REVIEW: Reign Inferno Thermogenic Fuel by Monster Energy

Reign Inferno Thermogenic Fuel

What is Reign Inferno Thermogenic Fuel?

The new Reign line of energy drinks has a brand extension that promises an even more Xtreme performance boost than its standard offering. Fortified with Branch-Chained Amino Acids, Citrulline, and 300 milligrams of caffeine, Reign Inferno Thermogenic Fuel makes some big promises, like burning calories and accelerating metabolism. After tasting all three flavors (Red Dragon, True Blu, and Jalapeno Strawberry), I fully expect my mortal frame to combust spontaneously, unable to contain the energies contained therein.

How is it?

Red Dragon

Reign Inferno Thermogenic Fuel Red Dragon

I didn’t expect their colors to be clear. Reign has seemingly decided to target the consumer who desires to unleash the beast within via scientifically formulated supplementation, but is also very concerned about artificial colors. The flavor tastes of generic red fruit. Strawberry? Cherry? Fruit Punch? Who knows? It tastes red.

True Blu

Reign Inferno Thermogenic Fuel True Blu

I went into this thinking True Blu would be a blue raspberry flavored, but instead, it tastes like a classic energy drink, very similar to Red Bull. The citric acid adds a puckering tang that always reminds me of Sour Patch Kids gummies. This one will please those who are looking that the classic energy drink kick, but it doesn’t offer something unique.

Jalapeno Strawberry

Reign Inferno Thermogenic Fuel Jalapeno Strawberry

My midwestern taste buds were suspicious of this one going in. Spicy strawberries? What’s next, chili-infused chocolate? Oh wait, that exists. The scent is unexpectedly pungent, and actually caused some nasal irritation, like when you smell horseradish. Conversely, the flavor is quite smooth and pleasant. The sweet berry flavor plays very well with the jalapeno. There’s a very slight spiciness at the end that doesn’t linger.

Is there anything else you need to know?

The True Blu’s flavor transported me back to middle school in the ’90s, when I first tasted Red Bull. It was perhaps the boldest thing I’d ever done in my life to that point (maybe still?).

You have to understand that the ’90s were a different time. The Simpsons was the most audacious, boundary-pushing thing on TV. There wasn’t the internet as we know it, only vague rumors of a kid the next town over who took a sip of Red Bull and then his heart exploded on the spot. I survived the 80 milligrams of caffeine found in an 8-ounce can of Red Bull. In comparison, Reign Inferno contains 300 milligrams per serving, which is only a portion of my daily caffeine intake. We’ve come a long way, baby.


Other than their high caffeine content, Red Dragon and True Blu don’t offer anything new. Their flavors will be familiar to energy drink aficionados. Jalapeno Strawberry was a surprise and provided a pleasant flavor combination.

Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 16 FL OZ.
Purchased at: Woodman’s Market
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Red Dragon), 5 out of 10 (True Blu), 8 out of 10 (Jalapeno Strawberry)

Nutrition Facts: (1 can) Jalapeno Strawberry and True Blu – 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 3 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, 0 gram of protein, 2% Potassium, 120% Vitamin B6, 130% Niacin (Vitamin B3), and 250% Vitamin B12. Red Dragon – 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 3 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, 0 gram of protein, 2% Potassium, 120% Vitamin B6, 130% Niacin (Vitamin B3), and 250% Vitamin B12.

REVIEW: Mtn Dew Amp Game Fuel Zero

Mtn Dew Amp Game Fuel Zero

Playing video games and writing have similarities.

Both involve a deep focus while staring into a screen and mashing multiple buttons in quick succession. Gaming and writing also include throwing across the room in frustration the thing that has the buttons.

Wait…that’s only me?

Last year, Mountain Dew rolled out Mtn Dew Amp Game Fuel to help gamers with alertness and accuracy. This year, the brand is offering Mtn Dew Amp Game Fuel Zero, a zero sugar, zero calorie, and zero carb version of the caffeinated drink. I’m not a gamer, but I am a writer, and since I made the argument they’re alike and I love caffeine, I believe I’m qualified to review them.

