Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Also while cruising Lassen's, I met the Pure Fuel, which this time, isn't advertised as organic. It is, however "performance support" with zero calories, zero fat, zero carbs, and zero sugar. Uh oh, you know when a drink says sugar-free or zero sugar that it's going to have some funky artificial sweetener. I checked the ingredients list to see what it was and I find dreaded sucralose, also known as Splenda. I've always disliked Splenda for its bitterness and metallic flavor. I don't know if there's some way to mask the flavor of sucralose like there is for acesulfame k, but I hope there is. Anyway, the can looks pretty good with red bubbly stripes at the top and bottom above a black background. The bold lettering and simple design seems to signify that it's meant solely for kick.
The first time I smelled it wasn't bad. It smells like slightly artificial, yet very luscious lemon-orange without the bite. The color is very nice as well, being highly saturated gold and very clear and shiny like glass. In contrast to the smell, the taste is much less distinct. I can't really distinguish the lemon and orange anymore, and it just tastes weird with the sucralose. I can tell because the sucralose gives the drink more of a sour, bitter taste, which mimics sugary sweetness, but really isn't. It works with the ascorbic acid and carbonation to drive the taste even further from sweet. I'm deeply saddened because I know this would be a really, really great drink if it were not for the sucralose, making it taste not sweet at all. And the gumminess doesn't help. I had no idea sucralose contributed to a gummy mouth, but it totally does, and it's insanely hard to remove it. The carbonation is just right, being fine and bubbly, but not painful. I can easily finish the can, but I'm just really sad that there's no sugar in here.
I can say that was a nice, solid, kick. It does pretty well against all the common energy drinks, like Monster and Amp. I wonder what ingredients were the cause, and so I read the Supplement Facts. There are your usual vitamins such as C, Riboflavin, Niacin, B6, and B12, and they're all in 100% DV amounts, which is a very good thing. I know that just by drinking this can, I get my full supply of those five or six nutrients. Actually, it lists 60mg of C, which, to me, is very little. I usually go for about 1000mg, so I'm not sure what's going on with the daily values... As for the energy ingredients, There's actually less than I was expecting: only 365mg of a proprietary energy blend, consisting of Guarana, Caffeine, Taurine, Ginseng, Eleutherococcus Senticoscus, Green tea, and Ginkgo Biloba. Now, hold on a second. I have to figure out what that Eleutherococcus Senticoscus is. A quick check online lets me know that it's a plant that is similar to ginseng which used to be called Siberian Ginseng. It's no longer legal to call it Siberian Ginseng in the US because it is actually not part of the Panax species. It is mildly anti-inflammatory, is an antioxidant, and has similar effects to Chinese Ginseng, but is cheaper. Good to know. Overall, on kick, the Pure Fuel performs quite well, but mostly due to the Ginkgo, which provided some great focus.
Taste: 6 - The Splenda, once again, ruins the taste
Kick: 7.6 - Good with the Ginkgo
Overall: 7 - Not a bad one to try
Reviewed by: Jeff