Tab Tries: Energy Drinks

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

blue bolt cafe energy energy drinks korean doctor monster pussy revision Sainsbury's

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.