Diet (618 reviews)

Arteasan Green Tea Passion Fruit Elderberry Peppermint

Arteasan Green Tea Passion Fruit Elderberry Peppermint

Dear Readers,
I have to be honest with you, I am sick to death of stevia. Yes, I know it’s the healthier zero-calorie sweetener, but a majority of the time it is in a beverage it becomes 60% of the flavor. I’m all for less sugar and calories, but I would rather forgo a sweetener altogether than have to taste this nonsense all the time. It’s been a big part of the slowdown of Thirst Dudes (at least on my end). Almost every time I come across a new beverage that looks like it would be great, the S sweetener is listed in the ingredients. It becomes a heavy task to try to ignore the flavor and write a proper review for beverages.

This drink really jumped out at me though. Passion fruit is a definitely weakness for me, and elderberry is nothing to slouch at either. I just had to take the chance. Did it pay off? Well, not totally, but more than I expected. The stevia makes up maybe 35% of the flavor instead of the expected 60%. The fruit flavors are on the lighter side, as I believe they should be when they are just flavoring a tea. Sometimes I wonder why companies make teas instead of “juice drinks” when they go overboard with the flavoring and you can’t even make out the tea. This is a green tea at its heart with some flavoring added to enhance it. I really don’t taste peppermint at all, but I’m fine with that. Really, if it weren’t for the stevia and they had just left this unsweetened I would have given it 5 bottles and raved about it. Unfortunately, all of the wonderful natural flavor gets muddled into a diet aftertaste. Who wants that?

Website
http://arteasan.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Stevia
Categories
Diet, Iced Tea
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on January 4th, 2019
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Rockstar Xdurance Energy Ripped Red

Rockstar Xdurance Energy Ripped Red

I am not the raging human I once was. There was a time in my life where I would leave for a trip to Toronto at 9PM, get there, hang out for hours, get back in my car and drive the 1:30/2:00 home and arrive in my driveway around 5am. I was perfectly fine doing that. In fact it seemed like a completely reasonable thing to do, and I did it without the help of caffeine or any other upper. It would just be Mike, myself and what we would consider to be good music playing way too loud. These days, leaving at 6 on a December evening feels like I should just be crawling into bed and it is a complete chore. I knew there was no way I would make it back alive without some help, so on the way to the border I stopped at a gas station and picked this up. As proven by me writing this, it works. It more than works. There were no yawns. No heavy eyes. No problems whatsoever. Just complete alertness (to a detrimental effect as I couldn’t fall asleep once I made it home 6 hours after drinking this.

While there is no problem with the functionality of this beverage, the taste leaves something to be desired. I know it’s my fault, expecting something sweetened with sucralose to taste anything but chemical, but I keep hoping a company will crack the code that will hide that gross flavor. Ripped Red is a fruit punch of sorts that seems to be a mixture of cherry, strawberry, and cranberry; a strange, but interesting mix. I think I actually want more strawberry cranberry hybrid drinks. It’s sweet and tastes like a Wonka candy that I wished existed. It’s just too bad that it’s all hidden under a fog of diet. Still I keep buying the low calorie energy drinks when I need them to ensure I don’t pack on the pounds as I get older. No one wants a chunky Jay.

Website
http://www.rockstar69.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sucralose
Categories
Diet, Energy Drink
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on December 12th, 2018
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Bang Purple Guava Pear

Bang Purple Guava Pear

As soon as this washed over my taste buds I thought to myself, “This is the best tasting energy drink of all time.” Less than a second later the sucralose hit me and all of that was out the window. Yes, I know that high sugar energy drinks cause you to have the dreaded crash, where you just want to slump around. It’s just unfortunate that they taste so much better (well up to an extent that they become way too sweet). There is a balance that needs to be formed and I can say for certain that sucralose is not the answer. This beverage could be the poster child for that movement. It could be perfect, but after a few sips you taste more sucralose than anything else, and what is the point of that? In a perfect world that wonderfully fruity guava flavor that greeted me would be accompanied by the slightest amount of cane sugar that would amplify it and not distract from it as the current sweetener is doing. There is a little pear flavor in here, but it is also lost in the mix. This has the potential to be wonderful, but it falls short. Bang wants us to be(somewhat) healthier, and I applaud them for that, but there just has to be another way to do it.

Website
http://www.vpxsports.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sucralose
Categories
Diet, Energy Drink
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on December 10th, 2018
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Red Bull Sugar Free The Lime Edition

Red Bull Sugar Free The Lime Edition

So picture this, I’m at the gym, attempting to improve my mental health and lost some of the vanilla pudding that has formed on my human frame as I have aged nearly into my fourth decade on this planet. I had just finished running a few miles on the treadmill and then began to use the weight lifting machines, when I notice that there are a pair of women walking around the gym with cooler backpacks handing out cans of Red Bull to people as they work out. First off, that is jut weird and kind of not acceptable. To me the gym is a place that you do not interact with people unless you are asking them if they are finished with a machine, or you are calling them out for being a creep and checking out other human people in their sweaty state. Secondly, you can bet your ass that as soon as I was done with a set of reps I approached them before they could approach me and I got a can from them. The interaction was inevitable, so I was proactive about it to get it over and of course I was going to take a free sample.

