They say once you’ve tried one energy drink, you’ve pretty much tried them all. Okay, I just made that up, but it’s largely true: Standard energy drinks have a largely standard flavor, and even the ones that have added ingredients, like juice, seem to be copied and knocked-off by other companies. Sure, they may have slight differences that help to differentiate between the different brands, but for the most part, the chemical makeup is the same.
Enter Hype Enlite Energy, available in 16 oz. cans for just $.50 from select Big Lots stores. It tastes just like every other standard energy drink ever manufactured, except for one difference: It’s a low-calorie beverage, meaning it’s essentially a “diet” version of an energy drink. These are characterized by a weaker flavor right off the bat—like many diet drinks it tastes slightly watered down—followed by that rather disgusting aftertaste, no doubt due to the usage of artificial sweeteners. So it’s got an okay taste, made even worse by the terrible aftertaste.
Nutritionally, this drink seems to be an almost low-level energy supplement, providing 152 mg of caffeine per can (near the average mark), but well less than 100% of four different B vitamins, which are the vitamins that give you bursts of energy. Typically, energy drinks will “max out” on these, giving around 200% per can; here, we get 152% vitamin B3 and 134% vitamin B6, but then only 80% B12 and 96% B5, putting them well under the level of most energy beverages. Whether or not this will work for you depends on your tolerance for caffeine: As I always have to specify, mine is low, because I do not drink coffee and have cut back on soft drinks, so half a can gave me a noticeable increase in energy, but also noticeable was how weak it was compared to stronger energy drinks.
Of course, like any drink, this one can fill a niche, with people that might not want such a “hardcore” energy rush; at just 48 calories and only 8 grams of sugar per can, this can be a go-to beverage if you’re looking to avoid overloading your body with sugar; the low sugar content should also, at least in theory, minimize the “crash” later. So I guess if you have a low tolerance for caffeine, and want just a slight push, this will do the trick. But judging from the number of these available at Big Lots when I purchased mine, it doesn’t seem like there are a lot of people in that niche.
Overall: 4/10. Those predisposed to the terrible aftertaste of diet drinks might give this a higher score, but this tastes just like a watered-down version of pretty much every standard energy drink out there, with the aforementioned terrible aftertaste. The lack of B vitamins (it has well under 200% of two B vitamins, and under even 100% of two more per can) also makes this a rather low-level energy supplement; if you’re constantly drinking coffee or soda, it will probably take quite a bit of this stuff to even give you any kind of push. However, points must be given for value, as a 16 oz. can retails for just $.50 at select Big Lots stores, though chances are even within the walls of that store, you can find a much better option.