What product on the market today holds out greater hope of usefulness than an energy drink? ENERGY!!! We all need it. We all want it. We know, just know, deep down in our hearts, that things would be going much better if we just had a little more energy. BANG! energy. 5-Hours of energy. Monster energy. The energy of a bull.
They have overpromised.
Before we go further, this is a review of the category. In fact, henceforth I will be using a German-style compact noun, energydrink. Das energydrink. It’s gender neutral.
I have quaffed energydrink of all stripes in massive quantities at many of the hours of the day and night. How credulous I have been. How desperate. I have thought, “How can I possibly pedal another mile, never mind do the grocery shopping without just a little bit of help, a little bit of extra energy?” And so I have paid the $3 and gotten rad.
But energydrink is full of lies, 12-16 oz. of lies per can. Also guarana. Guarana is a mixture of guano and tartar sauce. It’s high in bullshit and dashed hopes.
Oh, but don’t forget old friends sugar and caffeine. Perhaps my failure to gain any actual energy from energydrink is down to the fact that my body is already shimmering with caffeination and sugared-up so hard that I’m off-gassing sucrose. Maybe, as usual, it’s not them; it’s me.
Maybe I really am dead inside.
No. It’s them. Every canned and bottled beverage in the kilometer long cold case at the 7-11 is just a reconfiguration of the same four ingredients: sugar, water, caffeine and nihilism. That’s probably what keeps me coming back. Energydrink reinforces my sense of meaningless chaos. It whets my appetite for ontological crisis.
Also the ads have bikes in ’em.
By this time, we, as a society are addicted to energydrink. In the modern pantheon of optimized living, it’s the flipside of meditation, the upper to our spiritual downer. “I do yoga to relax and invest in some regular self care,” says the middle-class everyone. “Then I slam energydrink to reengage productive anxiety!”
Anxiety should be one of the flavors.
As a coffee cultist, you might find my take on energydrink somewhat hypocritical. You might also reasonably ask, “Why do you need energydrink when you are already consuming go-go-bitter-hot-water with breakfast every morning?”
It’s a fair point and a good question.
And the answer is that, like you, I want more. I want to do more. I want to feel better. I want to jump my bike off a cliff and do a double back flip and land it like I was just getting out of bed. I want the young kids to look at me and think, “He’s obviously old, but he definitely gets it.” I want to put the H back in my ADHD.
Turn up the music. Let’s get nervous.
For this reason and many others (like the revolting flavors), energy drink fails to meet my needs. Also it tastes awful. Those flavors are more like colors. “I love BLUE!” And the liquid is too viscous, like cough syrup or brake fluid. Don’t aske me how I know that. Also, why are amphetamines illegal? We obviously all want what they have. We’d just like to keep our teeth while we get it.
I can see a place in the cooler for a new energy drink called PRIMATE. It’s equal parts sugar, caffeine, water, Viagra and Meth. It tastes like barbecue sauce and consuming it instantly voids the warranties on everything you own. It sounds ridiculous, but we humans tend to take everything to its logical conclusion eventually. Until then, I’m a hard no on energydrink, unless you’re buying.
Do we amuse you? Pay the dancing monkeys! Pay them! Or they will visit you in your nightmares!