REVIEW: Gatorade Fast Twitch Energy Drink

Gatorade’s Fast Twitch Energy Drink got me wondering if the brand has researched how much liquid it takes to hamper athletic pee-formance, I mean, performance. Because I was curious if it’s why they come in 12-ounce bottles instead of the 16.9-ounce ones the most recent ready-to-drink Gatorade products come in. With 200 milligrams of caffeine per bottle, it seems like that would be best used by athletes before and during competing or practicing, and having too much liquid during those moments might become an issue. Or maybe I’m just overthinking it. Instead, it’s just Gatorade playing a game of shrinkflation.

If you’ve chugged the Gatorade rainbow, the energy drink is available in six familiar flavors — Orange, Strawberry Lemonade, Glacier Freeze, Strawberry Watermelon, Cool Blue, and Tropical Mango. The variety pack I bought from Amazon came with the first three. No matter what flavor, they all have zero sugar (thanks, sucralose!), 100 percent of your daily B6 and B12 vitamins, and have only five calories per bottle.

Of those three flavors in the variety pack, the one that stood out to me is the blueberry-flavored Glacier Freeze, but I’m a bit biased because I think the flavor has always been one of the best tasting Gatorade varieties. It’s one of the two I’d repurchase. The other flavor is Strawberry Lemonade, but I must admit that, while the beverage has a slight sourness, my taste buds have had difficulty pinpointing the lemon. So think of it more like Sour Strawberry than Strawberry Lemonade.

As for orange, the first thing I have to say about it is that orange you glad there are other flavors besides it. It’s so tangy. Oh wait, I’m sorry. I meant to type Tang-y, as in Tang, the classic orange drink mix. It’s tolerable but not my favorite of the three. If I were a 1960s astronaut orbiting the Earth, I might’ve thought it was the bee’s knees.

All three feel more syrupy than regular Gatorade and other Gatorade lines I’ve tried. It’s not off-putting; it’s just different. Also, while sucralose was used to help make these zero sugar, I didn’t notice an artificial sweetener aftertaste. Of course, your taste buds may vary.

Fast Twitch isn’t the first Gatorade with caffeine, but it’s the first with an amount that goes well into the triple digits. It also isn’t the only non-carbonated sports drink with caffeine — Monster’s Hydro (150-160 milligrams per 20-ounce bottle) and Bodyarmor’s Edge (140 milligrams per 28.3-ounce bottle) come to mind. While I haven’t had Bodyarmor’s offering, I prefer the taste of Hydro over the Fast Twitch varieties, but I think that’s the sugar in Hydro talking. (Bodyarmor’s Edge also has sugar.)

Gatorade is known as the Thirst Quencher, and the 12 ounces of liquid will probably quench my thirst. But that size does make me hesitant about them, especially when there are similar products out there that come in bigger bottles.

Purchased Price: $24.07
Size: 12-pack/12 fl oz bottles
Purchased at: Amazon
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Glacier Freeze), 6 out of 10 (Strawberry Lemonade), and 5 out of 10 (Orange)
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) 5 calories, 0 grams of fat, 160 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, and 200 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Ghost Cherry Limeade Energy Drink

What is it?

As GHOST Energy continues to rise, starting to pop up in huge chains like Walmart, the brand has set its sights on making Shirley Temple smile, with a bubbly twist on Cherry Limeade — chockfull of 200 milligrams of natural caffeine and focus ingredients.

How is it?

It’s good. It’s quite good, and it’ll grow on ya! It took me multiple cans to figure out how I felt about this one (I know, I’m an addict). The flavoring here isn’t quite as strong and punchy as I’ve come to expect from GHOST Energy. I’m used to being walloped over the head with flavor, and while this is still pretty strong, it isn’t as intense, especially when compared with the WarHeads and Sour Patch Kids candy collabs.

The flavor is nearly a 50/50 split of cherry and lime, with a touch more lime than I expected. That sharp citrusy lime keeps the drink from getting too sweet, and while I wouldn’t have opposed a bolder sugary cherry flavor, the balance also helps prevent it from tasting medicinal. It’s a super smooth sip that goes down easily, thanks to some tight and not too aggressive effervescence. As a big time supporter of Shirley Temples and Cherry 7Up (and Dirty Shirleys when I’m feeling wild), this one ends up really hitting the spot.

