RAW Energy Drink


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Review by Mike Rickard II

"It seemed natural and human. In my eyes it bore a livelier image of the spirit, it seemed more express and single, than the imperfect and divided countenance I had been hitherto accustomed to call mine." - The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Elixirs, tonics, and other so-called cure-alls are as old as medicine itself. Back in the days when doctors had far fewer legitimate medicines to treat illnesses, there was a great demand for products which claimed to provide relief for whatever medical condition ailed you. Concoctions like Clark Stanley’s Snake Oil, Bonnore's Electro Magnetic Bathing Fluid, Dr. Kilmer’s Snake Root, and many, many others promised to cure every medical condition known to man. Peddlers of these supposed cure-alls boasted that they contained special ingredients that would relieve various ailments. The reality was that these mixtures typically contained alcohol, stimulants, or narcotics which offered a temporary feeling of relief without doing anything to cure the actual problem. In the worst cases, the tonics contained toxic ingredients which could be worse than the problem being treated.

It was only a matter of time however before the ever growing pile of corpses met a slow news day and the press began attacking the snake oil peddlers. Eventually the government got involved and regulations were passed governing what went into the various curatives. A quick look at some of the items on your local pharmacy’s shelves may make you wonder if the days of snake oil salesmen are truly behind us. Even today, there are all sorts of products making unsubstantiated claims that they can provide relief from various ailments. For example, garlic products are touted as promoting cardiovascular health The only difference from the elixirs of yesteryear is that products are forced by the government to place warnings on them that “these claims made have not been verified”. Recall not too long ago when diet drugs were marketed with the ingredient ephedra. After the Food and Drug Administration attributed over 150 deaths to ephedra, the all natural ingredient came under scrutiny and certain products containing ephedra were banned. In the end, it’s wise to heed the warning caveat emptor whenever you deal with products touting unverified claims about boosting your health and well-being.

As you read this you may be asking yourself what in the world has this got to do with wrestling? As a public service to its millions of dedicated readers (and as part of my court mandated community service obligations), Derek “The Dean” Burgan has commissioned a study of the WWE’s latest entry into the world of nutrition. Ladies and gentlemen I present to you the latest WWE licensed product, the Raw Energy Fuel Cell.

Longtime fans of the WWE will recall that isn’t the first health product licensed by Vince McMahon. Who can forget Vince McMahon’s World Bodybuilding Federation (WBF) and his IcoPro nutrition supplement that offered to build wrestler-like bodies (apparently without the painful injections typically associated with them). Give Vince McMahon credit. If there is a dollar to be made, he is there. The XFL may have failed but by hook or by crook, he wasn’t afraid to try. Vince McMahon’s zeal to attach the WWE name to products is unmatched by all save Krusty the Klown. Much like Krusty’s products, quality is not always job one when it comes to the items licensed by the WWE. A visit to R.D. Reynolds Wrestlecrap site has many a WWE product spotlighted in its Somebody Bought This? Section. .

Energy drinks are an interesting hybrid of soft drinks and stimulants. They are marketed at youth and offer the pick me up of coffee with the flavor of soft drinks. Typically, energy drinks offer a blend of straight up caffeine and/or an herbal product which is said to provide energy and alertness. Many of these drinks also contain vitamins and minerals which are said to provide energy as well.

Without question, the most popular energy drink on the market is Red Bull. Ever since its introduction to the soft drink market in 1984, Red Bull has made quite the impact, becoming a worldwide sensation. It originated in Austria, modeled after a Thai soft drink, and it is now sold around the globe. Wrestling fans have probably seen its commercials (which feature animated characters promoting how Red Bull “gives them wings”) on RAW or Smackdown. The success of Red Bull has spawned many competitors such as Amp, Monster, Rockstar, YJ Stinger, and many others but Red Bull has remained at the head of the pack with a commanding 70% share of the energy drink market.

Now, in an attempt to follow in the extremely successful steps of Red Bull’s Dietrich Mateschitz, Vince has produced WWE RAW Energy Cell, the latest addition to the already glutted energy drink market. An advertisement on a Canadian nutrition products website describes the drink as a “great tasting, refreshing alternative to traditional energy drinks. Produced with natural ingredients enhanced by Guarana and bursting with flavor. This unique "Great Tasting Energy" will provide you with an added boost when you need it most.” (www.sportsnutritioncanada.com/shop/item787.htm)

Right away you know it’s a WWE product because it’s quick to insult the intelligence of its users. Energy drinks will usually list the ingredients they promote as aiding in your health. For example Red Bull contains B vitamins. WWE Fuel Cell touts that wonder drug that works wonders, glucose. Only Vince McMahon would dare to hype glucose by describing it as “your brain’s natural energy source” (especially when you consider that the glucose hyped is actually a glucose-fructose hybrid) I’m surprised he didn’t tout that amazing ingredient water as well. Rounding things out is the ingredient that provides the energy boost, - guarana, a berry which contains caffeine.

