Forget Red Bull, I need a stronger stimulant

“Editor’s Note: This column is to be read in a fast-paced, jittery voice. Do not pause between sentences. In an attempt to figure the best caffeine source for students ready to pull an all-nighter, I tried something new: Cocaine. It was frickin’ awesome! I’m talking about the Cocaine Energy Drink, of course.”

Editor’s Note: This column is to be read in a fast-paced, jittery voice. Do not pause between sentences.

In an attempt to figure the best caffeine source for students ready to pull an all-nighter, I tried something new:

Cocaine.

It was frickin’ awesome!

I’m talking about the Cocaine Energy Drink, of course.

Sheesh.

Red Bull just wasn’t cutting it anymore. Nor were any of the other energy drinks.

Cocaine is not easy to find, but I happened upon it at the Glenwood Avenue Marathon gas station. I spotted three cans and bought them all.

Cocaine supposedly has the highest energy content of ANY energy drink on the market today; a hard-to-believe 350 percent greater than The Bull. Wow!

With respect to caffeine, the drink exceeds a Starbucks Grande coffee, with about 32 grams of caffeine per ounce.

The thing about Cocaine, though, is it claims to not make users crash.

OK, I realize that totally sounds like I’m talking about the drug. I’m not, I swear.

This Cocaine claims that it doesn’t bring about the typical energy drink crash because it contains dextrose.

Better yet, it does not have high fructose corn syrup. And it only has 70 calories and 18 grams of sugar! And 280 mg. of caffeine. Sweet!

Cocaine is good (really, really, really, really good!) as far as energy goes. I drank one at lunchtime and was still going strong through the early evening.

But the taste? Oof. For about a second, it tastes kinda fruity. When you swallow it, though, it feels like it’s eating through the lining of your throat. In fact, after drinking about half of the 8-ounce can, I had to force the rest down. I did, of course.

Red Bull, which has set the standard for energy drinks, is a proud supporter of caffeine. It claims that caffeine stimulates fat-burning which uses] fat stores in the body.

Its Web site claims that the caffeine content in Red Bull is equivalent to a cup of coffee, about 150 mg.

An 8-ounce can of Red Bull has all of 80 mg. Say what?

College students need more caffeine than that, but how much is too much?

It is recommended that people not exceed 250 mg. of caffeine per day. That’s the equivalent of two and a half cups of coffee.

Of course we’re not talking Starbucks coffee, which has approximately 280 mg in a 12-ounce serving.

According to the American Heart Association Web site, caffeine releases free fatty acids from adipose (fatty) tissue. That sounds good.

The Manhattan College newspaper, the Quadrangle, did a story on energy drinks, specifically caffeine.

People with caffeine addictions can suffer withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, headaches and nausea. Fabulous!

The story went on to state that caffeine raises blood pressure and heart rate, causes dehydration and increased anxiety levels.

In the old days, people took NoDoz. However, it doesn’t seem to be cool these days. Each tablet contains 200 mg of caffeine. A bottle of 16 will run you about $3.99, a bottle of 60 about $7.99.

NoDoz is a hell of a lot cheaper than an energy drink that runs about $2. Of course, you don’t get any vitamins or minerals in NoDoz, so it’s a tradeoff.

Keep in mind, a 19-year-old Connecticut man died of caffeine toxicity after taking 24 NoDoz tablets, so caffeine isn’t exactly harmless.

While Googling energy drinks, I found a recipe for a concoction called Liquid Productivity. It involves two crushed NoDoz tablets, two tea bags and a load of sugar.

My head almost exploded just from reading it. We’re talking 500 or so mg of caffeine in an 8-ounce drink. Yowza!

But am I willing to try it?

No. Not yet, anyway.

If you can get your work done without the aid of caffeine, that’s probably best. But can college students do so without the caffeine crutch? Not often.

I went through a plethora of energy drinks before I turned to Cocaine. I like to call them the gateway energy drinks.

I tried Vault. Once. A 20-ounce bottle has 290 calories (ouch), 78 grams of sugars (yikes) and 47 mg. of caffeine per 8 ounces. Which is … 117.5 mg. of caffeine. Good Lord. That won’t help anyone.

Ever heard of Coolah Energy? Neither had I, so I tried that, too.

It has some vitamins, though not as many as other energy drinks. It’s also full of sugar. Great!

Apparently, Coolah actually refreshes while delivering a full energy replenishment. We’ll see.

It only has 150 mg. of caffeine. Lamesville.

I gave Rockstar a shot, too. It has 260 calories and an energy blend of eight ingredients. One of those is caffeine, to the tune of 160 mg., though it also contains a full range of B vitamins.

The 8-ounce SoBe Adrenaline Rush has 79 mg. of caffeine, putting it on par with Red Bull. The SoBe No Fear, which is 16 ounces, has 158. Full Throttle? 144 mg. in 16 ounces.

The 6.5-ounce Starbucks Double Shot has 130 mg. of caffeine, a combination of espresso and cream. And it’s delicious.

But, the bottom line is, after trying Cocaine, no other energy drink measures up.

EnergyFiend.com has a tool that calculates how much energy drink it takes to kill you.

Awesome!

It would take 128 cans of Red Bull to kill someone who weighed 150 pounds, but only 36.56 cans of Cocaine.

It’s official. For college students who want to be more efficient, Cocaine is the way to go.

Editor’s note: Kristin has chugged a near-lethal amount of energy drinks during the last four days. The binge resulted in the excessive length of this column. Sorry.