Good Morning, Scary Energy Drinks!

As you can probably tell from the amount of times it gets mentioned on this blog, I am a diehard coffee drinker. Aside from when I’m sick, I drink it every day, multiple times a day. Doesn’t matter if it’s the substantial home-brew from my French press, mediocre (yet surprisingly okay) offerings from the local gas station, or the thin (surprisingly less than okay) cup of coffee from the one-cup maker in the office. If I drink it all and as much of it as I can get. 

My ideal coffee consumption is something like this: a cup or two in the morning, one in the afternoon, and possibly two more before bedtime. I know people who balk at drinking coffee a mere hour or two before bedtime, as they claim it would keep them up all night. I know what this is like – I feel the same way after I’ve drunk nearly two pots of the stuff and tried to go to sleep. Anything under five cups, I’ll still sleep like a baby. (Well… a slightly jittery, jumpy baby, but still….)

I can wax rhapsodic on all the reasons I love coffee some other time, but suffice to say, even though I know I should be drinking better, purer, healthier things, I can’t shake my attachment to the taste,  the heat, the ritual. My adoration, devotion, and complete sublimation to coffee has steered me clear of at least one hazard: energy drinks.

I stay away from energy drinks.



It’s in a large, heavy can, usually black or silver or orange or green. It’s got a fearsome glow, and its name is spelled out in big, mean letters, one or two words only, scrawled sideways or sprawling around the circumference of the can.

ROCKSTAR. Monster. Cocaine (seriously). Bawls. Full Throttle.
RELOAD. HYPE. VAULT. Blue Charge. Battery. AMP.

You can see that refrigerated section before any other in the convenience store. It emanates a power, as if dozens of demons are entrapped in those 16 ounce cans, just waiting to be imbibed and released to create havoc in your body. The look is anger, rage, ramped up adrenaline coursing through type face and aluminum.

The drink itself is practically a warning to stay away. It takes like fruit juice run through a car motor. When cold, it vaguely stings as you drink it. Don’t even think about drinking it at room temperature. The point is to grab it from the cooler and have it half drunk by the time you pay for it. Chug the second half then get ready to ROCK. YOUR. DAY.

Aside from the possible dangers of these drinks – which as a person who drinks coffee at irresponsible levels, I really can’t be judgemental of – it’s really the attitude that scares me off. It’s so aggressive, so macho. It exudes an image of extreme sports, fast cars, Dane Cook. It reminds me of people I don’t want to be around, bars I don’t want to go to, lifestyles I don’t want to lead.

When I’m in a convenience store, and I’m looking for a beverage to boost my energy, I’ll walk straight past the intimidating energy drinks to the stale hot coffee every time.


4 responses to “Good Morning, Scary Energy Drinks!

  1. I totally agree with you on energy drinks. The names are a turn-off (give me a girlie “latte” any day. Two of those will make me just as jittery as one teeny can of Red Bull) and the taste is just as you describe LOL.

    One of the main reasons that I avoid these boosters is the artificial sugar that most of them contain. And, like you, I would rather have a stale cup of joe from BK than anything that comes in can and calls itself “Monster”.

  2. There is another newer and scarier breed of energy drink that combines both alcohol and caffeine. If multiple beverages are consumed in one sitting it can be deadly. The “cocaine” energy drink you mentioned is one of these. “Four Loko” (another of these alcoholic and caffeinated death beverages) is getting a lot of press as an off campus party somewhere in Washington provided these drinks at the party. It got so many college women black-out-drunk so quickly that the police first suspected date rape drugs played a part….yikes!

  3. I’ve never tried an energy drink, and don’t plan to. The names and can colors make me think that drinking one of them would destroy my digestive system and make me feel more digusting than I ever have in my life… I’m cringing thinking about it…

  4. I actually like Guaraná, but haven’t tried any other energy drinks. I rarely drink any soft drinks. Like you I am a coffee drinker —but sometimes I’m in the mood for tea. My favorite cold drink is water.

    After a hot day of sightseeing in Salvador, Brazil last year, we went to a grocery store for bottled water and something to eat in our room for dinner. (We had eaten a large lunch, the main meal of the day for most Brazilians.) I had lived in Brazil years before and liked Guaraná when I was slim and young, but later realized that as an “energy drink” it was probably loaded with sugar. At the store, beside the bottled water was Guaraná Zero, On a whim, I bought one can. On the walk to the hotel, I drank the entire can and then went back for more. For the next three weeks I drank more Guaraná Zero than all the soft drinks I’d had for the previous decade or since.

    For those who haven’t tried it, I would say it tastes almost like a cross between ginger ale and apple juice, but it’s difficult to describe its unique flavor. I think it is best iced cold on a very hot day, perhaps with a twist of lime or lemon or a slice of orange.

    If the sugar doesn’t bother you, go for the regular variety. Obviously the diet version won’t give you any added energy. But if you’re looking for taste and want to skip the sugar the diet version is pretty good.

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