I’ve mentioned before that when I’m off work, I tend to take naps on my lunch break, a habit that I’ve been trying to stop. Well, as it turns out, I’m also programmed to take naps on days off, another habit that I’m trying to quit. After all, that’s time I could spend being more productive, either by working on music, or doing some house chores, or even writing reviews for this blog. And I know the best place to get some energy for not a lot of money is Big Lots.
While there, I found the usual array of their energy beverages; pretty much all of them unheard-of brands, and loaded with chemicals and artificial flavors. But a new one caught my eye, though it certainly wasn’t compliments of its terribly-designed can. Juiced Energy (clever name, also) claims to be comprised of 50% juice to go along with its energy blend. Now, juice in energy drinks certainly isn’t anything new; the main brands have been doing it for years. But that mixture has definitely lead to some of the best energy drinks I’ve ever had, namely Rockstar’s Juiced lineup.
While most of Big Lots energy beverages go between fifty-to-sixty cents for a 16 oz. can, the Blue Sky iteration was going for eighty, probably to account for the fact it actually has some juice in there; this is pretty standard, as juice no doubt costs a little bit more to produce than lab-created ingredients (though, to be fair, there’s no doubt plenty of those still in here, too, but at least having the juice helps cancel at least a couple of them out). However, let’s be honest here: Just because an energy drink is given 50% juice (a word I’ve already said four times in this paragraph) doesn’t automatically make it a great energy drink. So let’s jump to the answer of the question on everyone’s mind…how does it taste?
Surprisingly, boring. Anyone who’s had their fair share of energy beverages no doubt knows that there’s a standard “original” flavor. It’s hard to describe, and it varies slightly across the brands, but the main base is there–it’s a weird blend of semi-fruity, and a little metallic. Usually, the addition of actual fruit seems to break this flavor profile, with the added juice taking things front-and-center. Curiously, that is not the case here, as it retains the standard energy drink “default” flavor of fakey fruit-meets-metal.
Perhaps I could understand this a bit more if there was just a single fruit juice included here; it would probably take a lot to cover up the default taste. But when there are seven fruit juices (apple, orange, pear, peach, tangerine, pineapple, and white grape, all from concentrate) and you can neither smell nor taste any of them, there seems to be a bit of a problem.
On the energy side, it did give me a little boost, though the nutritional “specs” aren’t anything too outrageous. Compared to some such drinks, which will overload you on a lot of vitamins, Juiced Energy focuses on only five: Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12, giving you 200% per serving/400% per can. This makes sense, as with the exception of Vitamin C, the rest are B vitamins, which are the ones that target energy and movement. I downed half a can in about half an hour (I like to savor it!), and gained a noticeable increase in anxiety and energy. However, as I like to mention in all my reviews for these kinds of drinks, I have a very low tolerance for caffeine, as I never drink coffee, and cut back massively on soft drinks. So if you drink caffeine all the time, your results my vary.
Overall: 5/10. I was enticed by the claim that it has 50% juice–and was immediately disappointed when I couldn’t taste a single one of them. Supposedly, there are seven juices in here (apple, orange, pear, peach, tangerine, pineapple, and white grape), yet all you get is the typical default energy drink flavor of fake fruit, with a hint of metal. It did give me a noticeable boost of anxiety and energy for a few hours after drinking it, but I also have a low tolerance for caffeine, so bear that in mind. For $.80 at Big Lots, I guess I can’t complain that it was too much of a waste, though I definitely expected it to taste a little juicier than it does. By no means offensive, but also not a standout in any way, shape, or form.