I didn’t try Red Bull for the first time until my junior year of college when they came through the campus in a tiny car shaped like a can of Red Bull and handed out free samples to anyone who would take them. I was never an energy drink connoisseur, but I had to try it. The verdict? It tasted like red Fun Dip, looked like carbonated pee, and had me talking faster than I ever have in my life, which, let me tell you, is a high bar. But not everyone wants that sweet, sweet candy flavor, suspicious color, or the feeling of talking at double speed, and we here at Sporked understand that. Here are six energy drinks you might like if you hate Red Bull.
- Juice Monster Pipeline Punch
I have many friends who are self-proclaimed energy drink connoisseurs, and they all agree Monster Pipeline Punch is the way to go. Not to mention that it is also our favorite Monster flavor here at Sporked. If you prefer a more complex and sophisticated P.O.G.-type flavor to the “notes of cherry Fun Dip” you get from Red Bull, this should be your go-to energy drink. Our tasters called this “aromatic and delightfully fruity,” with hints of guava, pineapple, apple, orange, and passion fruit. Delish.
- Bang Energy Candy Apple Crisp
Want your energy drink to taste exactly like a candy apple for some reason? Well, Red Bull is not the way to go. This Bang Energy flavor, however, was shockingly accurate to the candy apple flavor we all know and love. Plus, when Rhett & Link tried every Bang energy flavor on a Gut Check episode of Good Mythical Morning, Link said that this flavor was “punching me in the face and turning me into a child.” And who doesn’t want that from a canned beverage?
- Guayaki Traditional Terere
Want your energy drink to look and taste like tea and not like “EXTREME PIZZAZZ GREMLIN CUCKOO TIME FIZZ BOMB” (patent pending)? Look no further than yerba mate, the only energy-boosting bev that doesn’t make me go absolutely bonkers (see Celsius below). As Sporked senior writer Jordan Myrick put it, Guayaki yerba mate “tastes like actual tea. It’s mild and refreshing and definitely packs a caffeine punch.” Plus, it is a great way to hide that you are drinking an energy drink, because people will write it off as a regular old glass bottle of tea. Meanwhile, you are getting as much caffeine as you’d get from a cup and a half of coffee. ~Sneaky~.
- Celsius Sparkling Orange
I feel like Celsius is known as the sensible, useful, adult energy drink option. “I drank a Red Bull” is just automatically a slightly more unhinged statement than “I drank a Celsius.” Plus, people like Celsius because it doesn’t have a lot of sugar or calories, it’s mainly just that sweet, sweet caffeine. This particular flavor is fantastic. When managing editor Gwynedd Stuart tasted and ranked every Celsius flavor, she called Sparkling Orange flavorful and sweet and likened it to “a delicious orange soda, but you get a punch of caffeine, too.” If you like energy drinks but don’t want all that sugar and edginess, this is the one for you. Fun fact: I tried Celsius one time, and I am such a caffeine wimp that I started talking so quickly that my coworkers were actively worried I had gotten into something much harder.
Related: Every Celsius Flavor, Ranked
- Zevia Zero Calorie Energy Raspberry Lime
Hey what do you know, it is Sporked’s favorite energy drink of them all! Why, you ask? Because it only has a few ingredients, “the raspberry lime combination is brightly acidic and flavorful,” and the boost of energy from this one doesn’t make you feel as weird and jittery as some other drinks might. This is certainly nothing like Red Bull, so if you hate Red Bull but still want some energy drink action, then give this one a try!
- Juice Monster Mango Loco
Hey, what do you know? It’s another Monster. What is this, the scare floor (please tell me someone got that)? But say what you will about Monster, they make a good energy drink-juice hybrid and this Mango Loco flavor is no exception. Gwynedd liked its “tantalizing mango taste,” and described the energy drink as “ripe and juicy, with just the right amount of carbonation.” If you are a mango fiend in need of an energy drink, you need to give this one a try.