Tab Tries: Energy Drinks

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Who needs sleep when you've got Pussy? The Tab offers an essential exam-term guide to energy drinks.

I’ve heard people (lazy people) say that the key to exam term is getting enough sleep. They are wrong. The key to exam term is stimulants, five times a day.

We at The Tab have had our writers put their health at risk and sample a whole smorgasbord of energy drinks for your benefit. Regrettably we couldn’t find any ‘Powerthirst‘ but we did manage to dredge up some pretty gnarly stuff.


Blue Bolt by Sainsbury’s – Nick Sinclair

Cost: 50p a can

Rating: 3/10

Bouquet: The poor man’s red bull, you would be ill advised to have a go at sniffing blue bolt. I can only describe the smell as ‘morning after sleeping bag’ when you’ve been at the vodka Red Bulls the night before and have been sweating concentrated taurine through the night.

Body:  In the cold light of day Blue Bolt looks like your urine on the third day of Reading fest: heavily dehydrated and stale. It doesn’t really taste of anything; perhaps there’s a hint of sherbet or a giant urinal mint, but mostly it’s just sugar.

Effect: With 27.3 g of sugar all I wanted to do was brush my teeth immediately after drinking the stuff, before my mouth became a bloody mess of corroded stumps.


Relentless (Apple and Kiwi Flavour) – Laura Grayling 

Cost: a 500ml can costs  £1 on the current Sainsburys’ deal.

Rating: 6/10

Bouquet: My first thought was chemistry experiment on grounds of the overpowering scent of chemicals. It resembles a cleaning product rather than a beverage.

Body: Here lies its redeeming feature – that is if you’ve ever craved a pulverised pick and mix. Think skittles and sour laces rolled in into one tantalising turquoise can. It would appeal to anyone whose taste buds haven’t left the playground.

Effect: Slightly elevated heart beat and the feeling you (hopefully) haven’t experienced since the age of 12 of having utterly gorged yourself on sugar. Relentless is a sweet shop in canned form, so my first instinct was to regress back into childhood and build a fort. This may not be productive for revision.


Pussy – Harry Shukman

Rating: 3/10


Bouquet: Imagine the smell of heavily-cleaned institution toilets and you’re close.

Body: The makers have muffed the taste. The milk thistle, schizandra and siberian ginseng combine for a clammy taste and a follow-up kick of fruits de mer.

Effect: Pussy is marketed as a 100% natural energy drink with interesting herbs and stimulating taste. I drank a few Pussies in the library like the smug bastard that I am. I didn’t notice much effect other than a smelly aftertaste. The Tab received a free sample of Pussy, but I definitely wouldn’t pay for it. Don’t judge books by their covers or Pussies by their cans.


Monster – Poppy Damon

Rating: 7/10

Cost: £1.39

Body: A full bodied citrus experience, which leaves a distinctly medicinal aftertaste.

Bouquet: Inhaling the delectable syrup through my nose was much like clearing the nostrils with a very strong kitchen cleaner: strangely refreshing if not potentially fatal.

Effect: After checking out its website boasting 90s images of skaters and personalities such as ‘Wee man’, I was not expecting great things. But this drink is not monstrously overpriced and is surprisingly delicious. I certainly wasn’t doing any ‘Ollies’ or ‘sweet jumps’ on my inline skates whilst wearing a Blink182 T-shirt, as the website would suggest, but I was probably more awake than I was before I had consumed the juicy nectar.


OKF Alcohol Doctor Hangover Tea, Alcohol Solution Drink 86 System Natural – Tom Bateman

Cost: £1.18

Rating: 3/10 (to recognise the audacity of making an onion-flavoured drink)

Bouquet: Journeying to the Korean shop on Mill Road, I discovered ‘Alcohol Doctor’, an incredible drink from the Orient that promises to combat the effects of over-indulgence by harnessing the awesome power of ’18 kinds fruits and vegetable’. When it transpired that the vegetable was onion, I knew I had to try it. The aroma that greeted me upon opening the can was one of mixed appeal. While I accept that for some the combination of Red Bull and compost will excite the senses, all it did for me was trigger my gag reflex, and not in a good way.

