by Ryan Meehan
I thought I’d take a brief moment from the worlds of NFL football, comedy, and death metal to review a product that I put off sampling until recently. I work across from a General Nutrition Center, which ironically is full of things that are not exactly great for your health. My co-workers have all hopped on this new energy drink called “Vegas Fuel”, and the other day I finally decided to give it a shot.
Let’s face it, America runs on speed. From the gas tank in your car to the inside of Charlie Sheen’s nose, something has to power all of this shit and solar panels simply aren’t going to cut it.
When the energy drink craze hit, I wasn’t surprised. In fact, I was kind of disturbed that it took so long to explode in the first place. We’re talking about a culture where the same people who wear shirts that say “Keep Calm and (Insert Stupid Slogan Here)” will say things like “Don’t fucking talk to me until I’ve had my coffee” when you greet them with a simple hello. Staying awake is important, and if you go to your local grocery store it’s not difficult to find hundreds of products that virtually mimic the effects of amphetamines in every way. Simply put, we love to be jacked.
It used to be that the desire to go about our daily business and the general zest for life that we once had was enough to get us through the day. But then Ambien came into the picture and became the most popular drug in the world, so the United States needed something much more powerful than coffee to stay focused on the tasks at hand the day after. In other words, at the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist we live in a drug culture. Period. I’m so sick of people who pound caffeine and drink bourbon telling me they’re drug free – they aren’t. If those people consider themselves to be anti-drug I’m a professional goat wrangler, and we’re going to need to take a serious look at how we’re classifying substances of all kinds in this country. No wonder the medicinal marijuana debate is so confusing.
All that set aside, this is a review of what I think of Vegas Fuel. Vegas Fuel is a product that hails from a Pennsylvania company called JarMax, and is available at most retail stores and nutrition centers. So let’s get right into it and take a look at what you’ll be drinking today…
This drink is sugar free, and is advertised to be quite healthy. Since I have Red Bull here, let’s go ahead and compare the nutritional aspects of the two. This is based on one eight ounce serving.
Red Bull – 110
Vegas Fuel – 5
Red Bull – 100mg
Vegas Fuel – 150mg
Red Bull – 28g
Vegas Fuel – 3g
Red Bull – 27
Vegas Fuel – None
This is where you should begin to get suspicious. The carbs and sugar so low means that something is missing, and the nutritional contents of this can are a lot closer to Aquafina than Monster.
I feel very 50/50 about the way this product is marketed. I love the name “Vegas Fuel” because it represents two thinks that we love as Americans: Total sin and pure power. But even though the name is great, as you’ll soon find out it doesn’t exactly match the product that is in the can. When you hear the name “Vegas Fuel”, you expect something that will have enough kick to get you right out of bed and back to figuring out how to bury the hooker that overdosed in your hotel bathroom before her foster parents report her missing. And what a letdown – the urgency just isn’t there. But 50% of marketing is getting people to buy the product for the first time, so credit must be given where credit is due. That being said, 50% is still a failing grade. The can is for the most part boring as all hell and looks a lot like a generic version of the energy drink Rockstar – a product that is also unfortunately named when you consider that a majority of its consumers are young males in their early twenties perched on their septic tanks, wearing Insane Clown Posse hoodies, and bragging about which tattoo they’re going to get on the way back from their cousin’s funeral.
Vegas fuel tastes like a cross between Purple drank and cherry falovered Dimetapp. (Or so my friends tell me) I found it very weak that in several reviews (such as this one http://energy-drink-ratings.blogspot.com/2007/06/vegas-fuel-energy-drink-review.html ) they mentioned how it didn’t taste like medicine, because I didn’t find that to be the case. It should also be mentioned here that this stuff gets warm quickly. I’d have better luck trying to get a gallon of ice cream to stay cold on an 106 degree day in Albuquerque than getting this drink taste like something other than dog urine five minutes after you yank it out of the fridge. And don’t ask me how I know what canine pee tastes like, this isn’t an autobiographical piece.
I’m giving this a seven because it doesn’t have nearly the same horrid aftertaste that Red Bull or Monster does. But at the same time, this might very well be cranberry juice in a can with a little bit of extra Taurine so it’s difficult to imagine that it would really have a lot of severe aftertaste to it. The next category is where my skepticism really sets in.
I guess I don’t see where the “Jack” comes into play here. There’s probably some sort of psychosomatic thing going on here with regards to the lack of bite, as in that’s what’s telling you you’re not as awake as you’d like to be. When I was in eighth grade we did a science experiment where we had to taste different sodas, and our teacher put empty cans of Jolt Cola in the area around where the experiment was held for the purpose of playing with our senses. That turned out to be exactly what he was doing, as in the end it was revealed none of the sodas that we had tasted happened to be Jolt.
And I guess that’s what seems to piss me off about this – it appears as if there’s this sort of “Three Card Monty” thing going on where there’s no way to win. I kept thinking that maybe the kick was just separated inside of the can and I hadn’t gotten to the good part, but it never came. At this point I’m thinking “The Great and Powerful Oz” would be a better name for this stuff than “Vegas Fuel”.
There is no crash because there is no “amp” to it. So if nothing else, they have that part nailed. However I would also give a perfect crash score to milk, orange juice, and every Van Halen album after David Lee Roth left because none of those things had “high points” to them to begin with. I’d give it a zero for jitters as well due to the fact that there’s no way in hell this product will give you jitters unless you stab yourself in the heart with an adrenaline needle after you slam eight or nine of these at a time. Even then, I’m sure there’s something in this product that would neutralize the desire to go out and be productive.
While I usually agree with what most of my co-workers say, this is the conclusion I’ve come to about Vegas Fuel – VEGAS FUEL IS NOT AN ENERGY DRINK. I realize that’s a silly thing to say when you consider that the title of this article starts with “Energy Drink Review”, but I also think that speaks volumes as to how deceptive this product truly is. This is cranberry juice in a can, don’t kid yourself.
Overall grade: 5.8/10.0
Unfortunately, the success of Vegas Fuel is going to depend heavily on how cool it will be to tell people you’re drinking Vegas Fuel. “Cool” rhymes with “fuel”…But alliteration isn’t everything, after all “portion” rhymes with “abortion” and you don’t see Nutrisystem filing for Chapter Eleven bankruptcy do you? The problem here is that they can’t rely on the product to sell itself, because it is simply not good enough to do so.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the need for subtlety and trying to eliminate jitters and crash. But with Vegas Fuel, you’re not getting anything different than you would from grabbing a Mountain Dew out of your neighborhood soda machine. I just think there are way too many liquids masquerading as energy drinks nowadays, and this one gets an F.
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