We have really slacked on Red Bull reviews because I had heard some unsavory things about the people who run the company, which ended up being not accurate upon doing some research. I was glad to give the newer flavors a try, especially when it was free. This though, was not what I wanted. I actually prefer the sugar free Red Bull to the original variety, and I was hoping this would go the same route. Unfortunately that was not the case. This is supposed to be limeade, but it was not like they added lime to a normal diet Red Bull. Instead it’s a new beast that just tastes like a tiny bit of lime mixed in with a whole lot of sucralose grossness. Here are my parting words for the company; Just add flavoring to your original base products for these “new” flavors, and teach your representatives what appropriate venues to hand out samples are. The way things are going I can only assume after the gym they were heading to a funeral to pass out samples.

Website
http://www.redbull.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sucralose
Categories
Diet, Energy Drink
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on October 10th, 2018
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Hydro One REVd Blueberry & Pomegranate

Hydro One REVd Blueberry & Pomegranate

When things clearly say “Sugar Free” on them it makes me nervous. Artificial sweeteners should be filed directly in the filth bin and natural zero calorie sweeteners, while slightly more palatable, are really no prize. Typically I would prefer zero added sweeteners to something with zero calories. Hydro One has things worked out that make their products exceptions though. The beverages are sweetened with a mixture of Xylitol and Stevia, but for some reason they don’t cut through the flavor of the drink like nearly every other “diet” beverage out there. I believe that reason is the addition of cinnamon. I don’t know if it just happens to fall in the same taste spectrum, but where I would normally taste any variety of diet flavors, all I really get is a faint cinnamon taste. I am really on board with that.

As with the other flavors, to me this is a better version of a diet Vitamin Water. There is definitely a water base, as it is not thick like juice. The blueberry and pomegranate are not super strong, but are there more than enough to give it a proper flavoring. Of course there is that cinnamon riding through it all as well. This is a good option for those watching their sugar or calorie intake.

Website
http://https://hydroonebeverages.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Xylitol
Categories
Diet, Sports/Dietary Supplement
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on October 1st, 2018
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Hydro One REVd Pineapple & Mango

Hydro One REVd Pineapple & Mango

What sits before me is a healthy sports drink that doesn’t taste like you are drinking the vat of chemicals that the Joker fell into. Sure, it has a slight diet edge to it, but it comes nowhere near the artificial taste of its contemporaries. Yes I know that their Bode line is their actual sports drink, but this is a beverage that falls under the same wheelhouse. If it makes you feel better, we can compare it to a Vitamin Water instead. Either way it has a great taste with zero sugar and zero calories. I believe their secret is that they have included a little cinnamon that really masks the stevia extract that is used to sweeten it. The cinnamon isn’t very strong, but what is there sits right where the diet flavor normally hits me.

I wanted to say that the pineapple mango aspect of it could just be listed as “tropical,” but once I separated the cinnamon I can make out both specific flavors. It was formulated to support diabetic health, but against all odds, it’s just plain tasty. I never thought I would ever find myself truly enjoying a zero calorie beverage of this sort, but here I am at 10am on Monday sipping away.

Website
http://https://hydroonebeverages.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Rebaudioside
Categories
Diet, Sports/Dietary Supplement
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 24th, 2018
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Coca-Cola Fiesty Cherry Diet

Coca-Cola Fiesty Cherry Diet

I'm a sucker for spice. Blame it on my Western New York upbringing. I've lost that part of me where I masochistically eat things that will burn my face off in exchange for flavor enhancement. Sue me. This tastes like a diet cherry Coke with (somehow) less "diet" taste and rewards you with a little bit of burn. I could be wrong but I burped while drinking this and it had a pretty distinct ginger beer burp flavor. I liked it. I drank the whole can. I rarely drink cola let alone diet cola but this is actually something I would revisit. I was told again and again to drink it cold. One would think that something was going to come out of the can, like a heat activated cola demon, if I let it get lukewarm. Little does he know that we Thirsty Dudes drinking warm pop all the time. There's not enough room in fridges nationwide to house the amount of drinks that we've had at one time in our heyday. Now, unfortunately, sadly, apathetically, Jay and I could probably contain our back stock in a college dorm room fridge and still have room for a cool, crisp can of Milwaukee's Best that we would never drink but you know goddamn well that Chad would drink it in a heartbeat. Chad. You're the worst. Don't even get me started on Chad. Chad sucks. We'll leave it at that.

