Energy Drink Taste-Test: By Popular Demand

Our first article gained lots of comments from viewers like you, including some picks for another taste-test of more popular energy drinks. Check below to see how these four other “people’s choice” supplements taste and what they make you feel like.

Just like our last article, we want to explain how we did our testing. We pulled our data for these drinks right from the can. We bought each drink from a different vendor (i.e. convenience stores, groceries, etc.) on a different day and consumed each immediately after purchase while the drink was still chilled. Many “energy drinks” say this is the preferred way of consumption, so we’re happy to oblige. Nutritional information is also pulled right from the can – though we’ll be sure to note if our cans had two servings of said drink inside. Also, only one opinion was used to write this review; feel free to disagree using the comments field below.

Monster Energy
What is it?
A popular “people’s choice,” Monster offers multiple flavors of their “energy supplement” (we picked the classic “green can” variety) for consumers to down.
What’s in it?
Buzz Factors: Sucrose, Glucose, Taurine, Inositol, Caffeine, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Ginseng, L-Carnitine, Guarana, Maltodextrin.
Nutrition Info: 100 Calories, 180 mg Sodium, 27g of Sugar per serving. NOTE: Our can had two servings.
What does it taste like?
Monster tastes like a mating of Red Bull and AMP, which is surprising not the worst taste in the world. The aftertaste is a real monster, however, requiring not one, not two, but three cups of water to finally kick it from the back of our throats.
How’s the kick?
We’ve had more powerful drinks, but Monster isn’t a let down. In fact, we were surprised that Monster had the staying power closer to a Red Bull – the longest we’ve tried. It’s a well-balanced drink of long and short term energy, with a HUGE amount of B vitamins to point toward as being the main driving force.

Full Throttle
What is it?
Full Throttle is one Coca-Cola energy drink found alongside most other beverages in the stores.
What’s in it?
Buzz Factors: Corn Syrup, Taurine, Niacin, Caffeine, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, Ginseng, Carnitine, Guarana
Nutrition Info: 110 Calories, 85 mg Sodium, 29g of Sugar per serving. NOTE: Our can had two servings. Kudos to Coke for having a second column showing the amount of those two servings next to the first amount.
What does it taste like?
Full Throttle wins the “most likely to come from the herbalist’s shop” award, as it tastes more like a herbal tea than a thick, syrupy liquid. We were completely surprised when our can was empty, because the drink was easy to…well…drink! With a light taste overall and its easy “drinkability,” we recommend Full Throttle based on taste alone.
How’s the kick?
Decent, though not superior to other similarly test products. We thought Full Throttle would have a bigger kick, but it only fared a little better than a soda or two in initial drive – though the long-term effect seemed to be better.

What is it?
“Bigger, Stronger, and Faster” than other energy drinks – so it claims on the package – Rockstar is supposed to make you “party like a rockstar.” We partied like a web editor and found they weren't wrong results.
What’s in it?
Buzz Factors: Sucrose, Glucose, Taurine, Inositol, Caffeine, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Ginseng, L-Carnitine, Guarana, Ginkgo Biloba, Milk Thistle
Nutrition Info: 140 Calories, 40 mg Sodium, 31g of Sugar per serving. NOTE: Our can had two servings.
What does it taste like?
Liquid, milky bubble gum is about the closest analogy to the taste of Rockstar. It’s not a terrible taste, but it’s apparent that the drink isn’t winning us over on taste alone. The other point of contention is the thickness. Just like AMP’s sludgely mixture, Rockstar is very thick – almost like a Milk-Thistle-Shake…
How’s the kick?
You sure can “party like a rockstar” with the large can we had; sipping on it for nearly 30 minutes kept us up for 5 hours past our regular “bedtime” playing a mix of video games and trying to figure out what Milk Thistle is. However, like AMP, we weren’t hungry after slurping down a Rockstar. Maybe that’s why they put "dietary supplement" on the can?

What is it?
“A Hybrid Energy Soda,” Vault is a Coca-Cola product that, like Bawls is more like a soda than their brethren “energy drinks.” This one sits next to standards like Sprite and Mr. Pibb in your local convience store, but promises more kick per bottle.
What’s in it?
Buzz Factors: Corn Syrup, Caffeine
Nutrition Info: 120 Calories, 30 mg Sodium, 32g of Sugar per serving. NOTE: Our bottle had two servings.
What does it taste like?
Essentially, Vault is a slightly modified formula from an earlier Coca-Cola product called Surge, at least to our taste buds. Vault basically tastes like a citrus-based soda, which makes it as easy to drink as a Mountain Dew, with a slightly different aftertaste.
How’s the kick?
Slightly buzzy, Vault seems to be the “first in, first out” of this set, leaving us to pay the “hey, I still need energy” bill. It has very little different in it’s formula from a standard soda, so it’s most likely just a double shot of caffeine plus some extra sugar giving the boost in the “energy soda.” To be fair, this is least marketed as an “energy drink” and is, in fact, put in with the regular Dr. Peppers and the like. Still, if you claim you’re a “hybrid energy soda,” you better be able to put up some better results.

So how do they rank in taste?
1.) Full Throttle – More like an herbal tea than an “energy drink,” Full Throttle made us want more right after finishing the can.
2.) Vault – “Drinks like a soda” is right…
3.) Rockstar – Liquid bubble gun sounds good in theory, but Rockstar proves it’s not the most pleasing taste.
4.) Monster – Three cups of water agree, Monster’s aftertaste killed the beast.

How do they rank based on kick?
1.) Rockstar – Party on, Rockstar, you’re closest to Red Bull’s title of longest running energy drink.
2.) Monster – A great kick to get you started and the stuff to keep you going, Monster is a great choice.
3.) Full Throttle – For marathon runners only, Full Throttle’s best ability is in staying power, not quick energy.
4.) Vault – Just buy another Mountain Dew, man.

Check out our first article covering Red Bull, Bawls, AMP, and SoBe No Fear energy drinks by clicking here.

Did we miss your favorite energy drink? Leave your pick in the comments below for the next round of products to try and we’ll put them through the paces to see if we can find the ultimate source for energy with good taste.

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