Reviewed: January 5, 2009
Type: Energy Drink
MSRP: $3.49 each
Last month I had the opportunity to review a new energy drink called Mana Energy Potion. It was this magical elixir that could jumpstart a corpse and packaged in these tiny potion-style plastic bottles perfectly suited for gamers, both in portability and visual appeal. Well, any good role-player knows that Mana is only half of the equation for any adventurer or video gamer. There is also a red bar on that status screen – the Health bar, and the people who make Mana are ready to fill it with their latest concoction; Health Energy Potion.
Currently available at Fry’s, Hot Topic, and directly from www.manapotions.com, Health Energy Potion is going after that same gamer demographic with a new color, new formula, and a new taste. Unlike the unpleasant bite and bitter aftertaste of Mana, Health Energy Potion offers a much smoother (and less revolting) taste. Whereas Mana required you to hold your nose and immediately chase it with something else (I recommend LiveWire) to avoid the week-old-gym-sock taste going down and unpleasant after-burps on its way back up, Health Energy Potion offers a pleasant apple-cinnamon ambiance that’s much easier to get down and keep down.
Of course the inherent danger here is that since it tastes so good you may be inclined to drink more than you should. I still don’t recommend drinking more than one of these vials in any 12-hour period despite the more health-friendly formula used in this new potion. In my personal experiments I started by drinking one Health Potion just before work (9am), which had me going at full tilt until lunchtime. By then I had already been awarded “Employee of the Month” and promoted to management…or wait…no…I got caught watching “Employee of the Month and reprimanded by management.
I’ve dabbled in my fair share of energy drinks; Bawls, Monster, Rockstar, Red Bull, Stoked, and half-a-dozen other brands that populate that special corner of my Fry’s store. Normally you have to consume 8, 12, or even 16 ounces to get your game-groove on, but Health Energy Potion is different. Cleverly packaged in a fantasy adventure style potion bottle, each plastic flask gives you a 50ml burst of energy that lasts 2-4 hours and depending on your own metabolism, up to 4 or even 6 hours.
With only 25 calories you won’t have to worry about your waistline. The basic formula is slightly tweaked from Mana. Mainly, the 26mg of B3 has been swapped with 60mg of Vitamin C for 100% of your daily allowance, and the 6667% dose of B12 has been reduced to a mere 100%. Yes, instead of two months worth of B12 in every vial you now only get enough for one day. Health Energy Potion still includes 32mg of B6 (1600%), but the overall formula has been tweaked in such a way that my “buzz” only lasted about half as long as Mana.
I’ve been conducting various controlled tests on myself and other GCM lab rats…err…staff members. The general consensus is that it tastes great (or at least better), but the energizing effects aren’t nearly as intense nor do they last as long as the blue Mana, proving that much like cough medicine, unless it tastes horrible it doesn’t work. Thankfully, there are still no "crash" effects.
I can see what the Mana Potion people were going for here. Put in some Vitamin C to at least hint at some underlying health benefits to go along with the name on the vial, but in reality, anybody who is going to spend $3.49 a bottle isn’t trying to get (or stay) healthy. I can buy a whole bottle of Vitamin C pellets for about the same amount. This is being marketed to gamers as an energy supplement, and while you will get an initial burst of energy, that energy quickly fizzles out about as fast as the cinnamon aftertaste.
When I reviewed Mana last month I gave it a score of 9.0 and told them to fix the taste. Well, they did, but they also changed the formula, so while Health Energy Potion is quite pleasing to the taste buds, the overall energy-infusing effects can’t begin to compare to those of Mana. Mana Energy Potion kept me going all night and part of the next day. Health Energy Potion barely gets me to lunchtime.
Mana had me yelling “Warrior Needs Food!” Health Potion had me muttering, “Warrior Needs Sleep”. Perhaps you can mix Mana and Health for a yet-to-be-named purple brew that energizes and heals. But for now, gamers looking for the edge in all-night gaming should stick with the blue Mana. It packs the punch that the red Health Energy Potion lacks.