Monday, September 8, 2008

Rush! Lite

Here's a plain example of something I sometimes call a dollar store drink. Rush! Energy Drink Lite. What gives it away has to be the crude can design. The bold, bland, cheesy font above the generic red woodgrain background makes me think it was made in paint or something. Typically, a label like this, printed in English and Spanish, is a sign of a generic, lame energy drink. Now, don't get me wrong, it's a drink nonetheless, and I'm in the mood, since it's been a long day, and I need something to cool me down and perk me up at the same time. I chose the Rush! Lite because I'm feeling like something sugar-free and it's rumored that it has a strawberry flavor, which I could go for. I'm going to find out.

I've missed that sound, the loud pop of an aluminum can. That first smell is lovely, with a very luscious yet also natural strawberry, almost like strawberry ice cream. The smell doesn't quite radiate, but stays near the top. I take a small sip and I can tell there's lots of flavor there, but quite a bit of carbonation and the taste of the sucralose which is undoubtedly in here is masking it. What I can tell is underneath is a semi-artificial strawberry that tastes like it belongs in a strawberry hard candy. When you're swallowing, that flavor essentially disappears and there's lots of sourness tingling down your throat, which I'm betting is because it's meant to hide the bitter energy ingredients. What's bad about this drink is the flavor of the strawberry gets subtler and harder to notice with every sip and it's quite gummy. The drink itself actually seems pretty think and it gives you that "soda or juice teeth" feeling, which is uncomfortable, because you want something that is clean and fresh, not muddy. Also, it's very noticable how the carbonation robs your tongue of surface area with which to taste the strawberry. And as with all drinks sweetened with sucralose, there's that phenomenon dealing with the drink not tasting sweet after about a quarter of the can, though it's holding up relatively well. I can't say I'd recommend this at all. Unless you like spending half your time coping with a gummy mouth from an unsweet and heavily carbonated drink.

It's taken me a while to finish this drink, which, as you should know, impacts the effect of the energy ingredients. What this drink has done so far is provide some alertness, which is good, but not enough from a 16oz energy drink. And even though, I have a suspicion it's just because I drank something, not necessarily because of what's in here. I would say I've almost got enough energy to get up and go for a jog with no trouble, but something in the drink denies me that ability by making my stomach upset just a bit. Actually, it's getting better, but it's never good when a drink makes you sick to your stomach, even just while you start drinking. After finishing this whole thing, now, I can't say I have heaps of energy, but I do feel much awareness and some nice vitality. I think that's because of the l-carnitine. I've read that it's necessary for the breakdown of lipids to produce metabolic energy. That's a great thing to put in an energy drink, definitely, because, as I'm finishing this up, some real nice energy is making my legs restless. As for the rest of the energy ingredients, there's taurine, which does absolutely nothing, d-glucuronolactone, caffeine, Choline, and Inositol, making up for a combined 2901mg of energy blend. Along with that, just like almost all drinks, are an array of vitaimins: C, Niacin, B6, B12, and Pantothenic Acid, all 100% or above per serving, which is exceptional. The rest includes carbonated water, citric acid, natural and artificial flavors, sodium benzoate, ascorbic acid, potassium sorbate, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, red 40 and EDTA. Ah, I was close, but not quite correct. The sweeteners are in fact sucralose and acesulfame potassium, or "ace-k." Though I can't say this is the best energy drink in terms of flavor or kick, some of the ingredients I did like. However, by no means do I think it's worth drinking for a relatively weak kick in relation to many other drinks.

Taste: 5.5 - Almost nasty, very artificial-tasting and highly carbonated strawberry
Kick: 7.2 - I liked the focus and vitality, but I'd rather get that from a Vitamin Energy
Overall: 6.3 - Not worth the money, even 60 cents

Reviewed by: Jeff

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Jeffery "Jeff," Chandler "Chan"