Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Rockstar Lime Freeze

Slurpees are just about the best drink in the world.  Unfortunately, there was only one time that an energy drink ever made its way into an official Slurpee, the infamous Monster Black Ice - which was amazingly delicious but had the side effect of turning your stool green. If there were one Rockstar that would work best in a Slurpee, this would be the best choice - hopefully without the same unfortunate effects.

 Lime Freeze Energy reminds me a whole lot of a Sour Patch Kids Lime Slurpee - especially if you freeze it a little before you drink it so there is those ice crystals forming.  Careful though - if you forget about it in there you'll end up with an exploded lime green frozen mess on your hands.

Overall Rockstar does right when it comes to packaging.  The label is not on there twice, but their logo is, and wraps around nearly 70% of the can.  So, even though the cap is not on to adequately present the logo when drinking, it is easy enough for the name of the drink to be visible and for stockers of grocery shelves to not get pissed and have to face all those cans with the logo pointing out. The layout is nice enough, although I am not sure I get why a lime freeze drink is written in blocky stencils, and why Freeze = Lightning.  Does something about limes make people think of military-esque lightning vortexes?  Still, its green and easy to read, so for that it works.

Functionally, it works too.  They clearly list all the ingredients, including caffeine (twice), and have all you would ever need to know about the drink.  The only thing I don't see on it is the new self-imposed calorie count tab you find on the bottoms of most corporate soft drinks now.  Could be that they are not hip to it, but at the 280 calories a can it would make sense why they would hide it.

I was imagining from the can that this would be another great drink mixer of the Pina Colada variety.  I was pleasantly mistaken, and was greeted with a nice lime-popsicle treat.  I definitely tasted more of a light mint flavor than a real lime, but this is a good thing too.  I could see knocking an ice-cold one of these back on a hot day and feeling so fine.  There is a definite sour note, but the sour is more of a candy-sour and less of a real pucker inducing harsh sour.

I am not sure what makes this a "Freeze" drink - maybe you are supposed to have it iced?  I can say that this drink definitely gets better when Ice Cold.  I tried one warm and it was a baaaaad move.  Either ice it up, or don't have it at all.

With so much going on for it, its too bad there is a literal crap-ton of sugar in here (60 grams per can) as well as over 280 (!!) calories in the can too.  So, if you have a hard time feeling energized from the caffeine, the sugar overload should do the trick too.  Of course all that sugar leads to a big 'ol crash too, especially with the smaller 160mg caffeine dose to keep you humming.

It has all the standard nutritive Rockstar amounts too.  2 grams of taurine, 2000mg Taurine, 100mg Glucuronolactone, some Inositol, Milk Thistle Extract, Ginseng - and gets part of the caffeine from guarana as well as the more standard anhydrous variety.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Good Morning Pills and GMP Turbo

I have a thing with pills that wake me up.   My problem is simple - I like to drink my coffee in the morning, or grab an energy drink on my way out the door.   But, there are those mornings that that is not enough, or there just isn't time to take care of all the steps involved.  that is where Good Morning Pills come in.  These little beauties do the job well, and within a half hour can leave you perky, happy and ready to go.

Energy pills have a long way to go to be accepted.   Almost everyone puts energy in pill form into the No-Doz category, equating an energy pill with those long nights in college or high school popping those powerful but horrid-tasting yellow pills to stay awake until late into the night.  That's not the case here, where Good Morning pills are a brilliant and taste-free way to start off the day.

I found these pills are much better than just something to get you moving in the morning, but a fantastic way to keep your energy up when there is no real room for downing energy drinks.  Pills are more portable, have less mess, and don't leave you burping when you have a day of meetings and social stuff.  It's nice to just pop a pill and be able to keep going - bouncing throughout your day.  I have tried many energy pills over the years, and I would pick up a GMP pill before any of them.

GMP come in two formulas, both a regular strength and a Turbo combination, both coming in a little easy to swallow gelatin capsule.  Both have similar labels, except the turbo has a little happy pill in front who is showing his muscles.  I really lim how professional these pills are - looking a whole lot more like your everyday vitamin supplement than your stereotypical energy pills.  I appreciate how clan and straightforward the bottles are, and they even list he caffeine content in the nutritional data.

The pills them selves come in unique colors.  Rather than the standard white or off-white gel packs, these are either bright yellow (so yellow its actually a little alarming) and the Turbo is black and red - which looks even more dangerous that the bright yellow ones.

