This is a slightly modified version of the original post from February 20, 2010
I don’t know how many of you get to go to gaming conventions like BGGCon, KublaCon, or any of the Stategicon events, but those of you who do go know how tiring it can be to play games hour after hour until early in the morning. You want to make the most of your time while you’re there, right? Who wants to do something lame like sleeping, when you can play another game? What’s a dedicated gamer to do? Get super caffeinated from energy drinks, that’s what! I tried a few of the more popular energy drinks, and here are my slightly jittery thoughts.
The 16oz. Rockstar is my energy drink of choice. It looks like pee if you pour it into a glass, so just drink it out of the can. You really don’t want to look at this while you’re drinking it. I really like the taste of this stuff. I don’t really know how to describe it. It tastes like how I imagine an electrified cactus would taste. A couple months after having one of these, I was driving back from a day at the coast and got rerouted because of the wildfires. It added three hours on to my trip home, and Rockstar kept me very alert until I got home at 3:00 AM.
I tried the 16oz. Red Bull even though I had already had that before. Red Bull tastes like chemicals to me now. It does give me a boost, but it certainly did not give me wings. In fact, I think I crashed harder after drinking this one more than any of the others. I’ve heard that this tastes much better if you add alcohol to it, but that seems a little silly to me, like storing matches next to the gasoline.
The 16 oz. NOS energy drink tasted sort of like a super caffeinated version of a Cactus Cooler, which is one of my favorite soft drinks of all time. It looked like radioactive liquid right out of a Simpson’s episode. It gave me a fair amount of energy, but I didn’t finish the whole thing. It just got old after a while. I would certainly choose this one over all of the rest, with the exception of the Rockstar.
I tried a 16 oz. can of Amp, which tasted very light in comparison to the others. It had a pleasant citrus flavor and a nice color. It gave me a good amount of energy, but it made me extremely jittery and irritable. I was seriously ready to rip someone’s head off because they were taking forever to take their turn. It’s too bad, because it tasted pretty good, but I don’t think an energy drink defense would stand up in court if I injure someone who takes too long to make decisions in Thurn and Taxis.
I tried both the regular and lo-carb versions of the cool looking 16 oz. Monster energy drinks. I wanted to like this one because it’s looks scary and there are tons of ads for it all over the Vegas monorail, which makes it somehow cool to me. Unfortunately, it totally sucks. Both versions, like some of the others, look like pee if you pour them in a clear glass, but this looks like pee from someone who has some serious problems. The regular Monster had this really unpleasant taste that made the inside of my mouth feel icky. It gave me a huge energy boost, but it wasn’t a good energy. It made me all shaky and gave me a horrible headache. The lo-carb version didn’t give me any of the jitteryness or headache, but it tasted so damn-awful horrible, I couldn’t finish it.
Well it’s been about 12 years since I wrote that and I still prefer Rockstars. Not that I’ve gone to any gaming conventions recently, but that might change. At this point, I would probably choose to just go to bed at a somewhat reasonable hour, but you young folk knock yourselves out.