Anything else you need to know?

The first time GHOST made a cherry limeade flavor, it was a collaboration with Sonic for its powdered Legend pre-workout line. It’s still available and co-branded with Sonic, but that endorsement doesn’t come with the Ready-To-Drink canned version for whatever reason. I’ve had the pre-workout in the past, and the flavor is denser and more intense. But carbonation typically changes the experience, and I’m not certain whether this is the same or an entirely new formula for the profile.


This drink is only held back by how unbelievably elite a lot of the other releases from GHOST Energy have been. In the grand scheme of energy drinks, this is probably a 9 out of 10 and the best cherry limeade on the market — certainly better than Reign and Alani Nu. But when graded and curved against the other straight slam dunks from GHOST, it might be closer to a 7, which lands me very comfortably at a median of 8, and a damn fine one at that.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 16 oz can
Purchased at: GNC
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 35 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of carbohydrates,0 gram of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Red Bull Blue Edition Ocean Blast Energy Drink (Japan)

Red Bull Blue Edition Ocean Blast Energy Drink Can

Blue Edition?

I know Red Bull is supposed to give you wings, but I think Red Bull Japan was a different kind of high when it named this energy drink. You see, this Red Bull Ocean Blast is lychee flavored, and nothing about the fruit brings blue to mind.

If you’re unfamiliar with it, it looks like a strawberry covered with outies, and under that red skin is a white, sweet, and slightly floral flesh that I will rip off with abandon because it’s delicious. Under the flesh is a dark brown seed that annoys me when they’re too big because that almost always means less of that succulent fruit flesh.

Note that of all the colors I mentioned in the previous paragraph, I didn’t mention blue. So it’s a bit confusing that this is the Blue Edition. Look, I get it. The blue relates to the Ocean Blast name. But Red Bull has a long history of pairing whatever Edition color with a fruit that’s actually that color. Here in the US, Watermelon is the Red Edition, Tropical is the Yellow Edition, and Blueberry is the Blue Edition. In Japan, the Purple Edition is grape, the Ruby Edition is mangosteen, and the White Edition is white peach.

Well, at least the color of the beverage itself reminds me of what’s under a lychee’s skin.

Red Bull Blue Edition Ocean Blast Energy Drink Glass with Cloudy Liquid

Odd naming aside, this Red Bull has flown up to the top of my favorite Red Bull flavor list. Although, I might be a bit bias because lychee is my favorite fruit in the whole wide world. Opening the can brought out an aroma that’s similar to what rises from a freshly peeled lychee. Its flavor wavers between a sweet lychee and a slightly tart overripe one. I guess it’s hard to fully hide the flavors of the underlying Red Bull. The aftertaste that lingers in my mouth is like what flavors remain in my mouth after eating lychee. From beginning to end, it’s a wonderful experience, if you’re into the fruit as much as I am.

While I love this flavor, it might be awhile before I’m able to drink it again since it’s only available in Japan at the moment. If you happen to see it at a Japanese grocer in the US, I’d definitely recommend picking it up. If you want to buy it from one of the many online Japanese snack shops based in Japan, expect to pay a lot for quick shipping or to wait a lot if you decide to get it shipped via the cheapest option (I waited two months for mine, and I’m closer to Japan than 99 percent of y’all).

But I want more people to try this and I want to drink it regularly. So this is my plea to the powers that be to bring a lychee-flavored Red Bull to the States. I don’t care what color or season Edition it becomes. Even if it’s the Brown Edition, just make it happen.

Purchased Price: $5.99 (plus shipping)
Size: 250 ml can
Purchased at: NapaJapan
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (100 ml) 45 kcal, 0 grams of fat, 0.14 grams of sodium, 10.7 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, and 32 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Monster Energy Ultra Strawberry Dreams

If you’re into strawberries and Monster energy drinks, it’s an exciting time for you. The company recently launched a Kiwi Strawberry flavor for its Reserve line, and the red berry headlines this year’s Monster Energy Ultra release — Strawberry Dreams.