When sizing up energy drinks, there seems to be two criteria: 1) How does it taste, and 2) How cool does the container look? In an effort to give RAW Energy Fuel Cell a fair shake, I tried three other energy drinks including the industry leader Red Bull along with competitors Monster and Rockstar Here are my assessments. Please note that this study was as statistically accurate as the WWE Babe of the Year voting and that I was too cheap to hire an independent auditor.

First off, I tried the Raw Energy Fuel Cell. The 11.1 oz. drink set me back $1.99. Opening the bottle, I was taken back by what seemed like a mix of ass and soda. Hesitant to drink it, I passed it off to a friend without warning him of the odorous emanations arising from the bottle. He drank it without any immediate ill effects so I tried it. Like watching a JBL/Big Show match, I was pleasantly surprised. The drink had a flavor very similar to Grape Crush soda pop. Even better, there was no aftertaste. The only problem with the taste was that it was very sugary and the heaviest of all the energy drinks sampled. Poseurs be warned, aesthetically speaking, the container looks like a soda pop container rather than one of the trendy cans like Red Bull. If this was done to make the WWE product distinctive then it did the job. Unfortunately it is distinctive in that it looks like a sex toy.

The next day I decided to sample Red Bull. I couldn’t believe how small the can was considering it costs $1.99 a can. I sipped the Red Bull and was very impressed with the taste. It had a light sweet flavor with a tint of salt. The taste is hard to describe and people seem to either love it or despise it. The can has a distinctive shape and a neat combination of colors (red, blue, and silver). Of all the energy drinks I sampled, Red Bull had the most notable effect on me. I felt energetic but not on edge and my mental acuity did seem to be improved. I didn’t feel any hangover like I sometimes get when drinking too much coffee.

Rockstar Energy Drink was next on my list. It comes in a 16 oz. can which makes the $1.99 price a little easier to swallow. It had a nice fruity taste but it wasn’t overpowering or heavy like WWE Fuel Cell. There was absolutely no aftertaste to it. The black can looked like a shaped like a beer can (only a bit taller) and had a neat glam rock motif.

Finishing things up, I tried Monster Energy. Like Rockstar, it came in a black 16 oz. can and sold for $1.99. Taste wise, I thought Monster and Rockstar were the same except that Monster had a terrible aftertaste. It was really noticeable and quite disgusting. The can had a gothic look to it but the only thing that stuck in my mind was how disgusting the aftertaste was.

Of all the drinks I tried, Red Bull was way ahead of the pack. I liked the flavor, it wasn’t heavy, and it gave me a noticeable burst of energy and mental acuity without leaving me feeling jittery or hung-over after it had worn off. As an energy drink, I think Raw Energy Fuel Cell is just too sugary and too heavy plus there’s not much ingredients-wise when it comes to substances purported to boost energy. Rockstar and Monster have a lot more of the energizing ingredients and aren’t quite as sugary but Monster’s aftertaste makes it a sure thing to avoid.

The bottom line is that the Raw Energy Fuel Cell is nothing special. As an energy drink it doesn’t seem to match up either in flavor or ingredients. It’s more like a soda pop than an energy drink but who wants to pay two dollars for an eight ounce bottle of cup? Except for the novelty of trying it, I can’t think of any reason to pay for the WWE’s energy drink.


RAW Energy Fuel Cell


Rockstar Energy Drink




Red Bull Energy Drink

Can Size

330 ml
(11.15 oz)

16 oz.

16 oz.

8.3 oz

Ingredients per  8 oz. serving

150 calories 35 grams of sugar

100 calories 27 grams of sugar

100 calories, 27 grams of sugar

110 calories, 27 grams of sugar

“Magic” Ingredients

Guarana extract

Taurine Carnitine  Guarana Inositol eleutherococcus senticosus, Milk Thistle Ginkgo 

L-Carnitine, Glucose, Caffeine, Guarana, Inositol, Glucuronolactone, Maltodextrin







When it came to most of the special ingredients in these energy drinks, I didn’t know them from Riki Chosu or Toru Tanaka. I did a little research and found some information on some of the ingredients.

Taurine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in the human body. Amino acids can aid in the production of protein and some scientists believe that amino acids cleanse the body.

L-Carnitine,is another naturally occurring amino acid.

Guarana comes from berries of the guarana tree (found in Venezuela and Brazil) and contains caffeine.

Ginkgo is derived from the leaves of the ginkgo tree and is reputed to help improve memory.

Eleutherococcus senticosus was difficult to learn about but I believe it is a form of ginseng.

Glucuronolactone is a naturally occurring substance found in the human body. It is formed when glucose is broken down and is also believed to cleanse the body.

Caffeine is a stimulant (as anyone who has drank a 2 liter bottle of Jolt Cola or pounded down some coffee can attest) which affects your nervous system by speeding up messages to and from your brain. This commonly results in you feeling more active and aware.

Inositol is believed to be involved in the production of cell membranes and to possibly aid in the metabolism of certain B vitamins.

Sources: www.wikipedia.org, www.druginfo.com.au, www.onlineconversion.com/volume.htm


Copyright © 2005 Derek Burgan. All rights reserved.