HEY KOOL AID- The OG of energy drinks

When I was a kid I had an energy drink that couldn’t be beat. It allowed me to climb trees, run, swim, bike ride and in general play for hours on end without tiring. The funny thing is it practically looks like health food when compared to its counterpart of today.

I’m talking Kool Aid. Now when I say Kool Aid I don’t mean “rich people” Kool Aid with the sugar already added. I mean broke-assed gallon of water, glass jug, cup of sugar, little packet, funnel and shake it like Katharine Hepburn standing on a paint mixer  until your arms go numb and the sugar still hadn’t dissolved Kool Aid.  I mean damn, we probably burned the 87 calories a 12 ounce glass has just by shaking it!

My brother and I would tear into a fresh jug of Kool Aid with the drinking acumen usually reserved for Irish brick layers. By the time the last couple sips were left we would secretly ration it like people stranded in the desert because neither of us wanted to make the next batch. I often drank some and then added a bit of water so as to leave it at the proper level…a trick that would serve me well in my late teen years.

This wasn’t always the go to drink as most of the time getting Kool Aid made by my brother or I required at least one wrestling match, a beating handed out by either myself or my brother… to either myself or my brother, some kind of shouting contest and a very high hot and humid to thirsty ratio. So most of the time we drank spring water that my parents/my brother and I got once a week from the spring in Yale Forest.I wasn’t a big fan of water knowing what fish had done in it, but I imagined it beat the alternative of drinking from the toilet like our dog would do if the seat was left up.

Today I see kids and young adults drinking one of a number of different energy drinks. I won’t bother to name them all but suffice it to say I’ve tried several and they taste of something between cough syrup and what I can only imagine a can of stale ass tastes like. They gulp this stuff down can after can, and by can I mean barrel. Some of them hold as much as 32 liver rattling ounces. They got stickers, t-shirts and hats with claw marks, skulls, and rabid looking animals on them as promotional/advertising swag.

The cans are emblazoned with all the “good” stuff they got going on in the can to ensure you of how AWESOME the drink is for you. They spend a goodly number of words on the outside of the can to comfort you in the fact that you’re about the biggest bad ass on the planet for drinking this product and anybody who isn’t …is a candy ass! Uh, forgive me I’m paraphrasing a teensy bit. The thing they don’t spend much time on is the amount of sugar that’s in the can… in some cases as much as one hundred plus grams. Twenty nickels weigh one hundred grams, and I’ll bet they are better for you.

The fact that at least one manufacturer listed glucose as part of its “energy mix” made me laugh out loud. What does that make the nearly eight hundred mg of sodium…Mega Electrolytes? The good news is it has a ton of B vitamins; the bad news is vitamin B is inhibited from absorption when potassium is present. One of these drinks has 2,160 mg of potassium added….oops! Guess they’d been better off taking a chemistry class as opposed to a marketing one.   

I wouldn’t mind so much if I didn’t hear every five minutes how children in this country were obese. Do you think taking in all these calories in combination with an exercise routine that amounts to thumb wrestling with the x-box controller is in some way exacerbating this problem? Or am I being silly for using logic here?!I’ve already said I think the nanny state need not be concerned if I want to free-base sticks of butter and main-line melted down starburst fruit chews so I’m not looking for legislation.

But how about if the parents decide to act on their own accord, yanking the video game power cord out of the wall, taking away the one pound bag of skittles and the super extreme thunder animal energy drink and tells them to go outside and play? I know what you’re thinking; I’ll go back in and complain that you’re bored and there’s nothing to do.

In my house this would have gotten me invited to a “something to do” marathon of weeding and cord wood cutting. Maybe you’ll get lucky and get pat on the belly and a bag of cheese puffs…either way do yourself a favor and go get some Kool Aid when you get thirsty.

I’m not saying people should drink more Kool Aid…I personally haven’t had it since I was maybe a senior in High school as it’s not easy to get a girl to kiss you when you’re sporting a Kool Aid mustache. But for less than 10 cents a glass you’d look like less of an ass by spending three dollars and ninety cents more for something that’s worse for you and taste like the stuff they use to flavor cod liver oil.

7 thoughts on “HEY KOOL AID- The OG of energy drinks

  1. Yeah it's funny because by the time you add the sugar the cost between the two (premixed vs packet)was pretty close… oh well, c'est dommage! Thanks for reading Madelyn…relly appreciate it.

  2. When I was a kid my mom used to buy KIK cola. It was a special treat at night when the hockey games were on TV. I had a glass of KIK cola, some pickled pork tongue, and crackers. My father had the same but substituted a beer for the cola. That brings up another thought. Does anyone still eat pickled pork tongue?

  3. Man, I loved me some Kool-Aid when I was a kid. Tang was a close 2nd. Too much shit and misinformation out there now for anybody but a scientist (or you and me Pav) to figure it out. I place the blame on Madison Ave. for this. Making a shitload of money off of liquid that costs little to produce. I've gotta go grab a beer……

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