Buzz: GMP  - Regular Formula: 8                  GMP Turbo:10

The regular Good morning pill is a nice dose of all the things you would expect - a nice pile of caffeine, plus your daily needs of vitamin C and B.    On top of that they also provide you with L-Carnitine, which we normally see packed in energy drinks.   The caffeine does not hit you like a buzz, but it sorta sneaks up on you.   On moment you are tired and draggy, and about half an hour later you are much less so.  There is no real crash either - just a slow build to a nice awake feeling, and then a tapering off four or five hours later. 

Things are not so subtle with the GMP Turbo bill.   These are for the more experience caffeine fiend - one that needs more than a light boost in the morning.  GMP turbo does not f*ck around, getting you pumped within 20 minutes of popping down your throat.  Turbo also has the L-Carnitine, Vitamin B and Vitamin C blend in it,  but it ups the caffeine content from 130mg to a healthy 200mg dose.   200mg is not so much as to be crazy, but enough to feel the buzz.  Taking a pill around 3, or right after a big lunch is a great way to counteract the mid-afternoon slump.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Kaffn8 pure liquid caffeine

I have tried a good number of caffeine boosters - liquid or powders that you add to your drink or food of choice and turn regular food into Energy Food, being able to caffeine everything from your morning orange juice to your pizza.   Kaffn8 is a decent version of this kind of caffeine concentrate - where you just pour a little in your morning meal for that little bit of oomph you need.

The big difference between Kaffn8 and the others is that it makes it easy to be sure that you are getting the correct dose with a very handy bottle - able to meter out doses at your specified level.   Other energy liquids come in a big bottle or in squirt containers - this is in a very unique squeeze bottle that takes out all the guesswork.  

Packaging:8   Design:2
Normally I combine these into one score, as the design of the thing helps sell the package.   But, in this case, the design is so amateur it seriously detracts from the great bottle.

The closest thing I can get to describing the bottle is the double chambered clear squeeze bottle looks industrial in nature.   I have no idea how you would make or even dream up something like this.   I don't know if other industries use bottles like these, but I know I have never seen something this ingenious to measure out energy supplements.  The idea is it works like a bong.  There are two caps - one for filling and the other for pouring.   You open the pour side and squeeze the liquid from the main chamber to the measuring chamber, stop when it reaches your level of potency and then pour into your drink.  It works brilliantly - a no-muss no-fuss way to get your energy.

he problems is that Kaffn8 looks like industrial floor cleaner packaging, making the whole product seem a whole lot sketchier than is needed.  IT looks like the label design was doe in Microsoft paint, or a similar program.  It lacks and professionalism, which made no one in the office - even my more seasoned guinea pigs - from giving it a try.   Only one brave soul gave it a go.  He loved the product, but could not get over how much he felt like he was adding car additives or something poisonous.  Rather than instill the used with confidence in the product, the amateur label design nearly did the product in.

When you are talking of a caffeine liquid, usually the taste does you in too - but not in the case of Kaffn8.  No, it does not taste very good by itself, but the bitter caffeine flavor is masked very easily - hidden without any flavor a all in a glass of orange juice, Snapple Punched, a Mountain Dew, warm peanut butter, and even in a morning omelette.  While I could certainly taste the caffeine in certain drinks, it was not really a bad flavor - just a little chalky.  

I understand the reason for keeping flavor masks out of this - as Kaffn8 is really all about the caffeine, having nothing but caffeine and water included.   However, that leaves the masking of the flavor up to you.   Adding a shot in some lemonade is perfect, but it a glass of hot tea it's revolting.   As long as you do OK on adding a little sourness to your food items, Kaffn8 is a really cool product.

Of course one of the coolest things about Kaffn8 is that you can measure just how much caffeine you want, and they make the measuring so very easy.  The pour spout has 2 markings, depending on your power level.  You can easily measure out to the 75mg mark or the 150mg mark, and the buzz you get from it comes on fast, depending on what you add it to.  I have found that some mornings, I need the shot of caffeine so much that I just swig straight from the bottle - downing a 150mg shot in one swallow, and feel the buzz within fifteen minutes or so.  Now if you add it to your Caramel Caribou Ice cream it'll take longer for the caffeine to be absorbed, but that is the price you pay for extra caffeinated ice cream.

