Caffiend: Red Line Xtreme

You know an energy drink is "extreme" when more than half the label is filled with warnings in .3 font. An eight ounce bottle of Red Line Xtreme gives a litany of cautions: "Do not consume Red Line on an empty stomach," "Do not exceed recommended serving," "Do not use for weight reduction" (even though the bottle's motto is "Feel the freak, feel the freeze, watch the fat drop off with ease!")

So this stuff is supposed to be pretty heavy-duty. It's a legend among tech geeks who used to consume it to stay up all night for LAN and gaming parties. But how does Red Line really stack up against the plethora of other high-octane energy drinks? We've managed to stop shaking long enough for analysis.

Red Line Xtreme (green apple flavor)

Looks like: A small ready-to-drink meal replacement: simple plastic bottle with a festive red and green label.

Smells like: Sour apples. If someone put a pile of Green Apple Jolly Ranchers in the sun and let them melt, it's probably smell a lot like green apple Red Line Xtreme.

Tastes like: Those old school, fruity Isopure protein drinks. For those who've never had an Isopure protein drink, the taste is a combination of heady herbs and chalk. Luckily, the green apple flavor gives the drink a sour kick and makes the chalky taste more subtle.

Caffeine and other contents: There are two servings in an eight ounce bottle, and each serving contains 125 mg of caffeine -- so there's 250 mg total in the bottle, more than three times the amount of caffeine in an eight ounce Red Bull (80 mg). The Red Line also contains a variety of strange-sounding amino acids and herbs: N-acetyl-L-tyrosine, Hordinine, 5-Hydroxy-L-tryptophan, Sulbutiamine, Vinpocetine, Yohimbe HCL. Most of those ingredients are used as herbal fat burners. Unlike most other energy drinks, the Red Line Xtreme does not contain mass amounts of B-vitamins.

Caffeine kick: This stuff lives up to its legend. Not only can half a bottle wire you awake, but it could make you a little jittery, too. It elevates heart rate and can make you a little shaky, so following yet another of the bottle's warnings -- "Always begin use with one-half can" -- is a good idea.

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