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February 26, 2007

Get Your Buzz On, a Joey Headset Guide to Energy Drinks

If you're like me, you rely on chemicals to facilitate every aspect of your daily life. Working, sleeping, social interaction -- I couldn't do any of these without alcohol, alcohol, and more alcohol (respectively). But sometimes I'm not looking to get buzzed in the drunken, totally fucked-up sense. Rather, I need that OTHER kind of buzz... the kind I can only obtain from a delicious and healthful Energy Drink!

What exactly is an energy drink? There's a short and long answer to this question. The short answer: It's a soda that costs $3. The long answer: It's a soda that costs $3 for just 8oz.

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Listen to me you smiley-faced bastard: The day Joey Headset drinks generic soda is the day a FLYING PIG wins olympic gold in the ski jumping competition... IN HELL.

Are energy drinks more expensive than regular soda? You bet they are -- and they're worth the money. You see, soft drinks contain only sugar and caffeine, whereas energy drinks contain sugar, caffeine AND a wild assortment of Special Ingredients. Though different brands each have their own distinct mix, some of the more common additives include: taurine, guarana, inositol, carnitine, and wild yak urine (most notably in Red Yak, the popular Mongolian beverage). These special ingredients are what give energy drinks their invigorating and revitalizing punch!

By law, I'm required to tell you that the previous statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Hell, it hasn't even been evaluated by the American Beverage Association, who officially classify energy drinks as "novelty refreshment beverage products" that "are not designed to be a functional beverage product". I don't know about you, but I'm ready to fork over my $3 RIGHT NOW!

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Good question Cap'n! Walk into any convenience store and you'll find yourself staring down a dizzying array of Monsters and No Fears and Full Throttles. You can't pick just by looking at the label -- each drink presents itself as more HARD CORE and XXXTREME than the next. It's enough to make you want to forget energy drinks and chug a jumbo bottle of Nyquil instead -- to soothe your nerves. Relax, my nyquil gulping friend, there's good news! Energy drinks are like snowflakes: technically they are all different, but in every meaningful sense, they are all exactly the same. There are at least 1,500 different brands on the market, and I'm pretty sure that 1,475 of those are the exact same drink. They just put them in different cans. Even so, there are a few things to consider when purchasing an energy drink.

First of all, never NEVER buy a diet or lo-cal energy drink. The primary active ingredient in all of these beverages is the SUGAR. Sugar = energy. If you don't feel like you're one sip away from lapsing into a diabetic coma after slamming an energy drink, then you've wasted your money. Drinking a diet energy drink is like kissing your sister. And I'm referring specifically to YOUR sister, who everyone knows is a dirty whore. Like a dirty whore, diet energy drinks are without any redeeming value. Avoid them at all costs.

Second of all, you should never EVER buy an energy drink endorsed by Steven Seagal. I mean... seriously, WTF?

Finally, there are a few brands that are worthy of special consideration.

Red Bull: The grandaddy of energy drinks, Red Bull was around when all the other drinks were nothing but a twinkle in the eye of a multinational beverage conglomerate. The stimulating effects of Red Bull are well known. The first time I drank it, I spent the rest of the day lying in bed with heart palpitations. Probably didn't help that I chased the Red Bull with a Starbucks Doubleshot espresso drink. Really, the only downside of Red Bull is the taste. If I had to select one word to describe the delicate flavor of Red Bull, that word would be ASS. Not just regular ass, either. A harsh, medicinal variety of ass. For its powerful kick and chemical-waste flavor, I award Red Bull three Joeys. JITTERY JOEYS!

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Cocaine: Naming an energy drink after a controlled substance? Now THAT'S edgy marketing!

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But does the drink live up to its name? Hmm... let's see. Cocaine the drug is an intense stimulant, responsible for the popularity of leg warmers, American Gladiators and the music of Night Ranger. Cocaine the energy drink is just a soft drink with an extra shot of caffeine. No, it does NOT live up to its name. But remember, when you buy an energy drink, 90% of what you're paying for is edgy marketing. So you might as well choose a drink with a marketing schtick so XXXTREEEM that most retailers will refuse to sell it. For this bold strategy, I'll give Cocaine five Jittery Joeys.

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Coca-Sek: Some drinks talk a good game and some actually deliver the goods. This Columbian drink, translated as "Coca of the Sun", is the only energy drink made from real coca leaves. You know what else is made from coca leaves? Cocaine. No, not the energy drink, actual Cocaine! The same drug that President George W. Bush didn't necessarily abuse in the 80s. This is not to say that a can of Coca-Sek has the same effect as three lines of coke snorted off a hooker's tits with a hundred dollar bill. Trust me, it doesn't. Even so, this drink reportedly provides a unique and stimulating buzz. I say "reportedly" because the drink isn't available in the US, and never will be -- the Coca-Cola corporation has a few hundred lawyers who'll make damn sure of that. Despite its lack of availability, I give Coca-Sek 8 JJs.

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Energy drinks are more than overpriced sodas. They're overpriced sodas, TO THE MAXXX!!!! Go out and buy yourself one today. And here's a tip: if you want to maximize the effects of an energy drink, chase it with a few hits of CRYSTAL METH. It's like crack, but for white people!

Posted by Joey at February 26, 2007 06:12 AM

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