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Gotta get up, gotta get up, gotta get up
September 10, 2008 12:50 AM   Subscribe

All hail the energy drink! Potentially dating back as far as early 1900s Scotland, the energy drink has evolved from a nasty-tasting "health tonic" into a brightly-colored and supercharged fuel for body and/or mind.

The phenomena gained speed with the advent of "classics" such as Jolt Cola and later Red Bull - and many current formulas do not stray from the high caffeine and B-vitamin formula. (And, of course, there is the other appeal of the energy drink...) However, newer energy drinks are taking a more health-conscious and organic approach, such as the all natural Guru Energy and Brain Toniq (neither of which contain sugar, fructose or artificial sweeteners). I am personally hoping for a Piracetam-based drink...
posted by deusdiabolus (40 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
If Irn-Bru is an "energy drink" then so must Coca-Cola be--it was originally marketed as a "tonic" rather than a delicious beverage. In 1886, quite a few years before Irn-Bru hit the market.

Oh, Wikipedia, how evanescent is your misinformation. I expect that little bit of Scottish jingoism to be gone by morning.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:59 AM on September 10, 2008


Cars fueled by energy drinks. It is the wave of the future.
posted by clearly at 1:03 AM on September 10, 2008


MADE FROM GIRDERS!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:08 AM on September 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Made in SCOTLAND from girders, s thewonder c.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:17 AM on September 10, 2008


Irn-bru and Buckfast: Breakfast of Champions
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:18 AM on September 10, 2008


Tennant's Extra Strong Lager (with the girls on the cans) and cigarettes. The breakfast of me in Scotland, back in 1988.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:38 AM on September 10, 2008


YouTube delivers the goods. Admittedly the Irn Bru ads have been consistently funny/quirky for years but this one sums up the whole philosophy concisely.
posted by Molesome at 2:33 AM on September 10, 2008


We all used to use Scrumpy as our energy drink until we fell over. The girlies used to add blackcurrant.
posted by adamvasco at 3:00 AM on September 10, 2008


the energy drink has evolved from a nasty-tasting "health tonic" into a brightly-colored and supercharged fuel for body and/or mind, nasty-tasting "health tonic".
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:23 AM on September 10, 2008 [7 favorites]


I am personally hoping for a Piracetam-based drink...

If they sold anything that actually made the consumer smarter, wouldn't they risk losing market share?
posted by pracowity at 3:30 AM on September 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


But does it have what plants crave?
posted by PenDevil at 3:53 AM on September 10, 2008 [8 favorites]


I see deusdiabolus, Sidhedevil, and PenDevil all posting here. Is there something else about energy drinks that we should know?
posted by pracowity at 4:48 AM on September 10, 2008


In related news: Red Bull contains Taurine.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:15 AM on September 10, 2008


Duh.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:28 AM on September 10, 2008


I'll stick to my Lake Ontario chemical cocktails, thanks.
posted by orange swan at 5:44 AM on September 10, 2008


A friend of mine works for Pepsi. He told me that most of the energy drinks are one milligram of caffeine away from requiring a warning label. I guess they're all waiting to see who will do it first. I'm surprised they aren't racing to do it. I would think a warning label would be great for sales. If I was them, I'd put a big skull and crossbones on the front.
posted by diogenes at 5:50 AM on September 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure I've seen little "shots" of Nos carrying a warning label, but I'm pretty sure that that's a marketing thing.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:19 AM on September 10, 2008


Don't forget Powethirst!
posted by C17H19NO3 at 6:26 AM on September 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


He told me that most of the energy drinks are one milligram of caffeine away from requiring a warning label.

Which means they should warn you about drinking two cans, right? Do they?
posted by pracowity at 6:29 AM on September 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Irn-Blu.
posted by box at 6:55 AM on September 10, 2008 [6 favorites]


Dude, I heard taurine was bull jizz!
posted by Saxon Kane at 7:53 AM on September 10, 2008


the energy drink has evolved from a nasty-tasting "health tonic" into a brightly-colored and supercharged nasty-tasting fuel for body and/or mind.

Seriously, with the amount of artificial crap they pump into some of these drinks, don't you think they could at least make them taste better?
posted by Rock Steady at 8:38 AM on September 10, 2008


Oops, Brother Caine beat me to it. I need more brain drink.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:39 AM on September 10, 2008


Red Bull serves as an effective means of determining who in a bar is a complete dipshit that doesn't belong in a bar.
posted by gordie at 9:14 AM on September 10, 2008


If i's naught Scottish, i's crap Gatorade!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:34 AM on September 10, 2008


I figured the energy drink was an American invention. Only in this cesspool would coffee not be enough.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 10:07 AM on September 10, 2008


I love this quote from that article about the dangers of combining energy drinks and alcohol:
"It is scary to think that these energy drinks are being used as a mixer with vodka and whiskey," he said. "You are just overloading the body with heavy stimulants and heavy depressants."

