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function drinks

Want an energy drink that works for you? I’m pretty sure that’s the premise behind all energy drinks (which energy drinks ask you to work for them?) but Function Drinks go by the motto, “Function: Make your drink work for you.”

Developed by physicians* and based on proven science, these drinks are supposed to help you function in a certain way. For example, the “Vacation” drink contains ingredients to make you feel happy, like if you were on a vacation. The others are named in the same fashion, and promise benefits from lighter weight to younger looking skin.

*By reading the website, I’d say these are helpful physicians, as opposed to the type that just like to prescribe prescription drugs so they can get bonuses from the big pharmaceutical companies.

function drinks

While somewhat gimmicky, I do think these drinks have some health benefits, so they’re worth a look (especially if you need an alternative to a drink such as Mountain Dew or Red Bull).

Today I will be testing the Vacation, Youth Trip, and Light Weight versions from Function. Each one contains a mix of healthy ingredients, vitamins, and minerals, with just one exception…

The Light Weight formula aimed at dieters contains sucralose to cut calories to 5 per serving (10 per bottle.) I do not recommend artificial sweeteners. The other formulas are 50 calories per serving (100 per bottle) and use natural cane sugar, which I can recommend.

Function Taste Tests

Since it sucks to drink healthy stuff if it tastes bad, let’s see how these drinks taste…

Vacation (Pacific Coconut)

function vacation coconut

Vacation has a very sweet coconut flavor, and the texture makes me think of coconut milk (since this is a milk/water mixture.) I really liked it at first, and I still liked it after drinking a couple bottles!

Active ingredients consist of the green tea-derived polyphenol L-theanine (which reduces mental and physical signs of stress and anxiety) and a plant-derived amino acid called 5-HTP (which helps your brain to full replenish healthy stores of serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for mood.)

I would say I felt slightly better after drinking it. Nothing crazy though. It’s not like I was instantly transported to a stress-free beach vacation, but it sure didn’t make me feel worse!

Vacation contains 50 calories per serving, which isn’t bad, especially since it uses “natural evaporated cane sugar” as the sweetener, which is cool. Cooler still is how you get 100mg of Magnesium per serving – that’s 25% DV. (So one bottle of this gives you 50% DV for Magnesium.) And… 20% DV for Zinc in each serving.

Overall I think it tastes great, although the flavor is probably hit or miss, as some people could be turned off by the milk/water mixture.

Light Weight (Dragonfruit)

function light weight dragonfruit

This definitely tastes like Dragonfruit, or at least what I’m used to dragonfruit drinks tasting like. The flavor was good at first, but there was a hint of artificial sweetener. That’s too bad, because dragonfruit is good stuff when paired with real cane sugar.

Instead, this uses sucralose to cut calories to 5 per serving. I guess they would have to do that to compete with Propel, G2, Lifewater, low cal FRS, and any other “fitness water” type drinks for dieters. (All of which I dislike.)

As you may have noticed, I don’t like artificial sweeteners, but I drank this anyway to test it out. That first sip had the great dragonfruit taste, but after that, it wasn’t very good. And the more I drank, the more I tasted the artificial sweetener tinge. I’d rate this somewhere between “not good” and “bad.”

The other ingredients are logical though. EGCG is a grean tea extract proven to increase calories burned per hour and promote lean body mass. Gymnema extract limits the absorption of calories your body takes in from fat and carbohydrates. And red wine extract resveratrol amps up your energy production, increasing your total calorie burn.

Youth Trip (Acai Grape)

function youth trip acai grape

Acai berries are awesome, so I couldn’t pass up an acai grape flavor. This one smells great, and I could really smell the acai.

The first few sips were awesome. There’s definitely an acai taste, with hints of a ‘grape Kool Aid type’ grape flavor. It was pretty good overall, although after drinking half a serving (4 oz) I really wasn’t into it anymore. For some reason the flavor got old pretty quick.

But again, the natural ingredients look good. Function uses an all-natural combo of anti-oxidants, including grape seed extract and rutin (from buckwheat), which has been scientifically proven to protect your skin from harmful UV rays, and to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

(I guess some people will try anything to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, which seems to be all the rage these days.)

Function Alternative Energy

I also found a few bottles of Function Alternative Energy at Big Lots for 70 cents each, so I figured I might as well try one of these, too.

I’ve heard that this drink actually provides a decent energy boost without too much sugar and other junk, so I bought a couple.

First, let’s look at those ingredients to see how it compares to a typical energy drink:

  • catuaba
  • guarana
  • muira pauma
  • epimedium
  • yerba mate

Well, you don’t see all those everyday!

Do they give you an energy boost?

I drank this on days where I felt fine, having gotten plenty of good sleep, and there was no noticeable spike in energy. I may have felt a tiny bit better right after drinking it, but I could get that feeling from plain green tea.

What actually makes this resemble an energy drink is the taste. Despite the supposed lack of caffeine, this drink still has that “bite” to it. It actually has a good flavor at first, before it finishes with that ubiquitous energy drink bitterness.

My final verdict is…

I like the premise behind these drinks, especially because they follow through with fairly healthy, natural ingredients.

As for taste, I enjoyed the Vacation’s coconut texture and flavor and would gladly keep drinking it. I would avoid the Light Weight and Alternative Energy though, because the artificial sweetener taste and aftertaste is unappealing, and the Youth Trip was alright, but not something I’ll be going back for.

In the end, the Vacation (coconut) gets my recommendation for something cool to try, while the rest of the drinks fall into my “yet another energy drink” bin.

Official website: www.FunctionDrinks.com

Product Review Details
Company: Function
Product: Function Energy Drinks
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 3.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2008-07-24
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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  1. Nice article. I heard a rumor that the Youth Trip and the Dragonfruit Light Weight have been discontinued. Not to worry though, they have 3 other Light Weight flavors that I believe are all better than than the Dragonfruit. The flavors are Pink Grapefruit, Acai Pom and a new Blueberry- Rasberry flavor. Give those a try if you get a chance. I would also urge you to try out two of my favorites, Urban Detox and Alternative Energy. I swear by the UD. Hangovers are so much easier to cope with if you down one of these after a night of drinking and before you hit the sack. The Alternative Energy will give you that boost that you’re looking for from an energy drink. Anyway, I’ve been drinking these for a couple of years and really do believe that they have a good thing going. There seems to be so much BS in the drink market these days that it’s nice to find some drinks that I truly believe do what they say they do.

  2. Yeah, it really is interesting to read some of the science behind the drinks and how the company got started.

    Also, I do believe the Youth Trip and the Dragonfruit Light Weight have been discontinued. But like you said, the new flavors will be even better!

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