The world of energy drinks, once the purview of extreme sports addicts, has turned its sights to the modern realm of video games aka eSports. Armchair athletes master games like Fortnite and Overwatch, testing the limits of their reflexes and eye strain. When you’re deep into an all-day Twitch stream and you need a boost to help you no-scope the n00bs, that’s where G Fuel comes in.
What is G Fuel?
G Fuel was created by a company called Gamma Labs which was established in 2004. Initially, the company focused on sports nutrition with the goal to create supplements for professional athletes. However, in 2011, the streaming service Twitch launched and soon became a popular place for gamers to broadcast their gameplay. This helped make eSports a viable industry and Gamma Labs decided to capitalize on it.
G Fuel was released in 2012 with the specific focus on eSports, marketing itself as the perfect complement to long gaming sessions. It’s essentially an energy drink mix. It comes in a big tub of powder, similar to a whey protein, that you mix with water. They also sell carbonated G Fuel cans, similar to a Monster or Red Bull. The first three flavors they released were Fruit Punch, Lemon Lime, and the chillest of all flavors, Blue Ice.
G Fuel’s popularity rose dramatically after the company began sponsoring popular video game streamers, including such luminaries like Alex Zedra, One_Shot_Gurl, Summit1G, and, of course, Pewdiepie. As the business grew, so did their line of products. As a video game outsider, the names of these G Fuel products make about as much sense to me as the Rosetta Stone: Sour Blue Chug Rug, Clickbait, Juice Cannon, Generic Marshmallow Birds. The packaging for each tub is equally inscrutable.
G Fuel is also the king of cross-promotional branding, with flavors that are “inspired” by anime and video game IP. Here’s just a few examples: Rapid Fire Mandarin Orange (Contra), Party Punch Fruit Cereal (Sonic the Hedgehog), Kamehameha Strawberry Lychee (DragonBallZ), Unicorn Sunshine Rainbow Stripe Gum (Rainbow 6 Siege). Again, as an outsider, I have no idea what’s going on here, but it seems fun.
What is in G Fuel?
Like most energy drinks, G Fuel is chock full of caffeine: 140 mg per scoop and 300 mg per can. The rest of the ingredients read like your typical energy drink, including “vitamins” and a whole host of weird-looking chemical names. However, there are a few notable differences between G Fuel and other energy drinks.
First, there’s no added sugar in G Fuel. Relative to other energy drinks, this is a good thing, since you’ll avoid the sugar crash that can come with their competitors. Second, there are barely any calories in G Fuel. A scoop of the G Fuel powder has about 15 calories in it and the cans don’t have any calories at all. All its sweetness comes from sucralose, which is basically the artificial sweetener Splenda. You can get into huge arguments about whether or not that is bad for you but the bottom line is, if you’re counting calories and you must have an energy drink, G Fuel is the way to go.
What is G Fuel used for?
G Fuel made its millions by aligning itself with the eSports industry. But it’s not only for gamers; if you ask them, they want everyone in the world to drink it. And they have partnered with film productions, athletes, and musicians to spread their marketing seeds, so to speak.
The truth is, whether you’re “maining” Junkrat or trying to crank out 80 wpm, G Fuel is as appropriate as any other energy drink. If you aren’t a gamer, you may not fully understand the marketing tactics of the brand, but that doesn’t mean you won’t love the flavor of Nuka Cola Quantum.