Judging by that quote, I would assume that anyone who drinks alcohol and then does cocaine (the drug, not the energy drink) is going to immediately explode.
posted by Caduceus at 10:08 AM on September 10, 2008


AwEsOmE!
posted by exlotuseater at 10:37 AM on September 10, 2008


When I visited Indonesia a couple of years ago, I was shocked by the massive amount of marketing that went into energy drinks. Billboards and banners and posters for Krating Daeng were quite literally everywhere, along with energy drinks for yuppies, energy drinks for farmers, energy drinks for mothers, even a particularly horrifying ad for energy drinks for kids. It seemed to literally be 25% of the advertising in Indonesian mass media.

So not just a Western thing.
posted by xthlc at 10:52 AM on September 10, 2008


So not just a Western thing.

It's everywhere people can afford to waste money. And there's a lot of money to made in sweet caffeine drinks. Lots of niches, too. The way they're marketing women's drinks is funny (or horrifying):
"Beautiful Glo, Aloe Vera, Vitamin E". The front reads, "Go Girl Energy Drink GLO, promotes healthy skin, natural flavors, 35 calories, less caffeine, 12 fl. oz. 355ml". The back of the can reads, "GLO is a unique energy drink that is lighter in caffeine and calories. This naturally flavored energy drink provides an uplifting yet relaxing experience. GLO's ingredients promote healthy skin, heart, body, and mind. It's taste is derived from a refreshing combination of pomegranate and star fruit. GLO also contains Super Citrimax a mild herbal appetite suppressant. Let Your Beauty Glo! Portion of proceeds donated to ovarian cancer research and awareness".
It's light! It's natural! It's uplifting yet relaxing! (?) It's going to make you pretty, make you skinny, and cure ovarian cancer.

I don't know if the company or the reviewer is responsible for the ungrammatical "It's taste is" above.
posted by pracowity at 11:37 AM on September 10, 2008


I neglected to also point out Redline, quite possibly the most "macho" supplement still available. Serving size must be obeyed - drinking the entire bottle can actually KILL YOU.

Suggested cocktail - 2 oz. of Redline and 2 oz. of Everclear. Drink as a shot, preferably with witnesses.
posted by deusdiabolus at 2:16 PM on September 10, 2008


Despite my earlier snark, I've tried a lot of different energy drinks. Diet Guru is the least disgusting as far as I'm concerned.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:11 PM on September 10, 2008


banners and posters for Krating Daeng were quite literally everywhere

Red Bull was based on Krating Daeng.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:21 PM on September 10, 2008


I'll stick to my Lake Ontario chemical cocktails, thanks.
posted by orange swan


Eponetcetera.
posted by rokusan at 4:59 PM on September 10, 2008


Low-carb Monster.

That is all.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:33 PM on September 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Red Bull serves as an effective means of determining who in a bar is a complete dipshit that doesn't belong in a bar.

I don't drink anymore, but when I did, I used to think the same thing. Used to, until I had a Red Bull and Absolut Mandarin. Wow. I don't like the flavor of Red Bull, but that's a tasty drink. It's a great drink for about midnight-thirty, when you're starting to wear down a bit. The only thing that sucked about it was that most "regular" bars can't make such a drink, and in a club it's upwards of $8. I don't really miss drinking, but I sorta miss the taste of certain drinks, and that's one of them.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:36 PM on September 10, 2008


2 oz. of Redline and 2 oz. of Everclear

Poor man's speedball?
posted by apis mellifera at 6:55 PM on September 10, 2008


Assaying caffeine in over-the-counter tablets:
There has been a great deal of media interest in the range of energy drinks recently introduced into the market which contain caffeine.

In general, the concentration of caffeine per ml in soft drinks or energy drinks is considerably lower than in coffee.

Most researchers now seem to agree that there is little risk of harm when a person consumes less than 600mg of caffeine a day.

However at times of anxiety or stress, or during pregnancy, many doctors now recommend consumption of less than 200 mg a day.
The rest of the shite in energy drinks (other than the sugar) generally does little or nothing positive or negative, so the main thing to check is the caffeine content. To get the same effect, you could swallow an OTC caffeine pill (No Doz, Vivarin, etc.) and wash it down with any sugary liquid you like.
posted by pracowity at 1:43 AM on September 11, 2008


I love Irn-Bru. I can't help it. It tastes like someone put a sugar factory in a hobo's pants, but who cares?
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:46 AM on September 11, 2008


red bull gives you bloody wings
posted by namagomi at 5:50 PM on September 11, 2008


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