Most Underrated Energy Drinks for 2021
Welcome one, welcome all to another inaugural Caffeine Shark blog post that we plan to put out yearly moving forward. This time we’ve got the Most Underrated Energy Drinks for 2021 hand-picked for you by your favorite self-proclaimed energy drinks experts - The Sharks.
For Caffeine Shark’s Top Rated Energy Drinks of 2021, which also includes a criminally underrated drink or two, click here.
TL;DR: Adrenaline Shoc Accelerator Cherry Limeade, Bucked Up Blood Raz, and Uptime Original Citrus Sugar Free are Caffeine Shark's picks for most underrated energy drinks of 2021.
Jared: Adrenaline Shoc Accelerator Cherry Limeade
Underrated can definitely mean different things to different people; it’s something that’s in the eyes of the beholder. To me, it means flying under the radar. Something that people aren’t even rating. Maybe that’s the person who’s always rooting for the underdog in me.
And in the energy drink world, the brand that’s flying way too far under the radar for how delicious and expansive their lineup is, has to be Adrenaline Shoc.
Launched in 2019 as the brainchild of serial beverage innovator Lance Collins—who is also behind FUZE, NOS, Body Armor, and Core Hydration—and Keurig Dr. Pepper as the marketer and distributor, has quietly been building up quite a stable of drinks.
Under their main line they’ve got flavors like Watermelon, Shoc Wave, Fruit Punch, Sour Candy, and Acai Berry. And under their new, health and fitness focused line Accelerator, they’ve got the drink that I want to talk about as the most underrated drink for 2021, Adrenaline Shoc Accelerator Cherry Limeade.
To quote from my personal review of the drink:
There are a ton of Cherry Limeade drinks on the market so I'll try to provide some good comparisons. Unlike the main Adrenaline Shoc line, this drink isn't bitter, despite having an easy path to making it bitter with the limeade half of the drink. It's really smooth and the cherry and limeade both come in strong, which is more than I can say for Reign Cherry Limeade. I described that drink's taste as a "cherry tootsie pop", where the limeade is not distinct.
Despite not being as flashy, the can is still pretty cool. Accelerator trades the mono-color background for a white/red/black color scheme with clean lines. On the top of the can it advertises zero sugar, ocean mineral electrolytes (sounds real enough), and "accelerates metabolism". Side of the can references "EGCG Green Tea". Which TIL stands for epigallocatechin gallate... cool.
I love Adrenaline Shoc's new Accelerator line at a high level; lower caffeine, not as bitter (translating to higher re-drinkability imo), smooth taste, and catering to the natural energy health & fitness crowd. Cherry Limeade is pretty basic/mainstream, so I'm excited to try Orange Mango and Island Guava which sound delicious.
Cameron: Bucked Up Blood Raz
The answer is simple. The most underrated energy drink is Bucked Up Blood Raz. Nobody talks about it, nobody knows about it, and it is one of my top 5 rated energy drinks of all time.
I rated Bucked Up Blood Raz a 9.3 overall with a 9.4 kick and 9.2 taste. It is absolutely delicious and really gets you going. The red raspberry taste is unique for an energy drink, and it does not taste too artificial despite having zero calories. The only place I have seen this out and about is within a GNC, but I am hoping it will make it to the mainstream shelves one day.
Bucked Up was originally created as a preworkout supplement. Because the primary form of Bucked Up is a powder, it is unlikely to ever really become a mainstream brand or find its way into your local convenience store.
Another reason that this product will likely not find the shelves is because it contains small amounts of deer antler velvet. IGF-1, or an insulin-like growth factor banned by the NFL, Anti-Doping Agencies, and many others, is found in this energy drink. While not illegal or necessarily harmful, there is a reason it is not more common.
While the FDA suggests that people sensitive to caffeine should avoid this type of energy drink in general, and Web MD suggests that people avoiding testosterone, progesterone, or estrogen should also avoid deer velvet, this is still a delicious energy drink with one hell of a kick. If you are healthy enough to consume Bucked Up Blood Raz responsibly, then I guarantee that you will enjoy this beverage.
If you want to read more about it, you can find my full review here.
Matt: Uptime Original Citrus Sugar Free
This drink’s Shark Score of 93 may indicate a winner, but that doesn’t mean that the drink is fully appreciated. Uptime is not a well known brand, and may get passed upon as a result. I have put multiple friends onto the drink, with great success!
I enjoy all Uptimes, though Original Citrus Sugar Free is the standout. My review noted that it “tastes like soda from the fountain that just got reloaded with syrup.” If you like a crisp Sprite, you cannot go wrong here. For those with a sweet tooth, Original Citrus Cane Sugar provides the sweetness you crave while maintaining the crispness of the Sugar Free version.
Feel free to try out the other flavors we’ve reviewed, including Blueberry Pomegranate and Blood Orange. If you’re feeling adventurous, go out and try Uptime’s newest flavors Raspberry Lemon and Sweet Summer Melon. Let us know what you think and if you would like a review here.