Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Stay Alert Energy Gum

Sometimes, getting tired is just not an option - like when you are driving a long haul and have a deadline, looking after a bunch of little kids in a crowded amusement park or any time you handle heavy artillery.
This last reason is why Stay Alert energy gum was made - so soldiers and others who are playing with things that go boom are not snoring on shift. No fooling, this was created for the military to keep troops awake after more of them were dying from fatigue than enemy fire. Researchers at the Walter Reed Institute of Army Research found that gum works quite a bit faster than drinks for caffeine absorption, not to mention that it can work wonders for alertness and focus.

Now I have had caffeine gum before, from Jolt energy to Go Fast to Black Black - with varying results. I decided this would be the perfect weekend to try it out on a 6 hour trip to Albuquerque - and overall, I was pretty impressed. I have been looking for this for years, hearing nothing but rave reviews about Stay Alert for some time. A big thank you goes out to kingofcaffeine.com for providing me with the samples.

Buzz:8
This is the best thing about this gum. No F*ing around - it is all about the caffeine. It has a nice 100mg dose in each Mentos-sized Chiclet as well. Not a super-extreme powerhouse, but a good solid boost. 2 really did the trick for me, and they were not kidding when they said it was FAST. Within 5 minutes I was already feeling something, and in 15 minutes my face was a little tingly. I found myself singing loudly and excitedly to a Reverend Horton Heat song, where a few minutes before I was slogging down I-25 in a half stupor.

Taste:7
I was able to sample two different flavors, both the Arctic Mint and Cinnamon flavor, which were pretty good. The arctic Mint was definitely tastier and easier on the palette than the cinnamon, which was a little hotter. On first opening the package, it smelled nice enough, and the candy coating was harder than I expected to chomp into. It was also a whole lot bigger than I was expecting as well.

Still, they were tasty enough for a 100mg caffeine boost. You could definitely taste the caffeine in both flavors, as the sweet wears off after the first few minutes and the bitterness of the caffeine comes through. The aftertaste was OK too, as a little minty freshness was still lingering after I spit out the gum. While not a piece of Bubblicious, it is not bad enough that it stopped me from having more and more. I could see where having to chow down on these a lot would get tiresome, but as a caffeine treat it worked for me.

Packaging:9
Both Very cool and functional, Stay Alert did a great job of appealing to the more hardcore market but still creating a very functional product. The foil lined pouch is pretty hardy - and difinitely could handle spills and rough handling. It looked sturdy enough to really handle the elements it is bound to face. Both packages carry on their military motif well with stencils and camo backgrounds, and were very easy to read. I loved the instructions on the pack too. 1 - eat gum. 2 - if not awake, eat another.

If I was stuck on a desert island and only had one thing to keep me awake, this is absolutely the stuff to choose.

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