Over the past decade, energy drinks have become as common as, well, coffee. You can’t walk on the beach without seeing someone with a Monster or Rockstar in their hand, and the college-bar drink of choice for the past several years has been the Vodka-Red Bull. Even I have been known to break down and grab a sugar-free caffeine/taurine bomb now and then.
The primary problem with even moderate consumption of energy drinks is what I call the “base”: the sugar and flavoring that makes the drink palatable. It’s much too easy to overload on sugar, causing a crash, and often the taste leaves much to be desired.
AMP Energy has taken the mission of better-tasting, healthier energy drinks to heart. When I last wrote about AMP it wasn’t about their beverages, but about their “AMP Up Before You Score” iPhone app. Clearly, they’re not about the status quo. So when they offered to send me some of their new products, I jumped at the chance to try them as a part of my daily routine.
Scenario 1: Before the Concert—AMP Energy Juice
When Spoon is in town, you know I’ll be there. Before meeting friends at the bar by the theater, I made sure to have a decent meal and washed it down with a pick-me-up: AMP Energy Juice. The “base” is unusual for an energy drink: 100% fruit juice, making for a little smaller serving size (a 12-oz bottle vs. the usual 16- to 20-oz. can), but better flavor (Orange or Mixed Berry—my preference is the latter). The energy ingredients create a bitter “edge” to the drink, but it beats the average corn-syrup-and-chemical flavoring. The caffeine content of one AMP Juice is identical to a tall Starbucks drip at 120 mg.
Keep in mind that fruit juice is far from low-sugar, although a bottle of AMP Energy Juice does contain less than a can of regularly-sweetened energy drink. On the plus side, not every energy drink also includes 100% of the daily requirement of Vitamin C.
The bottom line: energy and juice did its job and I was bouncing off the walls for a night of rock ‘n’ roll.
Scenario 2: Off the Slopes—AMP Sugar Free Lightning
Stepping off the lift after a day of skiing, I’m usually a little beat. Usually that means a stop at the nearby coffee stand, but this time I brought along a can of AMP Sugar Free Lightning: the usual AMP Energy ingredients with sucralose (aka Splenda) in the “base.” It has always seemed to me that Lemon is probably the best flavoring for an energy drink, and the “Shock of Lemonade” flavor of Sugar Free Lightning didn’t disappoint. Neither did the 160 mg of caffeine (two short or one grande coffee).
Result: I may have a new favorite energy drink. I’ll definitely give Sugar Free Lightning a shot to replace my occasional Lo-Carb Monster when I need a frosty jolt.
Scenario 3: Heavy Website Coding Day—AMP Energy Gum
That’s right, I said Gum. I’m chewing a piece right now, in fact. I’ve been working on site improvements for you, and instead of my ubiquitous cup of joe I decided to see where AMP Energy Gum takes me. Two pieces of the Chiclet-type gum are rated at 80 mg of caffeine, and that caffeine seems to hit the bloodstream pretty quickly. So does the flavor—while it isn’t the most long-lasting I’ve ever had, it’s a pleasant citrus taste not unlike that of an energy drink. Perhaps better.
The AMP Energy Gum package also says it’s sugar-free, meaning your teeth won’t suffer for your caffeine habit. However, there are 10 calories per serving, which probably come from the malitol syrup. While technically not a sugar, malitol is a carbohydrate and has a high glycemic index, but there really isn’t enough to cause a crash-and-burn (50 calories if you consume the whole package).
Findings: Starting with a two-piece serving, then chewing an additional piece every hour or so keeps the edge on nicely.
So, in general a thumbs-up for the new slate of AMP products. Keep in mind that energy drinks and gum are for occasional use and shouldn’t be used as a crutch, but when you do need them, give AMP Energy Juice, Sugar Free Lightning and Energy Gum a shot.
Now for the Giveaway
Consumables aren’t all the folks at AMP Energy sent me: there’s something in it for you, too. In specific, I’ve got an orange AMP Energy Juice Dale Earnhardt Jr. cap and an orange AMP Energy Juice Dale Earnhardt Jr. t-shirt (XL). They both go to one random friend of Tao of Bachelorhood:
- Follow @bachelorhood on Twitter
- Become a Fan of Tao of Bachelorhood on Facebook
- Add a comment to this article
- Tweet or retweet any message containing “AMP Energy giveaway” and “@bachelorhood”
That’s it. One entry per day per person, please. I’ll draw the lucky winner on Monday, May 10. Now go get wired and start tweeting!