Monday, May 14, 2007

Energy Drink Shootout: Rockstar

This review is part of a larger comparison article. To read it in its entirety (and better understand the review as a whole), click here.
Previous: Monster Energy

Glock's Review
The Setup: I reviewed Rockstar the day after I reviewed Monster. As such, my second test period for this review was probably the truest test of how this specific energy drink will perform when downed to combat sleep deprivation. Why? You'll remember that I tried Monster on Thursday morning, and so I tried Rockstar Friday morning. So obviously one of the main influences of this test will be my sleep from Thursday night. If you've been keeping up with Gamer Bait, you'll know that for the past several weeks I've been participating in a podcast that gets posted weekly---on Fridays. We record Thursday night, beginning at 11:30PM or midnight (Eastern time), and the podcast itself is approximately an hour to an hour and a half long. Afterwards, we talk for awhile and then check the quality of the sound, after which I get my tired head to a pillow. As I noted in the Monster review, I get up at 5:20AM or so. The podcast on Thursday night put me in bed at 1:45AM Friday morning. Yeah, I know. But that's not it. Remember I've worked 8 hours a day all week starting at 6AM, and only gotten about 4-5 hours of sleep per night each night. Thursday night is the last night of the week that I don't get to sleep in come morning (assuming we don't have to work overtime on Saturday morning), so Friday morning is usually when I am most sleep-deprived. Long story short: 3.5 hours of sleep, and 4-5 hours of sleep per night for the four preceding nights.
Size: 16oz.
Single Can: $2.29
Per oz.: $0.14
Four-pack: $5.98
Per Can: $1.50
Per oz.: $0.09
The Instruments: Sugars (60g), Taurine (2000mg), Caffeine (160mg), Guarana (50mg), Inositol (50mg), L-Carnitine (50mg), Panax Ginseng (50mg), Milk Thistle (40mg), Ginkgo Biloba (30mg)
The Taste: Start with Sweet Tarts crushed up into a powder. Then add that harsh (but somehow enjoyable) battery acid taste you find in Red Bull. Mix well, shorten the aftertaste by half of what you'd expect, and you have a 16-oz. can of Rockstar, complete with the red stylized double-R pull tab. If I drank it fast, I noticed that the Sweet Tart flavor became a slightly stronger sour apple taste. It also seems that they added a bit more sugar to counteract the harsh side of the drink's taste, but it doesn't really put a huge dent in it. Overall, it's not that bad, but it's got a taste that would inspire me to keep browsing the convenience store cooler in search of something better. Score: 6
Aftereffects: I drank two of these, one at 6AM Friday morning, and another in the early evening. I felt like death walking, and had the bloodshot eyes to prove it. As with the Monster from the previous day, I drank the first one slowly over the course of two and a half hours. It took off a little slowly, then reached cruising altitude and plateaued. That's exactly what it felt like. I wasn't amped up, had absolutely no jitter, and I didn't feel like I had an extra bit of bounce in my step...but I felt normal. I felt as if I'd slept for 8 hours and made it halfway through the day already (which is when I generally feel the most awake). For my evening can, I slammed the 16-oz. Rockstar down inside 5 minutes. My brain felt a little stimulated, I kept noticing I was tapping my foot while sitting at the computer, and I just barely felt that little caffeine/sugar jitter. Still not a "bounce in your step" experience, but I did feel a hair above normal when I should be feeling the effects of a long week with little sleep. Score: 7

nubulicious' Review
The Taste: This is one of the worst energy drinks I have had. The taste actually starts out pretty good, but about 20 seconds later you realize that there is a nasty aftertaste. All the energy that this product supposedly gives you will be wasted on your efforts to finish drinking it. Score: 2
This is where the drink really shows its true colors; an absolute atrocity. This is the only time Ive got a headache after drinking an "energy drink", not only that but I failed to get any more of a boost than what a cup of decaf could have given me. Luckily I had it during the day and not in the morning, as that would have just ruined my whole day. I would try to write as much as Glock but it I'd rather just say "NO TO ROCKSTAR". Score: 4

Overall Gamer Bait Score: 5

Next: Sobe Adrenaline Rush (coming soon!)


Margo said...

I've been drinking Rockstar for the past year and agree that the taste is pretty bad but it works way better than a cup of coffee. And I never got a headache before from drinking. I think you got a headache because you were didn't enough a lot of sleep.
The only problem with Rockstar that I have experienced is that it made me pee a lot. You should only drink it when you have access to a working bathroom.

startsomething said...

"All the energy that this product supposedly gives you will be wasted on your efforts to finish drinking it." - funny stuff.

Monster has released a new line of "coffee energy drinks". You should consider looking into those, though honestly it doesn't sound that great from the looks...worth a shot though.

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