REVIEW: Reign Total Body Fuel by Monster Energy

In the world of performance energy drinks, there’s one leader — Bang. In the world of energy drinks, there is one leader — I don’t know who that is and I’m too lazy to look it up. If only there were drinks I could consume to give me some energy to do so.

It could be Red Bull. It could be Monster. Maybe Rockstar. Maybe Cocaine Energy Drink? But Monster is one of the heavy hitters in the energy drink universe.

So what are “performance energy drinks”? From what I can gather, they’re made for athletes to give them big boosts of energy that allow them to do things at a higher level. In order to do that, they have 300 milligrams of caffeine per can and contain supplements like coenzyme Q10 and branched-chain-amino acids.

While Bang is in the lead, Monster hopes to gain market share with its new Reign Total Body Fuel line. Yes, it’s not Monster Total Body Fuel, because who wants to use a well-recognized trademark over a name that sounds like a mobile game with lots of in-app purchases.

So Monster could have dipped its toes in the category, but it decided to make a splash by offering SIX flavors of Reign — Carnival Candy, Melon Mania, Lemon HDZ, Peach Fizz, Sour Apple, and Razzle Berry. They all have 300 milligrams of caffeine, 0 grams of sugar, 0 calories, no artificial colors (yes, they’re all clear), and no artificial flavors.

Carnival Candy

Reign Total Body Fuel Carnival Candy

When I took the first sip, I got a lot of cotton candy flavor, but that went away with the sips right after. Those had more of a general sweetness. There’s a little cotton candy in the aftertaste, but I want it whenever I’m drinking it because when it’s there, it’s quite lovely.

Now if you let your taste buds reset and not sip on it for a while, the cotton candy flavor will return briefly for that one sip and then go back to not tasting like the carnival treat. I have to say this was the one variety I was most looking forward to and it ended up being a little disappointing.

Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (8 ounces) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 100 milligrams of sodium, 35 milligrams of potassium, 1 gram of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

Sour Apple

Reign Total Body Fuel Sour Apple

This flavor has the same issue that Carnival Candy has. The first sip tastes like sour apple, but subsequent sips lose most of the apple flavoring, leaving a sweet and tart taste. But, again, let your taste buds rest a little, and the full fruity and sourness comes back for one sip. The sour apple flavor is good, but I wish it’s around for every sip.

Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (8 ounces) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 100 milligrams of sodium, 35 milligrams of potassium, 1 gram of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

Melon Mania

Reign Total Body Fuel Melon Mania

I was hoping this would be flavored like either a cantaloupe or honeydew melon because the world needs more of those, but the can’s color scheme makes it obvious it’s going to be watermelon. If you’re expecting it to taste similar to a Jolly Rancher hard candy, it’s not like that says my taste buds who are currently enjoying a watermelon Jolly Rancher because we just so happen to have some in our house. It’s better tasting than that. It’s like an enhanced version of watermelon flavoring.

Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (8 ounces) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 100 milligrams of sodium, 35 milligrams of potassium, 1 gram of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

Lemon HDZ

Reign Total Body Fuel Lemon HDZ

Because I’m uncool, I wasn’t sure what HDZ was, but I asked our Twitter followers, and they came up with the obvious answer — Heads. (Full disclosure: I thought it was Hards.) I thought this one would be like a lemonade, but it’s not quite that because there isn’t a noticeable sourness to it. I want to say lemon meringue because there’s something else to the flavor that I can’t quite put my finger on. Despite not knowing what it exactly tastes like, I enjoyed it.

Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (8 ounces) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 100 milligrams of sodium, 35 milligrams of potassium, 1 gram of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

Peach Fizz

Reign Total Body Fuel Peach Fizz

If you enjoy peach-flavored gummies, then you’ll like this. It’s not overly flowery tasting like some peach products are. Its flavor reminded me of the Red Bull Peach Edition I had recently. Peach Fizz is my favorite of the bunch, but not by a lot over Melon Mania.

Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (8 ounces) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 100 milligrams of sodium, 35 milligrams of potassium, 1 gram of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

Razzle Berry

Reign Total Body Fuel Razzle Berry

This one tastes similar to other blue raspberry-flavored beverages I’ve had in that it’s fruity and slightly sour. It also reminds me of Carnival Candy, so some of the same natural flavors might’ve been used. Fortunately, unlike Carnival Candy, Razzle Berry’s flavor doesn’t fade with the second sip. As someone who enjoys Louie-Bloo Raspberry Otter Pops, it’s not surprising I liked the taste of this.

Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (8 ounces) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 100 milligrams of sodium, 35 milligrams of potassium, 1 gram of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

Even with the issues I experienced with some of the flavors, I have to say these were surprisingly good for drinks with zero sugar and calories. As someone who has consumed a lot of beverages sweetened with sucralose and ace-K, I could tell they have no sugar, but the flavors do great at hiding that fact.

Some of you might be wondering how these help with performance. I did not test that because the most laborious physical activity I do is an exercise called finger push-downs, which is otherwise known as typing.

