I will watch pretty much anything with Dwayne Johnson’s name attached to it, so I guess I will also drink anything with Dwayne Johnson’s name attached to it. Because here we are with me trying out the Original and Original Zero Sugar versions of an energy drink that he helped develop.
Well, it’s not as if he didn’t put on a sleeveless lab coat and helped formulate energy drink samples in his trailer between Fast & Furious takes.
ZOA is available in several flavors that I’m too lazy to look up. I decided to go for just the Original and Zero Sugar Original versions because if these are bad and I bought every variety, I didn’t want to experience the spectrum of horribleness, even if it has Mr. Johnson’s name on them.
But I’m happy to report that these are okay. I know that’s not a glowing endorsement, but flavor-wise there’s nothing unique about them.
If a flavor dictionary existed, the “energy drink” entry would taste like this. Remember when energy drinks first started getting popular and brands were popping up everywhere, and most of them tried to emulate Red Bull’s sweet medicinal flavor? Well, these taste like something from one of those brands. Not exactly like Red Bull, but something Red Bull-esque and less cloying. Also, the sugar-free version (sweetened with sucralose and ace-K) tastes better than the one that has sugar. The Original one has an unpleasant extra medicinal bite at the back end that’s a bit off-putting.
So if these taste like energy drink’s early years, what separates this from others, besides possibly being formulated using Dwayne Johnson’s arms as an industrial mixer? For one, it’s marketed as a “healthy” energy drink.
What does that mean?
Well, I’ll just copy over what it says on the ZOA website. It’s made with Camu-Camu berries and Acerola Cherries that provide 100% of your daily Vitamin C and antioxidants. Branched-Chain Amino Acids are added to help with muscle growth, electrolytes are included to keep you hydrated, and choline is in them to boost metabolism. Vitamins B1, B2, B6, and B12 are also included. Finally, it uses natural caffeine, which means it gets it from green tea and green, unroasted coffee beans.
Original and Original Zero Sugar ZOA Energy Drinks are decent tasting ways to get 160 milligrams of caffeine into my body. But I’d probably only repurchase the sugar-free one again. Also, because they aren’t horrible, I’m curious about the other flavors.
Purchased Price: $2.49 each
Size: 16 fl oz cans
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Original), 6 out of 10 (Zero Sugar Original)
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) Original – 100 calories, 0 grams of fat, 200 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 23 grams of sugar, 22 grams of added sugar, and 0 grams of protein Zero Sugar Original – 15 calories, 0 grams of fat, 200 milligrams of sodium, 3 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.