Who Need Coffee when You Have These Top 5 Energy Drinks

Image Credit: Flickr by Mararie
It has been a little over a decade since these now ever-present beverages started spreading out across the globe. Remember back when Red Bull was the new kid on the block and seemed edgy, daring, maybe even a bit threatening? No? Hmm, maybe that was just me, then. I was easily impressed in the late 90s, early 2000s, though. Anyway, whatever, moving on.
In general, most energy drinks feature similar ingredients in similar proportions, and it tends to be all about (surprise, surprise!) caffeine, sugar, and a few things, like Taurine and ginseng, that are maybe better left unexamined (both for reasons of potential icky provenance and a potential for you learning that a lot of the stuff featured in energy drinks is actually about as exciting as, say, drywall). Therefore, when arranging this list, we took it for granted that all of these beverages will indeed give you a boost of energy, and rated them based on other factors.

5 Starbucks Double Shot

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5. You didn’t see this one coming, did you? Starbucks Double Shot! I mean, at the end of the day, these things are pretty much about caffeine and sugar, so why not turn to the trusted source for the former, meaning coffee, and the expected source for the latter, meaning sugar itself. Tastier than all the tangy, often cloying energy drinks listed above (this is assuming you like the taste of sweet coffee beverages, which most folks seem to these days), Starbucks Double Shot drinks offer you a boost of energy that may be a bit less potent than its peers, but it’s also less artificial.

4 Monster

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4. Monster brand energy drinks are probably the second most prevalent after Red Bull, so if you can develop a taste for them, you’re in luck! But there isn’t much all that remarkable about Monster other than its relative ubiquity. You can find several varieties in huge cans with re-sealable tops, so if that elevates them in your estimation, go for it!

3 Rock Star Zero

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3. Rock Star Zero is the one in the electric blue can, and it’s our number three because we liked it more than numbers 4 and 5, but less than 2 and 1. Here’s why: zero calories? Great! “Fake” sort of flavor due to the artificial sweeteners? Not that bad, but not ideal. Suspicious list of ingredients? Yeah, lots of stuff ending in “enzoate” which is not ideal. But! Rock Star Zero can often be found for under $2, and that low price gives us a higher opinion.

2 Amp

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2. Amp comes in at number 2 because, in our humble opinion, it tastes better than Red Bull and is, in most other regards, just about comparable, albeit usually better priced. For some reason, that little 8 ounce can of Red Bull often costs more than a 16 ounce can of other brands, including Amp. Do we need 16 ounces of “liquid adrenaline?” No. Are we suckers for good deals? Yes, yes we are.

1 Red Bull

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Red Bull wins! Sometimes a new product comes out, created by one entity, and then is perfected by others. Think Democracy! Yeah, looking at you, Ancient Greece. But on the other hand, sometimes the OG retains its spot on top of the heap. Red Bull boasts fewer strange, questionable ingredients than many of its competitors, and it is definitely effective. It also set the bar in terms of the taste of energy drinks. Some people don’t like how it tastes, and that’s fine. Others love the lightly carbonated tang! And other companies have tried to emulate said tang, though they nail it. All hail the original.

Now, off you go, my jittery, sleep-deprived compatriots! Soldier on for another few hours thanks to slurped back liquid energy! Or take a nap, whatever floats your boat.

Steven John is a published novelist and competitive pole vault champion. (The latter is not true.) His writing runs the gamut from speculative fiction to essays fueled by a mix of mirth and derision. He has never been to Lisbon but, statistically speaking, is probably taller than you.

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