Academic Probation

The Isaac Azuelos electric-rush-energy-drink-power-station-nation with Isaac Azuelos

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What follows is a very serious look at the fast-paced, heart-pumping world of energy drinks to keep you awake and ready for those upcoming exams.

The Fake Coffee One
444 ml serving
146 mg caffeine

It's actually a bit disappointing. I'm a fan of coffee, but this is a little gross. Like most energy drinks, it has been super sweetened to hide the bitter taste of caffeine. Unlike most energy drinks, it's creamy. The combination doesn't work leaving it tasting something like watered down Khalua.

The Fruit Inspired One
473 ml serving
158 mg caffeine

Who ever thought sugar free could taste so sweet. This drink will make your teeth hurt. It's comparable to drinking melted concentrated fruit juice. I'm not sure how many other ways there are to describe something as 'sweet.' This drink calls itself lemonade, but in fact only tastes like the colour of the outside of the can -- bright yellow.

When it comes to ingredients, I don't know what Guarana extract is or if the "Oriental Ginseng Extract" is FDA approved, but this yellow drink delivers what it promises. Coffee may help re-energize a person in preparation for an exam but one can of this liquid nectar (if nectar can be called slightly revolting) should be enough to help you concentrate for most of the semester.

The Cough Syrup Flavoured One
250 ml serving
84 mg caffeine

I sit down to write this with the knowledge that as I proceed, my mind will slowly succumb to the effects of the most widely-used psychoactive substance in the world.

No, I'm not referring to the ginseng, or ginko-baloba, or any of the other substances purported to have some sort of beneficial medicinal effect. I'm referring to the sweet, old-fashioned workhorse of the stimulant industry: caffeine.

This medicinally-flavoured bevarine is more deserving of a Futurama-esqe title than most consumable goods. Tasting like the sickly sweet offspring of cream soda and Buckley's, it's sure to at least wake you up as you slurp it down -- the only acceptable reason to drink this.

The Juice One
355 ml server
120 mg caffeine

Why has this taken so long? It seems so obvious -- the wholesomeness of sugary pseudo-fruit juice fused with the chemical taste of caffeine. If you're looking for a novel sugar-and-caffeine kick, look no further than Energy Juice -- a.k.a. enerjuice. Fruit is always better when mixed with chemicals.

The Cola-In-Disguise One
473 ml serving
160 mg caffeine

It tastes a little off. It's like RC Cola but without the taste-altering effects of RC Cola's decreased drug store price. And apart from being sickly sweet, it's surprisingly flavourless.

There is definitely a mild Kola flavour, so the can isn't lying. Beyond that -- and the overwhelming sweetness -- it's just not very tasty. I'd rather just have a Pepsi or Coke and be a little more sleepy. Tere is no acceptable reason to drink this.