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Energy Drinks: My Experiences and My Favorites

Thursday April 23, 2020

On occasion I really, really enjoy an energy drink. For years I thought these were basically a tool of Satan himself (I literally thought that, in case you’re not aware of my hard-core religious upbringing).

Since that time, much to the contrary, I’ve found that energy drinks are:

  • Usually pretty tasty
  • Fun to try
  • Nice to look at (the can designs)
  • Pleasant delivery mechanisms for caffeine

How I Avoid Overdoing It

Since I started using caffeine, my methods have evolved. As a caffeine user I’d guess I’m a bit of an outlier, because I use caffeine in a structured, planned-out way. I’m more likely to take caffeine in tablet form, at a planned time, than as a drink.

My to-do list often shows entries like, “2 p.m., take 100mg caffeine,” which is an F / Circle activity if you use Task BATL.

To me, an energy drink is more like a fun treat, like eating an ice cream cone.

Energy drinks usually contain anywhere from 90 to 200 milligrams of caffeine. In my opinion this is pretty lightweight. Typical store-bought caffeine tablets are 200 mg. each.

I’ve been supplementing with caffeine for a while now, and my body seems to know when it would benefit from caffeine. When I was just starting to try it, I would get migraines because of caffeine use during productivity exhaustion. I didn’t realize that there are specific times when caffeine use will get you amazing results, and other times when even if you “need” the productivity, caffeine is not going to help as much as other methods and it might even cause you pain or harm.

When Caffeine Really Helps

According to my research, caffeine helps me most when:

  • Starting my day (especially after 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep)
  • Working out / getting cardio
  • Going hiking
  • Resuming work after taking a nice nap
  • Returning from the dentist (more on that below)
  • Driving on a road trip
  • Making heavy use of the intuition, especially extraverted intuition

I don’t think I’ve ever gone over 1000mg caffeine in one day, but that would be a pretty extreme day, and most of that would come from caffeine tablets, not energy drinks.

I also don’t really get addicted to things so I’m the wrong guy to ask about consistently overdoing it, or breaking the habit. But if you are getting more than 500 to 700mg of caffeine a day, for god’s sake I hope you are finding some downtime to be gentle on yourself.

I do keep records on my energy drink hobby, for the heck of it (or for the learning of it, which is fun to me). As of right now I enjoy about two to three energy drinks a month, on average.

My Favorite Energy Drink

My all-time favorite flavor & brand is a tie, between Original CELSIUS Sparkling WildBerry and Original CELSIUS Orange. (No affiliation, I just like their products)

  • Visually: I love the can shape, and I like how they colored the top of the can black.
  • Taste-ually: The flavors are really pleasant and light. Not even close to overbearing.
  • Calorie-ually: 10 calories total—great if you are on a cut or otherwise aiming for a caloric deficit. But “low calorie” is also code-word for “light flavor” which is another aspect I like.

One of these, accompanied by a donut, is probably one of my favorite breakfast meals of all time.

Also, if I have an appointment at the dentist, I try to pick one up afterward, as both a reward for visiting the dentist and a method of making any pain-numbing anesthetic effects wear off more quickly. The caffeine works really well at that, for me.

Note: CELSIUS is a “Fitness Drink,” but to me it’s basically an energy drink. Still, the formulation seems different from the average energy drink, so maybe there’s something to it—or maybe it’s just marketing speak. Not sure.

Another brand I like is Adrenaline Shoc, especially the Frozen Ice flavor.

My Least-favorite Energy Drink

Last year I bought a $1 energy drink at a local store, just to test it out while spending a weekend camping. I think it was supposed to be a copy of 5-hour Energy, as it came in a small bottle and similar packaging.

That drink had the most powdery, bitter, taurine & caffeine taste I think I’ve ever experienced. It was so gross that I almost gagged and reached for anything nearby to eat, drink, and cover up the taste.

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