Looks like Rockstar's branching out, trying something new, with a new energy drink all about hydration. Rockstar Recovery comes in a bold, simple, and eye-catching can. The almost fluorescent yellow stands out like a traffic cone and the completely black top seems to give it an edge. Reading the label, there's a lot of things that are unique about this as well. This is, of course, the first time I've seen "hydration" on a Rockstar can, and it's also very cool to see that there are only 20 calories in the entire can. From the name Recovery, I assume this drink is for either recovery from a bad hangover or for a little helpful boost plus hydration during sports or physical activity. So, what do I expect? First off, Recovery implies that it's going to be refreshing. Any normal energy drink to me, would most definitely not be refreshing, but I think Rockstar does some things that are very smart. Carbonation can get in the way of a thirst-quenching drink. This is why Rockstar chose to make Recovery non-carbonated, something I like very much. Another thing that can get in the way of a good, refreshing drink is loads of sugar. Recovery addresses this by reducing the sugar to a mere 1 gram and sweetening it mostly artificially. And of course, Recovery's got electrolytes. Three good things I've been able to find about the drink and I haven't even opened it! I guess it's time.
I crack open the top and Recovery doesn't fizz one bit. Me like. The smell reminds me of those artificially sweetened Tropicana light soft drinks; totally sharp lemon flavor with no sweetness. I delicately poured some into a cup and noticed it was clear with a cloudiness like they wanted to trick you into thinking it was real lemon juice. I actually tried looking for pulp, though there is none. My first sip is delicious, and definitely on the sour side. First, it's just kind of refreshing and neutral, but then, you get a little zing from the sourness of it, and the lemon taste lingers a while longer before the flavor disappears. Nothing about it says "energy drink" to me, which would surprise people trying it for the first time. It's pretty amazing to me how much this tastes like the same Tropicana drinks I mentioned earlier. The Recovery is a little better, considering it doesn't make my tongue feel so dry after I have a sip. So there's a plus. I don't really know why, but I hadn't expected this drink to be so sour. I had imagined more of a subtle lemon with little to no zing. This one isn't as bad as other drinks out there, but there's a little bit of gumminess backing up. However, on a scale of water to Sunny D, this one doesn't even make it past the halfway mark. I'll admit, the lemonade is tasty, but I find it to be a little too one-dimensional. I like it, but it hardly leaves me begging to take another sip. Still, this could be part of Rockstar's approach to a hydrating drink. One thing that I often complain about in low-carb/low-cal drinks is the artificial sweeteners, but Rockstar's done it right, with a combination of Sucralose and Ace-K. And of course that hint of Sucrose adds a little brightness and naturalness to the mix. Overall, I'm pleased, but not overjoyed. Rockstar concocted a solid drink with a good taste and nice sweetness, but it's not as flat-out addicting as I find Monsters to be. Now, I'll do my best to examine my hydration level. If that's possible.
Rockstar Recovery's ingredients list goes as follows: Purified Water, Lemon Juice, Sucrose, Taurine, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Sodium Citrate, Caffeine, Benzoic Acid, Sorbic Acid, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, Panax Ginseng Extract, N-Acetyl Cysteine, Prickly Pear Extract, Milk Thistle Extract, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Magnesium Lactate, Gum Arabic, Calcium Lactate, Ester Gum, Monopotassium Phosphate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, and Cyanocobalamin. The difference I see from most energy drinks is purified water instead of carbonated water. It's also neat to see lemon juice in the ingredients list. Above the Supplement Facts, it states that the beverage is 3% lemon juice. High in the list is also Taurine. The Supplement Facts mention that there are 1000mg per serving, 2000mg per can. Early on, we never really understood what Taurine was good for, but now we know that Taurine helps absorb fat-soluble vitamins. Caffeine is also part of the energy ingredients, weighing in at 160mg total. Not quite a massive dose, but definitely a good jolt to get you going. Panax Ginseng is present at 100mg and N-Acetyl Cysteine, which sounds like an amino acid, is present at 50mg. There are 40mg total of Milk Thistle, an ingredient I've seen often in Rockstars. Finally, the last ingredient of Rockstar's energy blend, Prickly Pear Extract, exists at 50mg. I could not fathom why Rockstar would choose Prickly Pear Extract to put in here, but a quick search tells me it's helpful with hangovers. Ah, so there's my proof, Rockstar Recovery is a drink designed to bring you back to life after a night of drinking. Vitamin B, Caffeine, Prickly Pear, and electrolytes (the compounds near the bottom of the ingredients list), among other things work in conjunction to quell your headache, dehydration, and fatigue. Seems logical enough Rockstar would come out with this, since mixing alcohol with energy drinks is somewhat common. Now, how ironic would it be to use Recovery as a mixer?
Taste: 7.7 - Lemonade's one of my favorite flavors, but I think Rockstar did it a little blandly
Kick: 7.5 - A respectable jolt, though it doubles as a hangover cure and yields some nice focus
Overall: 7.6 - A good idea, though I don't see it being a go-to drink
Reviewed by: Jeff