Vuka (a name that means "wake up" in Zulu) is a new and ingenious brand of energy drinks based out of Denver, CO. There are a multitude of reasons why Vuka, to me, is decidedly more appealing than any other energy drink currently on the market. The first, unique aspect of these drinks is that they are categorized. There isn't just one standard formula/drink; Vuka takes into account the fact that different tasks require different kinds of energy. The energy that we need for a workout is not the same energy that we require for a long night of studying -- we are using different processes in our body, after-all. The second thing that makes Vuka innovative are its ingredients. Many energy drinks are packed to the brim with scary-sounding ingredients and high doses of sugar and caffeine. The "diet" versions are often full of sucralose or some other type of fake sugar, which is a chemical I am trying to avoid, as it looks like it may have many adverse effects in the long run. Vuka sweetens their diet drinks with Stevia (an all natural sugar that I reviewed in my Vox Box), and avoids preservatives and high fructose corn syrup. Their ingredients are all-natural! Vuka has 80mg of caffeine per 8oz's, so you are definitely going to get the kick that you need without having to sacrifice wholesome ingredients.
Vuka drinks come in pretty aluminum bottles which can be recycle or reused. Normally I don't pay a ton of attention to the packaging of food items, but these bottles are really high quality and stay cool for a long time after being taken out of the fridge, so they are great for water bottles. Vuka sells a "workout" drink, a "renew" drink, a "think" drink and an "awaken" drink. Awaken is for all of us that aren't "morning people"! It is an orange flavored (think breakfast) energy drink with zero calories and natural energizing compounds like calcium and zinc.
Vuka is also great because they are a company that really gives back -- for every bottle of Vuka sold, some money is donated to Cookies for Kids' Cancer.
I was lucky enough to be able to sample four of these great drinks -- a Think, Renew, Workout, and a zero-calorie Think. The reason one isn't pictured is because I drank it and my mom recycled the bottle before I got to take the picture .. oops!
- Think is a pomegranate lychee flavored sparkling (light carbonation) energy drink. It is specifically designed to help improve memory and concentration, and to "replenish mental alertness during the marathon of a busy day". Some of the key ingredients in Think include Ginkgo Biloba, Panax Ginseng, DMAE Bitartrate, and Natural Caffeiene. It also has vitamins B3, B5, B6, B12, and grape seed extract. It has 90 calories per serving (two servings in a 16oz bottle) and 0g of fat. DMAE, Ginkgo Biloba, and Ginseng have been shown to increase "brainpower" and memory, and the natural caffeine helps with alertness and concentration.
- Think Z0-Cal has the same ingredients as Think, but lacks the pure cane or beet sugar. Instead, it is sweetened with Stevia and is zero-calorie!
- Workout is a berry lemonade flavored sparkling energy drink. Rather than mental power, Workout provides you with the energy you need to keep up your physical strength and agility. It provides the "energy to accomplish the physical goals you set your mind to". The key ingredients in Workout include L-Carnitine, Potassium, Sodium, Magnesium, Calcium, and Natural Caffeine. It also includes vitamins B3, B5, B6, B12, and grape seed extract. L-Carnitine, an amino acid derivative, has been directly linked to an increased metabolism, bone strength, and lowering fatigue levels. Potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium are all critical elements -- ESPECIALLY when it comes to working your muscles and your body in general. Keeping these levels up can replenish your body during work out. This drink also has 90 calories per serving and 0g of fat.
- Renew is a mango-peach flavored sparkling energy drink. It was designed to "replenish your energy during down times" to provide "the energy to restore focus, vitality, and the conviction that you can do it". The key ingredients in Renew are Natural Caffeine, D-Ribose, Taurine, and Panax Ginseng. D-Ribose is a very important sugar because it is the building block of ATP, our body's main source of energy. Taurine is an amino acid which is important for increasing overall performance. This drink also has the vitamins that Workout and Think do, as well as 90 calories per serving and 0g of fat.
My favorite flavor is the Workout berry lemonade -- all of the flavors, however, are very different from your typical energy drink. To be honest, there aren't many energy drinks that I would pay to drink...I think they taste syrupy, like chemicals, and sometimes like medicine/chalk.Vuka is refreshing in that sense! The pomegranate lychee was an acquired taste (wasn't sure how I felt about it at first, but then ended up liking it), but I love the blends of fruit flavors. The berry lemonade was something I would drink on a daily basis. I enjoy the carbonation because I am addicted to soda and it made me feel like I was satisfying my Diet Pepsi cravings. Since I am trying to "quit" soda due to the fake sugar, this is a great alternative! Tasty, bubbly, and still has the caffeine so that us soda addicts won't be left with headaches when we try to go cold turkey. Vuka tastes the best, in my opinion, when it is chilled. I love how big the drink is...it lasts a long time, and the aluminum bottle keeps it cool. If I was still going to classes, I would definitely grab a Think and throw it in my book-bag..you would be set for the day! I used Think to help boost my MCAT studying one night after a long shift at work, and I feel like it really did keep me energized and focused. I tasted the other drinks, but I am saving Workout to take to the gym with me. That way I can guzzle it after I get off the treadmill, and on the way home to replenish. I think Renew has a great flavor and works at any time of day to give you that extra surge of energy. I think that Vuka is a great company with a well thought-out product that really delivers! In terms of energy drinks, I give them 5 stars. If I can find them in a store around here, I will definitely buy them in the future. These are drinks for all ages and really for any occasion where you find yourself lacking energy.
To learn more about Vuka, you can visit their website here. You can also connect with them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, or visit their blog. Vuka is available in many stores, so you can check the store locator on the website to see where the closest store is. If there isn't one near you, you can always order Vuka online. One case, or 12-pack, of Vuka sells for $39.99.
Disclaimer! I received the above-mentioned products for free. This did not, in any way, influence my post..my opinions are honest and all my own. I did not receive any form of monetary compensation.