Overall, I think the only thing that would keep this product from having a big impact is the packaging.   The actual bottle is so cool - I wish there was a better job making it look as cool as the bottle itself is.  The flavor is not bad by itself and is very mixable, and the mixture is potent enough to give you that boost you need.   With a little work, this can be one stellar alternative to your morning drink - being able to caffeinated anything you desire easily and with minimal flavor impact.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

X-Mode Energy Shot Tower

X-Mode and is running a contest to get your own 100 shot Tower of Power, along with other gifts.  Click here to enter! 

 I Love brilliant dangerous ideas.   Like Lawn Darts and Pogo Sticks with wheels on the bottom, X-Mode energy is a whole heck of a lot of fun, as long as you don't let stupid or accident prone people near it.  X-mode is a delicious super potent energy shot, but it comes in a box - like boxed wine - and is served through an easy pour spout.   For adults and people with common sense, this is truly a boon.  You can pour as little or as much of the powerful elixir as you want, without wasting.  It is also economical, giving you much more bang for your buck.  Just remember to go easy - as X-mode is strong enough not to be taken lightly.

On tap energy shots - its a great idea.  I have only seen this once before, and that was with Kymera Freakish Energy, a product which has sadly been discontinued.   There are 100 1-ounce servings in a box, and it works just like wine-in-a-box does, with a little pull out spout that you can measure out your dosage.  I gave this a try at home, at work and at the gym, and in all instances I am a big fan!

Packaging: 10
The box itself is very clean and professional.  The printing is all nicely laid out - as well as all the numerous warnings to not be stupid and try to drink an 8 ounce glass, mix with alcohol ( only if you are a semi-professional, like me) or give to kids and people who shouldn't drink caffeine. After pulling out the spout from the box, you also find two cool prescription bottles to help you measure the correct dosing.  The side of the package as well as the little bottles have all you need to know about your drink, including all the nutrients in exact amounts as well as the caffeine content.  Besides listing the website, they even go to listing a phone number in case you have any more questions about it.  All in all the whole presentation is top notch.

When you are dealing with 100 energy shots, if they tasted gross this would be a big problem.   I have seen it many times where energy shot manufacturers make their shot flavor taste medicinal on purpose, in the hopes that it would make the product seem more like a powerful medicine than an easy-on-the-palate drink.  Fortunately for everyone, X-Mode tastes really nice - managing to hide most of the bitter caffeine and B Vitamin flavor in a thick candy coating that seems a touch cloying, but overall easy to drink.   The flavor reminds me of cherry cough syrup, only without the alcoholic bite and less syrupy.  X-Mode comes in just a cherry flavor, at least for now, which works as a flavor.
While this is not the best energy shot I have had, I would say that the flavor definitely ranks in the top 5 of all time.

What more can I say - other than X Mode is a beast!  In each 1 ounce serving (FYI, 5 hour energy shots come in 2 ounce servings) there is 150mg of the our favorite drug, along with a bunch of vitamin B complex, taurine, and some other cool stuff like Citrulline Malate (an amino acid which delays the onset of fatigue during workouts), and L-Tyrosine (another amino that helps reduce stress and enhance memory tasks).  X-Mode is liquid power of the old school energy drink variety.   I would recommend starting of slowly and see how you handle the effects.

I started the box off with a week of trips to the gym, and the effect there was very impressive.   I get to the gym at a little before 6am, so just getting out the door on a cold day is a challenge.   about 10 minutes after a shot of X Mode was all I needed to get the energy to do a great workout.  Also, all my workouts improved just a little - to the point I can not run a 10K (personal 2014 goal DONE!).  It also worked well in the afternoon, when work drags on and I needed a bit of boost to get me through the rest of the day.

I did break with the directions though.  I am a big fan of ADULTS (meaning people with a lick of sense - regardless of age) having the option of caffeinated alcohol - and have enjoyed many types of drinks, from old cans of Joose to super-caffeinated coffee porters.  So in that spirit, on a snowy weekend I did mix it with a vodka, tonic water and a splash of lime juice to  create the most delicious Cherry Vodka Tonic - it was more potent and delicious as any Red Bull and Vodka combo.   Not only was it delicious, but I really loved being able to drink one and still feel energized enough to get things done around the house.  I had a couple throughout the day and managed to keep buzzed an happy for hours.

You can find about how to get hold of the product on their website: