The newly renovated gas station near where I eat chinese for lunch at least once a week had a grand re-opening party today, and they were giving away various products. I stopped in and picked up a free "Rockstar" energy drink from the sweet young things handing them out, figuring I wasn't planning to try one if I had to buy it. Despite the fact that one of our techs drinks at least one of these a day and says they're tasty, I've remained distrustful and resistant to the lure of peppy, upbeat marketing and X-game type product placements. Oh, how much liquid happiness I've missed out on!
I managed to know almost zero about this product, assuming it was yet another Jolt soda (pop for you midwesterners) in fancier packaging. I was soooo wrong. It is a wonderful carbonated fruit drink.
Here are some highlights:
- Lightly sweetened WITHOUT aspartame or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), Rockstar is not too sweet for me! (At least not when consumed cold from the can.) I like soda (Coke, Dr. Pepper, Vernors, Squirt, A&W) but lately they all seem too sweet for my palate. I have to drink them with lots of ice to cut the sweet. I've wondered why no one just cut back on the sugar instead of totally replacing it with scary chemicals, but it turns out someone did. My search for a less sweet "soda" is over.
- I try not to drink more than one or two sodas per week because an 8 oz serving with HFCS is 180 calories, or about a tenth of my daily allotment. (It's about 120 with sugar.) Rockstar is only 100 calories for an 8 oz serving, or 200/can. Whoa! I can actually drink one of these with minimal guilt!
- The primary ingredients are fruit juices! There's some sugar too, but, may I repeat, NO HFCS! Also I don't tolerate sugar substitutes well. Apparently they use them here but I didn't notice - for the first time ever. Bravo!
- The flavors favor my picky palate which prefers the obscure and exotic: pomegranate, mango, guava! In theory, I dig them all! I even asked for a 2nd can so I could try the mango, after the pomegranate proved tasty, and the cute young rep gave into my greed with a smile. (It's still at my desk, I can't justify 400 calories of juice after a big lunch, even if it is free.)
- The energy doesn't just come from caffeine, although there is some of that. There are good herbal and vitamin additives, some of which I take when I bother with supplements, to boost energy. They chose wisely.