Purchased Price: $2.99 each
Size: 16 fl. oz. cans
Purchased at: Target

REVIEW: Rockstar Pure Zero TMGS (Tangerine Mango Guava Strawberry)

Rockstar Pure Zero TMGS

What is Rockstar Pure Zero TMGS?

It’s the latest Pure Zero variety from Rockstar Energy. Pure Zero energy drinks have no sugar and zero calories. TMGS’ flavor is made up of four fruits — tangerine, mango, guava, and strawberry. A can has 240 milligrams of sweet, sweet caffeine.

How is it?

While the tangerine and mango get front billing on the can, the guava and strawberry flavors are more upfront with every sip. The mango is difficult to taste, but the citrusy tangerine is noticeable in the background. The amalgamation of fruitiness equals an energy drink that’s one of the best tasting out there. It’s a strong tropical flavor that’s as good as the tropical Monster Energy varieties Pipeline Punch and Pacific Punch.

But here’s the thing about Rockstar Pure Zero TMGS that sets it apart from those Monster flavors, as I mentioned before, it’s a zero sugar, zero calorie energy drink, but it doesn’t taste like it’s a zero sugar, zero calorie energy drink. Those Monster varieties have around 50 grams of sugar each.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Rockstar Pure Zero TMGS Pink

With unicorn products being popular right now, I’m surprised this pink colored energy drink that comes in a rainbow-colored can wasn’t called Rockstar Pure Zero Unicorn or something like that. There could’ve been a unicorn horn on the tab instead of a Rockstar logo, and the outside of the can could’ve had the texture of a unicorn’s mane.

I wrote this review in less than 15 minutes because the 240 milligrams of caffeine kept me wired and focused.

Conclusion:

Rockstar Pure Zero TMG is a great tasting energy drink. I haven’t made a top 10 list of my favorite energy drink flavors, but if I did, this would definitely be on it. It might even be in the top five.

Purchased Price: $1.50
Size: 16 fl. oz. can
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (8 fl. oz.) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 180 milligrams of sodium, 1 gram of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, 1 gram of erythritol, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Starbucks Tripleshot Energy Coffee Beverages

Starbucks Tripleshot Energy Coffee Beverage

What are Starbucks Tripleshot Energy Coffee Beverages?

They are extra-strength versions of Starbucks’ Doubleshot Energy canned beverages. While the Doubleshots have 145 milligrams of caffeine per can, the Tripleshots have 225 milligrams. There are three flavors: Caramel, French Vanilla, and Caffe Mocha.

This review covers the first two.

How are they?

If your taste buds are familiar with Starbucks’ Doubleshot Energy or even Java Monster, then these will also be familiar to them. There’s enough cream, sugar, and flavoring in both to hide the coffee flavor and energy ingredients, like ginseng and guarana. So if you’re into sweet, dairy coffee drinks, then you’ll enjoy these. I did.

But, maybe it’s just me, they’re not as flavorful as Starbucks’ Doubleshot canned beverages, which I drink regularly. The new beverages are sweet and creamy like their less caffeinated cousins, but the flavors don’t seem pop as much as the Doubleshots. Maybe to stuff more caffeine into each can, the flavor level needed to be affected.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Two hundred twenty-five milligrams of caffeine is a lot. To give you an idea of how much that is, it’s a little less than what’s in a Venti-sized Starbucks Iced Coffee. Here are more numbers: Most Java Monster flavors have 188 milligrams of caffeine per can.

Caramel, vanilla, and mocha are the usual staid varieties when it comes to coffee energy drinks. I wish one of the flavors wasn’t one of the usuals. Unicorn Tripleshot, perhaps?

I didn’t include a photo of the actual liquid because I figured if you’ve seen one canned coffee drink you’ve seen them all. Think dirty storm river water. Okay. Okay. You got me. I forgot to take photos.

Conclusion:

Again, if you’ve had other coffee energy drinks, these Starbucks Tripleshots will taste familiar to you. Getting an extra 80 milligrams of caffeine over Starbucks’ Doubleshots at roughly the same price is nice if you need the added energy because you were up all night watching YouTube videos about the Easter eggs in Marvel movie trailers or something like that.

Purchased Price: $2.78 each
Size: 15 fl. oz. cans
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10 (French Vanilla)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Caramel)
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) French Vanilla – 210 calories, 3 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 29 grams of sugar, and 10 grams of protein. Caramel – 210 calories, 3 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 29 grams of sugar, and 10 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Monster Energy Ultra Paradise

Monster Energy Ultra Paradise

What is Monster Energy Ultra Paradise?

Monster Energy just released “Paradise” as the newest addition to its sugar-free Ultra line of energy drinks. According to the back of the can, Monster Ultra Paradise delivers “Pure, Crisp, Invigorating Island Flavors.” The question is, what exactly is an island flavor?

Monster Energy Ultra Paradise 2

How is it?

I’m a frequent consumer of Monster Ultra, so I know the flavors can be difficult to place. Sure, Ultra Red kind of tastes like fruit punch, and Ultra Sunrise tastes vaguely orangish, but what flavor is Ultra Blue? Ultra Zero? Ultra Paradise at least gives us a hint that it’ll be tropically flavored.