Every time I see or think of this beverage’s name, one of two songs play in my head — Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) by the 80s band Eurythmics and These Dreams by the 80s band Heart. And after typing the previous sentence, I’ve probably dated myself.

I picked up a few “slim” 12-ounce cans from my favorite eBay energy drink seller, but Ultra Strawberry Dreams is also available in regular 16-ounce cans.

Here’s what the can has to say about the flavor:

Some people swear that strawberries are aphrodisiacs. They say if you share a double strawberry with someone then they’ll catch feelings for you. All we know is the flavor of the heart-shaped fruit is perfect for our new zero sugar Ultra. Wonderfully sweet while slightly tart, this easy-drinking Ultra tastes like a dream. Passionately crafted with the Monster energy blend you crave, take one sip and you’ll be crazy for Ultra Strawberry Dreams.

A Valentine’s energy drink? Well, to be honest, if I got a dozen of these, I’d be thrilled. It’s practical, lasts longer than a dozen roses in a vase, has more caffeine than a box of chocolates, makes my heart beat faster than receiving a Valentine’s surprise from my special someone, and these smell better too.

Its aroma is sweet artificial strawberry, and its flavor is also easily recognizable as the, ahem, heart-shaped fruit. Since this is a zero sugar Ultra drink, it’s not as sugary as the Monster Reserve Kiwi Strawberry, but there are some similarities in their artificial flavor. While I definitely taste the red berry, there’s also a bit of tropicalness with every sip. The tartness might be messing with my taste buds, but I notice a guava-like flavor. However, there’s no mention of tropical fruits on the can or hints in the can’s strawberry-heavy graphics.

Will Monster Energy Ultra Strawberry Dreams be a recurring purchase? Periodically, yes. It’s another excellent tasting addition to the Monster Ultra line. The only thing that’ll recur repeatedly is the image of those strawberries popping out of a skull’s eye sockets in my dreams.

Purchased Price: More than one should pay on eBay
Size: 12 fl oz
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 5 calories, 0 grams of fat, 200 milligrams of sodium, 4 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, and 110 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Monster Energy Nitro Cosmic Peach

If you enjoy Monster’s Ultra Peachy Keen Energy Drink that came out about a year ago but wonder what it would taste like sweetened with sugar and not an artificial sweetener cocktail, Monster’s new Nitro Cosmic Peach Energy Drink will let your taste buds experience that.

It has a great flavor similar to Ultra Peachy Keen in that it tastes like peach gummy rings. But now that I’ve tried both, I wouldn’t swap the 50 grams of sugar this has with the zero sugar of the older energy drink. (There’s some Sucralose in this, but it’s far down the ingredient list.)

When I reviewed Ultra Peachy Keen, one of the things I noted was how some folks might find it to be too sweet. If that’s you, this Nitro Cosmic Peach will make your teeth ache and your mouth question if it’s snowing sugar and you’re sticking out your tongue to catch some. But you won’t be alone. I find this a bit too sweet, making it harder to consume than the zero sugar one.

According to Monster Energy, adding nitrogen (hence its name) creates a smooth and creamy texture (and a foam head if you pour it into a glass). The nitrogen is mixed into the beverage and not dispersed from an infuser after opening the can, like with Nitro Pepsi or Starbucks’ canned Nitro Cold Brew. Thanks to the tiny bubbles from the nitrogen, it’s definitely smooth, but I wouldn’t consider it creamy. Usually, being a smooth beverage makes it easier to drink, but this being overly sweet makes it less so.

Overall, Monster’s Nitro Cosmic Peach and its gummy rings flavor is good. But, again, I wouldn’t pick it over Ultra Peachy Keen, which has the same flavor profile and amount of caffeine without the sugar. If there wasn’t that option, it might be a different story. They don’t taste exactly alike, but I don’t find this to be better tasting.

But if you don’t care for Monster’s Ultra line, this is a peachy way to get Monster’s energy blend into your body.

Purchased Price: More than one should pay on eBay
Size: 16 fl oz can
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 210 calories, 0 grams of fat, 400 milligrams of sodium, 55 grams of carbohydrates, 50 grams of sugar (including 50 grams of added sugar), 0 grams of protein, and 160 milligrams of caffeine.