There are two flavors, Watermelon and Raspberry Lemonade, and both come in cans with the same resealable tab as the original Mtn Dew Amp Game Fuel. Sorry, I’ve just been told I’m legally required to use their full names — Charged Watermelon Shock and Charged Raspberry Lemonade.

Mtn Dew Amp Game Fuel Zero Charged Watermelon Shock

If you’re going to choose just one, might I suggest the latter over the former, unless you REALLY love artificial watermelon flavor. I mean, it’s a perfectly fine flavor, it’s not as sweet as candy, and it smells better than Charged Raspberry Lemonade, but it’s not the flavor I’d drink again.

Mtn Dew Amp Game Fuel Zero Charged Raspberry Lemonade

That honor goes to, obviously since it’s the only other flavor I’m writing about in this review, Charged Raspberry Lemonade. Although, for some reason, my taste buds and brain occasionally think they’re drinking a raspberry iced tea. Maybe it’s because the berry flavor reminds me of the Lipton Brisk Raspberry and the lemon flavor, which doesn’t really pop that much, makes me think of lemon iced tea. Well, whatever it tastes like – raspberry lemonade or raspberry iced tea – I prefer it over the watermelon one.

In order to make this zero sugar, zero calorie, and zero carb version, an artificial sweetener arsenal of sucralose, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium is used. It’s noticeable in the watermelon one, but significantly less so with the other one.

Both flavors provide 90 milligrams of sweet caffeine, which isn’t a lot in today’s world that has energy drinks of the same size that offer over 200 milligrams. But I found myself getting a boost from them. Your results may vary.

Both Mtn Dew Amp Game Fuel Zero flavors are decent zero sugar energy drinks, but, unlike gaming and writing, it’s hard to equally compare them with the recent zero sugar energy drinks from Monster and Rockstar. Those tickle my taste buds with better flavors that don’t really taste like they’re sugar free, plus they have more caffeine.

Purchased Price: $1.79 each
Size: 16 fl. oz. cans
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Charged Watermelon Shock), 7 out of 10 (Charged Raspberry Lemonade)
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 75 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, 20% vitamin A, 40% niacin, 40% vitamin B6, and 40% pantothenic acid.

REVIEW: Red Bull Summer Edition Watermelon Energy Drink

Red Bull Summer Edition Watermelon Energy Drink

What is Red Bull Summer Edition Watermelon?

Summertime and the livin’s easy, even in the middle of Febru-ary…

The Groundhog may have called for an early spring, but the Red Bull isn’t having any of that chilly damp nonsense.

With the release of new Watermelon Summer Edition, Red Bull has officially declared it summertime.

Who are we to argue with the company that gives us wings?! Welcome to summer, folks!

How is it?

This may be the first energy drink I’ve had in ages that actually gave me real energy. I chalk that up to the fact the flavor was not the sweet watermelon I was expecting.

Red Bull Summer Edition Watermelon Energy Drink Closeup

It smelled like typical artificial watermelon candy or Jell-O – which I love – but it tasted more like an under ripened watermelon mixed with citrus flavors.

An unripe watermelon is usually a major buzzkill, but it worked well in energy drink form.

Summer Edition Watermelon is one of the sourest Red Bulls I’ve ever had, and I kinda dug that.

Is there anything else I need to know?

There’s a quick burst of watermelon that transitions to a very citrusy finish. I’d totally believe this was “Watermelon-lemon” flavored. Actually, I’d think lemon or lime would be the first flavor listed in that mix because the acidity is what lingers the longest in each sip.

They shoulda called it Sublime-Watermelon. Right? Remember when I referenced their song earlier?

I usually whine about something being too sweet and cloying, but as much as I enjoyed this, it probably coulda been about 25% closer to the Jolly Rancher Watermelon flavor. That would have made this a Hall of Famer.


