I like energy drinks, but I tend to only drink them when I'm on the road and tired of coffee or late at night spiked with vodka. Since I try to avoid nasty crap like high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners, there's really never been a good choice of energy drink. The regular kind are loaded with HFCS and calories, and the sugar-free kind are filled with gross fake sugar.
Enter Scheckter's Organic Energy. This stuff is as close to natural as any energy drink will probably ever get:
Here's a look at what's inside:
Let's see: Raw organic cane sugar, organic pom and elderberry juices, and organic lemon juice. That all sounds way better than what you'd find in say, Red Bull or Monster. The "energy" part is a mix of caffeine sourced from guarana, green tea, and raw green coffee beans.
The taste is, well, energy drink-like. If you secretly love Red Bull (as I do), you'll like this stuff. But it does taste like an energy drink. I'm pretty sure the guarana is what gives energy drinks that trademark bite. I enjoyed it, but like almost all beverages, it would be better with a splash of vodka.
But does it work? Scheckter's sent me several cans, and I tried to save them for when I was the most tired. I drank this tall glass of the berry-colored juice after a nap one day, and I didn't notice much difference in the way I felt afterward:
But mind you, I am still very, very sleepy when I first wake. It takes A LOT to get me going, certainly more than the 135 mg of caffeine that's in this stuff. On the average morning, I down the equivalent of two cups of very strong coffee (all poured into one giant travel mug). That's about 400 mg of caffeine. So don't blame the energy drink. I just have a really high tolerance to stimulants.
I decided to give the drink another chance at a time when I'd been awake for hours but was starting to experience the 3 p.m. slump. I drank a can of Scheckter's at work when a particularly grueling project (transcribing interview tapes) was boring me out of my mind. After I downed the can, I did feel a slight boost similar to what I've felt when I've tried those 5-Hour Energy shots. It got me through the rest of the work day.
Conclusion: If you're a caffeine-aholic like me, save these for mid-day rather than morning. But reaching for a Scheckter's is far preferable to some nasty old chemical-laden energy drink.