Website
http://www.coca-cola.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Aspartame
Categories
Diet, Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on September 11th, 2018
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Monster Mutant White Lightning

Monster Mutant White Lightning

Monster apparently decided to dip its toe into the world of caffeinated sodas and I’m pretty sure we all missed it. The only time I have ever come across this in the wild has been in discount or discontinued sections. My reasoning for this is that Monster themselves helped to make such products obsolete. Energy drinks are so common place now that I can’t even tell you the last time I heard someone say that they were getting sleepy so they needed some caffeine and then have them grab a Mountain Dew. To be fair it seems like that particular company is doing just fine, but I believe that is because they are an institution and there is an extreme culture based around it. Even they have branched out into actual energy drinks though with Amp. I’m sure there are kids out there who I really hope aren’t drinking energy drinks, which would down bottle after bottle of this on sleepovers or video game binges. The sad thing is that it’s no longer out of the ordinary to see young teens downing cans of Monster, and yes, it always seems to be Monster with children.

As for the flavor is this, White Lightning is apparently code for really diet tasting. It reminds me of a diet version of Frosh by Faygo. I haven’t had that in probably 30 years so I could be way off, but that’s what my brain is putting together. It’s kind of citrus, but really just diet.

I just looked up the Mutant website and did a product search and apparently every 711 everywhere carries these, so perhaps I was wrong and it was financially sound for them to put out this product. Fans of mini marts everywhere just may be celebrating this as they sit on the curb with their nachos and chili dogs. I may in fact be that out of touch and perhaps we should just hang out Thirsty Dudes.

Website
http://www.monsterenergy.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sucralose
Categories
Diet, Energy Drink, Soda Pop
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on August 17th, 2018
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Protein2o Protein Infused Water Mixed Berry

Protein2o Protein Infused Water Mixed Berry

Welp, this should be a whole lotta grozzzz. Ingredients: water, whey protein isolate (milk), natural flavors, sucralose, dyes. So they have mixed together water, milk, a diet sweetener and “flavoring” (this contains 0% juice). That sounds horrendous, but luckily the end result isn’t too bad at all. It’s not creamy from the milk, it’s just a bit chalky, and the diet flavor is somewhat kept under wraps. A poor man’s explanation is that it is a protein based vitamin water, or so the taste would tell you, even though it contains no vitamins to speak of. I don’t hate it. I don’t love it. It’s simply there and it inoffensive, which is all I ask for sometimes. This is a beverage with an intended purpose and it fills that purpose swimmingly.

Website
http://www.drinkprotein2o.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sucre
Categories
Diet, Sports/Dietary Supplement
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on June 4th, 2018
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Kapoya Energy Drink Mango Passion Fruit

Kapoya Energy Drink Mango Passion Fruit

The following things are generally bad news for beverage companies. 1. Your products are found at Big Lots at a discounted rate (Say, oh I dunno… 33 cents per can). 2. You make beverages and us here at Thirsty Dudes have never heard of your company, and we are not 100% sure how to pronounce its name. 3. Your social media presence seems to have dried up (perhaps you haven’t made a post in nearly two years). If all three of these things ring true, then it’s more than likely that the company has folded and that once the shelves are clear I will never hear a word about the company again. In this case it’s kind of a shame because for some reason that I cannot understand I do not hate this companies products. They are diet energy drinks that rely on the natural side of things to provide said energy. It’s all B vitamins and caffeine in here. They are proud of the fact that they do not use taurine, but the strange thing is that energy drinks that do contain that specific ingredient tend to be the ones that taste like melted candy. Even without it each of these flavors taste like a melted Free-Z-Pop. Since the demise of this company seems to have already occurred, I’m going to pull a first time move here on Thirsty Dudes and just write one review and use it for all of the flavors, because I don’t think this is going to be much help to anyone looking to try something new, unless they see it immediately and rush to Big Lots before the space is swapped out for another doomed product.

Blue Raspberry: It’s a diet version of a flavor that doesn’t really exist in nature. Blue raspberries aren’t a real thing, so why do so many companies use it as a flavor? If you are reading this, chances are you know exactly what this flavor tastes like. Now just make that diet and you have what’s in this can.
Mango Passionfruit: This is the flavor that is probably closest to the fruits it’s meant to impersonate. It is ridiculously sweet. While there is no sugar in here there are loads of sucralose. This is the flavor I thought I would enjoy the most and while it’s perfectly serviceable I enjoyed the last one the most.

Wild Grape: You know how grapes taste? Do you also know how grape flavored things taste? Well this falls on the latter side of the divide. I don’t know why I really enjoy the taste of fake grape. I mean I love the real thing too, but sometimes on a nice hot day I just want a mouthful of fake grape. Maybe it has something to do with a childhood memory. Who knows? All I know is I enjoyed this more than I expected to, even in all its diet glory.

Finally, I don’t know if Kapoya just missed the Stevia train, but I feel like had these used it as their zero calorie sweetener they may have been able to get away with labeling these as “all natural” and I’m sure that would have helped to move more units for more than $.33 each.

Website
http://kapoyaenergy.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sucralose
Categories
Diet, Energy Drink
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on May 24th, 2018
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