If you’re buying a Red Bull, you’re looking for that shot of energy, and I think this one will give you a pep in your step.

I didn’t get the watermelon flavor I anticipated, but I still wasn’t disappointed. It’s not my favorite Red Bull, but with it getting this super early release, I can see myself grabbing it a few more times over this eight-month summer.

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 12 Fl. Oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 160 calories, 0 grams of fat, 125 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of total carbohydrates, 38 grams of total sugars, 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Coca-Cola Energy Zero Sugar

Coca-Cola Energy Zero Sugar and Zero Sugar Cherry

Like many dumb kids from the 80s, one of my favorite sodas – much to my parents’ chagrin – was the now-legendary Jolt Cola. Appearing infrequently and in different incarnations over the past few years — as chewing gum even, if I remember correctly – they’ve never been able to recapture that shaky soda feeling that was very much part of the whole experience.

Now, probably about twenty years too late, Coca-Cola is dropping its official entry into the energy drink movement with, of course, Coca-Cola Energy. Loaded with around 114 milligrams of caffeine — that’s comparable with a 12 oz. can of Red Bull, natch — the flavors not only come in original and cherry but in sugar and sugar-free options as well. Something for everyone!

Still, with all the caffeine I ingested over the past few hours, you bet your sweet ass I went with the sugar-free selections.

Coca Cola Energy Zero Sugar Closeup

Typically I’m more of a Diet Coke drinker than a Coke Zero fanboy, so it’s always a bit jolting — no pun intended — to have the close-to-original flavor of Coke coating my tongue once again with Coca-Cola Energy Zero Sugar. With none of the guarana aftertaste that sullies most energy drinks, the mixture of caffeine and b-vitamins is mostly undetectable.

But, sadly, they maybe were a little too undetectable. I was not feeling that rush of energy, that second-wind that sweeps through my person whenever I down a Sugar-Free Red Bull, for example. It was a bit disappointing. I almost feel like I could have had about two Diet Cokes with the same basic effect.

Coca Cola Energy Zero Sugar Cherry Closeup

I figured that with no change in my typical alertness, it was the perfect time to try the Zero Sugar Cherry, which has more of a bite than Cherry Coke Zero or Diet Cherry Coke. While this variation is definitely tastier than the regular Coca-Cola Energy Zero Sugar, a little still goes a long way and I had to quickly swig the last half down.

The energy drink has a cinnamon-like flair that reminds me of the recent holidays and Christmases of long ago, like a liquidly Dickens ghost. Sadly, this spectre is still not the kinetic wave I was promised. Instead, it’s an artificially-flavored energy letdown.

Maybe, like an addict who needs harsher, more dangerous drugs to get off, I’ve spent so much of my life downing these lightning bolts of fraudulent energy that these Coca-Cola products don’t work for me.

Regardless, I’m glad Coke slapped its name on these products and threw them on the shelves. But, you know, when it comes to name-brand sodas dipping their toes in this business, you still can’t go wrong with those Mountain Dew Game Fuel drinks.

Purchased Price: $1.79 each
Size: 12 fl. oz. cans
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10 (both)
Nutrition Facts: (12 fl. oz.) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 40 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Java Monster Oatmilk Farmer’s Oats

Java Monster Oatmilk Farmer s Oats

What is Java Monster Oatmilk Farmer’s Oats?

A new vegan-friendly Monster Java flavor using one of 2019’s trendiest beverages – oatmilk.

How is it?

I always avoid reading opinions about products I’m about to review, but I happened to stumble on a few super negative tweets that shocked me because I liked this just fine.

Upon cracking the can, I was met with a heartwarming smell that reminded me of Italian coffee hard candies my Grandmother used to eat, so maybe nostalgia blinded my opinion a little? (BTW, if that isn’t a perfect “Grandma Candy,” I don’t know what is.)

Java Monster Oatmilk Farmer s Oats Glass

The flavor wasn’t too far off from the other Monster coffees I’ve tried and enjoyed. I thought it was sweetened to perfection. The taste was faintly caramel with a little cinnamon – neither of which show up in the ingredients, but that’s what I got.

