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Mar 2, 2017
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Sleep is something we appreciate the older we get. We used to throw tantrums when our moms forced us as kids to take our afternoon naps. Now, we’d gladly give our appendix to be able to sleep at work after a heavy meal. Unfortunately, we have deadlines to meet, and we have no choice but to power through those soporific post-lunch hours from Monday to Friday.

If your needs are grave and coffee has no effect on you anymore, try heading to your nearest 24-hour convenience store for an energy drink—the caffeine and sugar in these fizzy beverages might just jolt you awake. Here’s a rundown of your options:

1) Red Bull (P75.00, 250ml)

Tagline: Vitalizes body and mind

"They say Red Bull will keep you up all day, but it didn't really give me any sort of energy boost,” says Mikey, 30. He does, however, recommend it for studying and other tasks that require bursts of concentration, saying the drink’s effect lasts for just around an hour for him. “It turns out coffee contains more than double the amount of caffeine compared to Red Bull, which explains why coffee hits me harder."

Rating: 3 out of 5 coffee cups

2) Lipovitan Energy Drink (P34.00, 100ml)

Tagline: Gets you going!

Shin, 23, describes this OG energy drink as more effective than coffee. “I didn’t get sleepy and I didn’t palpitate,” she says. She also liked how it tasted: “Maasim-asim, parang Red Bull.” A bottle should be enough to see you through a late night at the office or an intense cramming session.

Rating: 5 out of 5 coffee cups

3) Monster Energy (P90.00, 473ml)

Tagline: Unleash the beast!

This jumbo can of fizzy, sugary energy will make you feel like your eyelids are being propped up by toothpicks. “The hit felt like a sugar rush; I wasn't so much energetic as I was awake,” says Marco, 32. “Like, I didn't want to jump around or anything, but I'd probably have had a lot of trouble sleeping.” It’s excellent if you need to stay awake, but watch out for the inevitable crash: “The crash hit me really hard. I actually fell asleep at my desk for a few minutes,” he says. “I guess this is the sort of thing I'd look for if I need to pull an all-nighter on something, but only if I didn't have to go to work the day after.”

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Rating: 4 out of 5 coffee cups

4) Bacchus Energy Drink (P60.00, 250ml)

Tagline: Drive Your Energy!

There was a buy one take one promo for Bacchus’ Carbonated and Sugar Free versions, so we snapped that up. Score!

However, Chino, 29, really regretted trying Bacchus Sugar Free because it was a bit too effective on him: “Right now, it feels like I'm about to cough up my heart, my hands are shaking, I'm sweating, and I can't seem to focus.” However, he also admits that his tolerance for energy drinks is on the low side, so it could very well be a case of “it’s not you, it’s me.”

On the other hand, Yna, 30, reported that the Carbonated version didn’t make her feel extraordinarily awake. “At first, I felt the sugar kicking in, but after a few minutes, I think I’m sleepier than before I drank it,” she recalls. She was also amused by the drink’s taste. “Is this really an energy drink? More like Tiki-Tiki for adults ‘cause it smells and tastes like it.”

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 coffee cups

5) Black Mamba Energy Drink (P38.00, 235ml)

Tagline: Buhay na buhay ka!

It was 30-year-old Marlon’s first time to try Black Mamba, and he found it a bit underwhelming. He felt awake enough, though he wasn’t tired when he drank it. He also didn’t feel any caffeine-induced side effects such as palpitations. “It felt like I was just drinking a regular carbonated beverage,” he said. “Baka hindi rin ganoon kalakas ‘yung drink, sakto lang.” For this man, coffee still reigns supreme.

Rating: 3 out of 5 coffee cups

6) Blu Energy Drink (P70.00, 250ml)

Tagline: Blu 4 Life

Blu is the ultimate jack-of-all-trades in the energy drink arena. On the can, it’s described as “a study partner of students, a driving companion on the road, a drinking buddy for clubbers, an energy boost for the weary worker, a thirst quencher for the insatiable explorer, a healthy energy drink for the youthful and fearless athletes but not superhuman.” WHEW. This drink set such high standards for itself, we’re not surprised that Denice, 32, was unimpressed. “It didn’t really make me jittery or anything,” she recalls. “At most, it just made me want to pee.” Consider this a lesson on goal-setting, guys.

Rating: 2 out of 5 coffee cups

7) Sting Energy Drink (P21.00, 330ml)

Tagline: Ang kampeon, bumabangon!

This is the energy drink Manny Pacquiao advertises, so we’re expecting remarkable results from this drink. Nic, 31, can confirm its anti-antok properties: “nakainom na din ako ng Sting ‘nung may event kami at nakakagising din siya,” he recalls. You can count on this if you’re desperate to keep your eyes open—it’s a staple for people on the night shift for a reason.

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Rating: 4 out of 5 coffee cups

8) Cobra Energy Drink (P23.00 for the regular Cobra and P25.00 for Cobra Plus, 350ml)

Tagline: Tunay na lakas!

We picked up the classic yellow-orange Cobra, as well as one of the fortified Cobra Plus variants. Rey, 29, wasn’t really impressed by the classic version. “Walang energy rush,” he said, adding that maybe it would be more effective if the reader sips on Cobra while actually sweating it out. “Siguro kasi pag sinabi mong energy drink, kailangan nagwo-work out ka din para magamit yung energy sa drink,” he said.

Aside from the OG Cobra, we also picked up a bottle of Cobra Plus Defense, which is supposedly packed with vitamins and minerals to boost your performance. It seems like this variant is better at keeping people awake: “Immediately [after drinking] nagstart na ‘yung sugar rush. As in kaagad. I felt extra energetic,” Jerome, 25, said. The crash, however, was also just as spectacular. “I felt the crash suddenly after about 20 minutes of finishing the bottle, and way after I felt super sleepy.”

Rating: 3 out of 5 coffee cups

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