown!

Although I would probably drink the Relentless Mango Ultra again if necessary (and possibly the Monster Energy Absolutely Zero) but I'd definitely steer clear of the Relentless Origin Ultra.

Phew that was a long post wasn't it - if you have made it this far and don't require caffeine yourself then well done :)

If I come across any more 500ml sugar free energy drinks to try perhaps I'll do a part 2 to this post. And before anyone panics, no I don't drink these kinds of drinks on a very regular basis. Luckily I usually get enough sleep.

What are your remedies for a sleepless night (other than obviously sleep)?

1 comment:

Deborah Hawkins said...

I LOVE Rockstar. Purely because 1) they don't taste like energy drinks and 2) they actually keep me up without feeling like I'm seizing.