Fission Fuel Kit Full Review: Gimmick? Or a True Replacement for Canned Energy Drinks?
If you're like me, you might be getting bored of the energy drink scene. Red Bull, Rockstar, and Monster seemed cool at first, but the allure ran out after a few years. Luckily, new challengers entered the arena! Reign, Adrenaline Shoc, Celsius, and Bang came along and spiced things up with novelty flavors and crazy caffeine content.
But now you're thinking - what's next? How many more desserts can Bang turn into energy drinks? How many summer, winter, and color editions can Red Bull come up with before running out of ideas.
Enter the Fission Fuel Kit. Designed to be cheaper, more customizable, and tastier than the status quo, with adaptogens, antioxidants, and BCAAs for nutrition; Fission is not your mother's energy drink.
Photo courtesy of Fission.
So what makes Fission so unique? Well first, it's not sold in a can. When you order a starter set, available in a plastic or metal bottle configuration, they ship you the bottle, cartridge, and flavor packets to start.
This setup allows you to seamlessly switch between water and caffeine, while maintaining the integrity and cleanliness of the bottle since the flavor never actually enters, remaining in the cartridge. Using the Cirkul system, you can toggle between 0 (water) and 10 (full blast) of the inserted flavor.
Alright, Jared. Fission sounds cool. But what are the flavors? Well internet stranger, I ordered the starter pack, so you'll have to keep reading for my full review of each flavor in the pack. You might think I'm kidding, but these flavors are very, very real.
Florida Man, Blue Magic, and Nocturnal.
Send It, Jackpot, and E.T.
Ordering the Fuel Kit
Available on the site are two versions of the Fuel Kit - Plastic Bottle Kit and Metal Bottle Kit. The only difference is the bottle included in the package, so I decided to cheap out and go for the plastic bottle. The kits are $35 and $50 respectively.
I submitted the order, through the DrinkFission.com website, on Oct 30 and immediately received a confirmation email with an estimated delivery date of Nov 3 - Nov 8. Not a bad turnaround.
Unfortunately, my order was delayed a couple of days and I actually received the Fission package on November 10. I don't know if Fission or DHL is to blame, but the slow shipping is good to keep in mind in case you're expecting immediate gratification. I selected the free shipping option, but Fission does offer an expedited option for the less patient consumer.
Simple, black box with the nifty Fission logo.
Open the box to a description of the energy blend and each flavor. Caution tape opens to the 4 flavor capsules.
Keep in mind: each flavor capsule has a dial from 0-10, with 0 being just water, 1 being just a hint, and 10 being sensation overload.
Florida Man - 7.8
Florida Man doesn't quite live up to its chaotic name, but that doesn't mean it's not an excellent flavor. At 4 or 5 strength, the juicy and vibrant orange taste comes through really nicely. 1 strength tastes like what you'd expect from Le Croix, with just a hint of orange flavor. 10 tastes like squirting orange Mio Energy directly into your mouth - would not recommend.
Blue Magic - 8.4
In contrast to my first flavor, Florida Man, this one does live up to its name. Think of the best artificial blue raspberry taste you can think of; light blue Gatorade, blue Gushers, blue Kool-Aid - you get the idea. This is up there with the best. At 1 it's a hint of blue raspberry, which I don't like as much as the Florida Man 1. At 5 it's really sweet. I can't imagine drinking consistently above this. At 10 it's like drinking syrup straight from the fountain.
Nocturnal - 5.5
Not the best, but I fully admit that it might be because grape is one of my least favorite artificial flavors. And for the record it does taste really artificial. Just like the others, 1 is extremely light and 10 is an absolute blast of flavor. I enjoyed 3 the most - and consistently keeping it that low made it last significantly longer than any of the others.
Send It - 7.0
Send It, aka Fruit Punch, slots in nicely at third overall to round out the Fuel Kit flavors. As usual, 10 is insane, but I found myself drinking this one at 4, 5, and even 6 at a higher frequency than the others. Since this is the last one I drank, maybe I became desensitized to the Cirkul system and needed my fix. Kidding... maybe.
Random Thoughts After Finishing the Fuel Kit
The plastic bottle feels high quality, despite not springing for the metal bottle fuel kit variant. The bottle itself is sturdy, and the proprietary Cirkul cap seems like it's made from premium materials.
I'm impressed with the Cirkul system. There's a quick hint of the flavor pack when you switch the dial back to water, but that's a minor gripe that should be expected.
I thoroughly enjoy the flexibility to rapidly swap between water and Fission. To me, that's the clear competitive advantage over an alternative like Mio Energy.
Their marketing around keeping a clean water bottle is a key advantage as well. Not actually having the Fission formula go into the bottle itself should make cleaning it a breeze.
When I inserted my first flavor, Florida Man, I actually didn't think about how each Cirkul capsule comes with its own drinking nozzle. Another added hygiene/cleanliness benefit.
The flavor capsules lasted between 3-5 days each for me, toggling between water and power levels 3-6 intermittently, depending on how I was feeling. This seems to check out with Fission's advertising of each capsule being the equivalent of 4 energy drinks.
I'm usually good about drinking water, but with Fission I was even better. Always having the Fuel Kit bottle around made it so easy to hydrate, while not needing to have the internal debate of when and where to crack open an energy drink can.
Energy Blend Analysis
By Caffeine Shark's Cameron Copeland
The four main ingredients listed on the front of the packets are antioxidants, caffeine, BCAA’s, and adaptogens. All except adaptogens are common in most energy drinks. Taurine is an antioxidant found in Red Bull, Rockstar, Monster, and almost every other energy drink you have tried before. Leucine is a common BCAA, and caffeine content is listed on the side of every energy drink.
Fission actually has fewer B-vitamins than most other energy drinks, and replicates most of its other ingredients. It also has a slightly lower caffeine content than most with each packet only having 139mg per serving. That said, there are two ingredients that really make it stand out from others – Panax Ginseng and Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine.
Panax Ginseng is an adaptogen, while Alpha-GPC is considered a nootropic. Adaptogens are herbs that help the body adapt to stress physiologically, while nootropics are compounds that supposedly enhance cognition. While they may sound different, they both essentially help with stress, memory, and focus (much like caffeine, which is also a nootropic).
Looking at the long list of scary-sounding ingredients in an energy drink can be intimidating, especially when you have never heard of any of them other than caffeine. Just know this – the only ingredients different from most other energy drinks are Panax Ginseng and Alpha-GPC, both of which are safe and theoretically help with stress, memory, and brain function. If you are looking for something new and exciting to try, then the Fission Fuel Kit may just fulfill your desire to feel something slightly different from your every-day energy drink.
To put it succinctly, I highly recommend the Fission Fuel Kit. The sheer number of pros is impressive; including the versatility to switch between water and caffeine, fun and tasty flavors with an average score of 7.2, bang for your buck, and inherently making it easy to keep a clean bottle.
My only gripes with the experience were slow shipping, which could have been a one-off problem, and the fact that the flavors were simple and predictable, despite having amazingly creative names. I'm looking forward to ordering refills to at the very least try the two flavors that weren't included in the fuel kit, and I think there's potential for Fission to come out with new and creative ones as time goes on.
If you want to try the Fission Fuel Kit and Cirkul System for yourself, visit their website at DrinkFission.com and let me know what you think!
Note: I kept this review to just what's contained in the Fuel Kit, but I think it's worth noting that replacement capsules are $4 each with free shipping. I'll be ordering Jackpot and E.T., the flavors I haven't had, and posting about them either on the site or on Twitter @csharkofficial.