DRANK is an anti-energy drink, a non-alcoholic drink touted as an extreme relaxation beverage.
“What the hell is that?” you ask.
I wondered myself, so I coughed up $3 to find out how I could “slow my roll.” I really wish I didn’t have to type that. I also wish I could have my $3 back, but more on that in a bit.
Now Red Bull is one of my favorite beverages. In my teenage years, I used to drink 3 or 4 per day, staying up all night writing great American short stories—eh, fuck it. Full disclosure: I was watching marathon episodes of Cheaters at 3am. These days, I have a deep and profound love for sleeping, and I haven’t seen 3am in years. Though 3am, what a marvelous hour you are.
The first thing that disturbed me was the number of fonts used on the can. I counted six different fonts. Additionally, there were ALL CAPS, italics, and two sets of “awkward” quotation marks. This can was on par with the infamous Angelfire website about the Vampire Cats Club.
DRANK came in a 16 fl. oz. can and looked like any other energy drink in the refrigerated section—except that it had this warning:
WARNING: This product may cause drowsiness.
Jesus. What the hell is in it? Tyenol PM? Is this even safe?
I bought it at 7-11. In my mind, 7-11 is a nostalgic corner store of my childhood, a place to ride my bike and get a Slurpee, a Big Bite with a little packet of mustard, and a Ring Pop or Push Pop, depending on my mood. But now when I visit a 7-11, there’s all these sketchy bootleg products like rhinestone Obama shirts in 4XL or the showcase of scary meat-filled products. What I’m saying is, these days, 7-11s are scary. I don’t trust anything I consume from there. I long to live near a Sheetz.
DRANK reminds me of when the news reported that middle school kids were chugging Robotussin to get high. It was called robo-tripping or robo-copping–something like that. In fact, those dumb kids are now the reason that pharmacies keep cold medicines behind the counter. Well, that and the meth heads. I’ve learned a lot from watching Intervention.
If I drink DRANK, am I going to robocop?
The industry’s first relaxed lifestyle beverage? Sorry DRANK, rum runners at the pool bar got there first. I don’t see a niche market for drowsiness drinks. Who enjoys feeling drowsy? Perhaps people who enjoy beverages named after the past tense of a verb.
The most baffling thing is the main ingredient: high fructose corn syrup. There’s a whopping 54g of sugar in the can. I fail to see how chugging 54 grams of sugar could relax anyone. In fact, in documented cases, it’s been found that much sugar in liquid form gives a seven year child the ability to walk up a wall.
Well it was time to find out what DRANK was all about:
I felt qualified to review DRANK, with my distinctive taste buds that can appreciate the tart yet dry flavors of an energy drink with notes of cough syrup.
The smell of DRANK was sugary and grape. I felt weary of drinking 16 fluid ounces of ice cold, carbonated sugar water an hour before bed. I really didn’t want to drink 300 calories of purple sugar. But I chugged it–two servings in about two minutes. I thought the flavor was good actually. It was like a light grape soda. Like a Fresca, only more syrupy. I thought the color was nice too, a jewel-toned purple.
Now the true test–did it work? Did I feel relaxed?
Two servings contain the equivalent of 2mg of melatonin in liquid, which should be more immediate and intense than if I took the same dosage in an over-the-counter pill. Then there’s 20mg each of rose hips and valerian root, whatever those are.
Winthin twenty minutes of consuming DRANK, I felt a bit woozy. It wasn’t a feeling of relaxation or even sleepiness. Just a heavy headed feeling, like stepping out of a car after a three hour trip. I thought it would be useful to compare the effects of DRANK to other drowsiness-inducing experiences:
Benadryl – Benadryl is the human equivalent of horse tranquilizers. How did DRANK compare? Nothing approaching the lifelessness of two Benadryls.
Eating Taco Bell – Same dreariness, except without heavy feeling of having wet rags sitting in your stomach.
Shopping at Mall – Equivalent feelings of weariness and loss of will to live
Glass of Wine – Wine relaxes, makes you feel happy. DRANK dulls, no feelings of good nature or relaxation. Makes you want a cup of coffee.
2:30pm at office desk – Comparable. That is what drinking DRANK is like. The feeling of sitting at your desk at 2:30. Lunch is over, the coffee pot is empty, and it’s still a long time before you can get in your car to sit in rush hour.
Within an hour of drinking DRANK, I started to wonder if maybe I was coming down with something. Maybe everything I had described was actually the feelings of an oncoming cold. I felt like shit. I stopped writing the entry, took a shower, and went to bed.
Today I can say that I am not sick, that was just the actual feeling of DRANK. It makes you feel like you ate Taco Bell at the mall after working all day. And then when you get home, you feel sick. If that’s a relaxed lifestyle, give me the one with caffiene tremors and heart palpitations.
Besides, 3am really can be a beautiful place. Life is contained there on the couch, in the glowering of the television. You don’t have to worry about the next day, or the rest of your life, or anything just then. Just the next episode of Cheaters. A blurred face at a gas station. A man. A woman rushing from the car. Bleeped cursing. Muffled whacking sounds. Oooh, maybe they’re fighting. But then there’s always another commercial break.