Body:   Unfortunately it just looked and tasted like a glass of muddy piss.

Effect: I can’t say I felt particularly energised after drinking my can of ‘Alcohol Doctor’. Maybe it was my fault, I probably ought to have been drunk for it to work as advertised. Perhaps I simply never got over the small print on the can that said ‘Oral Toxicity Analysis Certified’.

Hopefully our brave testers have informed your decision on which energy drink you want to have diffusing from your pores for the next month. Now, pick up a multipack and hunker down. Exams are coming.

  • Matty McBroide

    Plentay o'pussay down donegal way!
    Shagging girls, shagging girls, shagging shagging girls
    na na na na na na na na na na na na

  • More please

    This is great!

  • Red Bull

    I just… feel… so left out… :'(

    • Mountain Dew

      I know that feel bro.

      • Pro Plus tablets

        it's basically racism

  • and you didn't

    try red bull or coffee because…?

    • Gideon

      because they're boring.

  • This one time,

    at band camp, I put my Pussy in a flute.

  • EDC

    terrible effort, didn't even sample all of Sainsbury's range. The true connoisseur knows that Rockstar original is the way to go pre-exam, but for high value during revision KX of tesco (formerly kick) is the way to go.

    Fot those looking for a better taste and a touch of sophistication, may i recommend neurosonic or neurosport.

    if you really need it, try a crippled horse energy drink:

  • On a serious note

    Does anyone know where to get ritalin in this town? I can’t find any anywhere…

  • sleepy student

    I shouldn't be reading this. I should be working. Hmm maybe I'll have a cup of coffee or a maybeee.. a can of redbull… OH no. Wait. YOU DIDN'T INCLUDE THEM!

  • Adam Turner

    I am doing a man vs monster challenge, the Cambridge exam term equivalent of man vs booze. So glad that its the best one. Like this if you want me to post it on youtube!!! #mvm

  • Hollie Gilbertson

    Oh no not Adam Turner…He is a Monster!!!

  • Ollie Wolf

    I second that. Can't wait to get my hands on him

  • Ella

    The blue zero carb Rockstar is the way forward, but I have never been able to find it in the UK, only the US. I don't know if this is due to the ingredients being illegal here (yerba mate and guarana), or because the caffeine content is so high – anyone know? It's the best thing I've found to keep you awake.

    • The Dars Express

      You have never been to the Dars Express then! Your friendly local convenience store on Regent Street.

      • The home of


      • Ella

        Legend, thank you.

  • Spectator

    Rockstar Exdurance is pretty good…if you like really artificial explosions of Acai

  • The key point being:

    Don't judge pussies by their cans.

    Terrific advice, but tough to practice in the library.

    • this guy

      gets it.

  • blue zero

    tastes damn similar to red bull, only 50p

  • Troll

    Groundbreaking journalism! Next, Tab Tries: Writing

  • Seriously though

    where can I get ritalin in this town? I can't find any anywhere!

  • This sounds helpful!

    Oh.. I really wish the reviews actually mentioned their relative caffeine content/ energy giving properties… If I wanted them for the taste I'd just drink my own pee.

  • Try better chems

    Modafinil milkshakes- yummy.

  • The question is

    how do you know what piss tastes like?

  • Muhammad Jaffer

    You wasted five people's time to provide information I could've told you in 30secs. Undench.

    • rumour has it

      you have the power to weight ratio of a small car?

  • Chemist

    "My first thought was chemistry experiment on grounds of the overpowering scent of chemicals."

    Chemicals, you say? Top journalism there.

  • Anonymous

    This guy is a clown!! He’s a Hate the world..

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