Caffiend: Ironclad Energy

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According to its shiny aluminum can, the Ironclad energy drink was "specially formulated for the industrial athlete." The drink's blend of Taurine, caffeine, electrolytes, and B vitamins is supposed to provide an unusually high-octane boost for active folks, while also preventing dehydration.

The Ironclad energy drink is a registered trademark of Ironclad performance wear, but interestingly, it's bottled here in the Valley, by a Tempe-based company called Shadow Beverages and Snacks. That should make Ironclad an easily accessible energy drink choice for students at nearby ASU, and fortunately, it's a pretty tasty option.

I tried the "triple citrus" flavor, and it lived up to its name. The drink has a strong lemon smell, and tastes like a sparkling citrus soda. It's sort of like Orangina, minus the pulp. Despite having 40 grams of sugar, Ironclad energy didn't taste overly sweet; in fact, it tastes less sugary than Gatorade. The drink is zesty and refreshing, and definitely quenches one's thirst.

The energy boost is impressive but not overpowering. Ironclad contains 100 mg of caffeine from guarana and 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of B vitamins, so its formula isn't as strong as some other energy drinks, which can contain as much as 250 percent the RDA of B vitamins and twice as much caffeine. Ironclad manages to do more with less -- a mark of true innovation. And it tastes pretty good to boot.

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