There’s a Rockstar Horchata flavor that it reminded me of a bit.

Is there anything else you need to know?

This may not sound like a ringing endorsement, but it was way thinner than I expected. The oatmilk I’ve tried had a pleasant viscosity to it, like a thicker almond milk, with a slightly stranger taste that really works.

That goes by the wayside here.

Java Monster Oatmilk Farmer s Oats Closeup

It kinda tasted like an iced coffee that sat around too long and got watered down, but still somehow held the initial flavor.

I got a faint taste of oatmilk, though, and I thought the finish was really nice. There was a non-cloying coating and aftertaste that reminded me of the flavor I get after demolishing a bowl of coffee ice cream.

Java Monster Oatmilk Farmer s Oats Artwork

Oh, and I did get a quick little boost of energy about 10 minutes after the last sip. It was short-lived, but that’s always the case for me and “energy” drinks. It’s not replacing my two morning cups of coffee in that department.


Java Monster Oatmilk Farmer s Oats Copy

Ignoring the cliché Vegan joke on the can – “Haha, Vegans always be talkin’ bout how they Vegan!” – I’m a fan, and probably a repeat buyer. It may not be the best Java Monster flavor, but it’s still a worthy addition to the team.

Maybe those tweets are right and I’m nuts, but this is worth a shot, and I will definitely be trying oatmilk in my coffee soon.

Purchased Price: $2.14
Size: 15 fl. oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (15 fl oz) 150 calories, 4 grams of fat, .5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 480 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of total carbohydrates, 5 gram of dietary fiber, 25 grams of total sugars, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Red Bull Summer Edition Beach Breeze

Red Bull Summer Edition Beach Breeze

What is Red Bull Summer Edition Beach Breeze?

It’s a Red Bull. Thanks for reading the review, enjoy your summer folks!

How is it?

Ok, I’ll elaborate more, but Beach Breeze is unmistakably Red Bull.

It tastes like a sour Red Bull with an added coconut finish. The sour aspect is probably supposed to ape a fruit flavor, so I’d guess they were going for unripe pineapple?

Red Bull Summer Edition Beach Breeze Glass

If you’ve ever wondered what Red Bull’s attempt at a Pina Colada might taste like, this may be as close as you’ll get – a sour Red Bull with a fragrant artificial coconut aftertaste.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Red Bull Summer Edition Beach Breeze Ingredients List

I could be wrong about the pineapple. There’s no fruit listed in the chemical – pardon me, ingredient list. Perhaps I just tasted the “glycerol ester of wood rosin.” Mmm! It’s not officially summer until I’ve had some “glycerol ester of wood rosin.”

Red Bull Summer Edition Beach Breeze Alka Seltzer

And with that sarcastically said, we don’t need fake dyes in our energy drinks, but Beach Breeze’s color is super disappointing. This is a nitpick, but I poured this into one of my “fancy” beer glasses, expecting a cool light blue color and got what looked like the aftermath of a dissolved Alka-Seltzer tablet.


I love Pina Colada, and coconut especially. The last thing I drank from the aforementioned beer glass was a delicious coconut stout. The coconut here is cheap and artificial. The pineapple is essentially an educated guess, and it’s a little too sour to really stick out amongst the handful of Red Bull flavors you’ll find next to this in the fridge. For example, I tried the Sugar Free Pear flavor a few days later, and it was much better.

In fairness, Beach Breeze gave me a little pep in my step. I didn’t sprout wings, and it didn’t “vitalize my body and mind,” but it was still kinda refreshing despite the “meh” flavor.

Purchased Price: $2.59
Size: 12 fl. oz.
Purchased at: Shop Rite
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts:: (1 Can) 160 calories, 0 grams of fat, 125 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 38 grams of sugar, less than 1 gram of protein, 140% niacin, 120% vitamin B12, 365% vitamin B6, 70% pantothenic acid, and 114 milligrams of caffeine.