Monster Energy Ultra Paradise 3

Upon opening, Ultra Paradise is a hazy light green color. The island flavor is… nondescript. Pineapple, maybe? Or maybe Pina Colada? Is the green color supposed to be a hint? It’s definitely tropical, but I still have no idea what that means exactly. You could tell me it was passion fruit flavored, and I’d believe you. (Full disclosure: those weird purple Starburst are the complete extent of my experience with passion fruit.)

Is there anything else you need to know?

Some varieties of Monster Ultra can be too sweet for my tastes, so I appreciate this one keeps it more subdued. It allows the citric acid tang to add a bit of a kick, which is appreciated when I’m looking for a pick-me-up.

Conclusion:

When imbibing a caffeinated beverage, I’m mostly interested in its pharmacological effect. Most of the time that means coffee, but if I’m at a convenience store of questionable quality, with a pot of coffee that’s been there longer than the clerk, I may reach for an energy drink instead. Monster always gets the job done with 140 milligrams of caffeine, and Paradise fits in well with the rest of the Ultra options.

Purchased Price: $2.00
Size: 16 fl. oz. can
Purchased at: Festival Foods
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 160 milligrams of sodium, 1 gram of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 gram of protein, 100% Niacin, 100% Vitamin B6, 100%, Vitamin B12, 100% Vitamin B5, and 140 mg of caffeine.

Click here to read our previous energy drink reviews.

REVIEW: Red Bull Pear Edition

Red Bull Pear Edition

What is Red Bull Pear Edition?

A sugarfree Red Bull flavor that I wish wasn’t sugarless.

How is it?

It smells wonderful. It has a delicious, sweet pear scent that makes me imagine I’m in a giant pear hanging out with talking invertebrates. Oh, wait. My imagination is plagiarizing James and the Giant Peach.

But, before taking I sip, I know its flavor will not be taking my taste buds sledding down the side of a sweet pear. The letters in the blue stripe at the top of the can tell me what my expectations should be.

That enticing aroma doesn’t equate to a flavor that’s as delicious because it’s sugarfree. It uses our hyper-sweet friends, sucralose and Ace K, to bring its sugar level down to nil.

With that said, it has an excellent artificial pear flavor. Again, it’s not as pleasant as the way it smells, but for a sugarfree energy drink, it’s tasty and I’ve been enjoying it. The artificial sweeteners are noticeable, but they don’t seem to be as harsh as other energy drinks I’ve had.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Red Bull Pear Edition in a Fancy Glass

It has 114 milligrams of sweet, sweet caffeine per can. Its light green color makes me yearn for a melon-flavored Red Bull. Make that happen, Red Bull, even though I’m pretty sure no one there reads this site, so I’m just shouting into the wind.

With other sugarless energy drinks I’ve consumed to help keep this site running, once its no longer chilled, the artificial sweeteners are more noticeable and drinking them becomes somewhat of a drag. But, and this is going to sound weird to those who are familiar with what I described in the previous sentence, even at room temperature, this still tasted pleasant to me.

Conclusion:

If you don’t mind sugarfree energy drinks, Red Bull Pear Edition is worth trying because it has a nice flavor for a zero sugar beverage and a straight up pear-flavored energy drink seems to be a rare thing. So if you haven’t tried one, here’s your chance.

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 12 fl. oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (12 fl. oz.) 15 calories, 0 grams of fat, 200 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Red Bull Peach Edition

Red Bull Peach Edition

What is Red Bull Peach Edition?

A new flavor of Red Bull that seems to be on shelves earlier than it should be since peaches and nectarines are considered summer fruits and its press release came out in February.

How is it?

It tastes as if Red Bull was able to pick at the peak of their ripeness the freshest Trolli or Haribo peach gummies it could find. Seriously, the flavor and smell of this cloudy white beverage are extremely similar to those fruit-flavored gummies, which I love. So I heart the taste of Red Bull Peach Edition as its 114 milligrams of caffeine makes my heart beat faster.

Red Bull Peach Edition 2

Oh, about its color, it’s surprising it wasn’t a shade of yellow-orange like the flesh of the fruits. Although, I know both can also have white innards. But I feel as if when most people think of peaches and nectarines, they think of the orange ones, like the color of the text on the can. I have no idea why Red Bull went with cloudy white, but I want to assume that it represents the color of peach fuzz.

Is there anything else you need to know?

I had to look up the differences between peaches and nectarines because I wasn’t in the Future Farmers of America in high school and I never thought during moments of boredom to Google it. Here’s what I gathered via a few webpages that were not Wikipedia:

  • Peaches have fuzz, while nectarines don’t.
  • Nectarines are firmer and smaller.
  • Peaches come from a can, they were put there by a man in a factory downtown. If I had my little way, I’d eat peaches every day, sun-soakin’ bulges in the shade.

Conclusion:

Red Bull Peach Edition is a nice addition to the lineup. I’m not sure if it’s a limited edition flavor or permanent. But if you love peach gummies, you’ll enjoy it.

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 12 fl. oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (12 fl. oz.) 160 calories, 0 grams of fat, 125 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 38 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.