I’m not a huge fan of energy drinks. It’s not that I have anything against the people who drinks them because they need that jolt of energy to get them through the day. My problem with energy drinks are two-fold. One, they’re usually loaded with sugar, which is where most of this “energy” comes from. I don’t mind the copious amount of caffeine energy drinks have; using sugar as an energy source isn’t all that healthy in the long run.
The second issue I have is how they taste. I have never really liked their flavor and no matter how they try to make it taste like a fruit or something that comes from nature, they usually fail. When I got my first taste of Monster Energy way, way back, all I could remember was how sickly sweet it was. Once more, that’s because of all the sugar they pack into them. I can’t really say if this is the case for all energy drinks but I’m assuming this to be fact.
With Thunder, what Coca-Cola did was bring out something that is technically new. That’s because it’s not an “energy drink.” It’s a “Super Soda.” What’s a Super Soda you may ask? Well, I asked myself the same thing and, honestly, I don’t know. It’s either a marketing ploy to differentiate it from your “regular” energy drink or it’s just some legalese because Coca-Cola has some stake in Monster Energy drinks and it would be a conflict of interest if they brought out their own version of an “energy drink” like Monster.
Whatever the case, Thunder is here and it comes in two flavors: Citrus Shock (the green colored one) and Fruit Bomb (the orange colored one). The mere fact that they don’t use, you know, traditional fruit flavored names like “lime” or “orange” makes me a little suspicious right from the start. Then again, I appreciate that they’re sort of honest that they don’t taste like anything from nature. No points given to Coca-Cola for this but I do like that they’re upfront about how artificial they’ll taste.
Before I do get to the tasting proper, I still have to comment on both Thunder’s physical appearances, which includes the packaging and the actual liquid I’ll be drinking. I got the ones in the can since those were the only ones that were available at the store. The Citrus Shock came with a green background while the Fruit Bomb was in yellow. Otherwise, they look incredibly similar.
I have to mention that they both use the longer cans that Coca-Cola switched to which is annoying. My old refrigerator had a chamber where you can slide in soda cans and you would get them out like a vending machine. The new longer Coca-Cola cans don’t fit in this configuration. But enough about the new can dimensions. The Thunder cans are eye catching in their own way because they do look like cans for traditional energy drinks because of the bright colors and the big lightning bolt that replaces the letter “N” in the word Thunder.
The actual liquid refreshment inside doesn’t look anything out of the ordinary. Not that I was expecting anything crazy but, honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from a “super soda.” Both the Citrus Shock and Fruit Bomb Thunder drinks didn’t look anything different than your non-super sodas as they were still fizzy softdrinks. One thing I forgot to mention earlier is that there is something that makes Thunder stand out from “regular” softdrinks and that’s they don’t have any sugar in them. They’re artificially sweetened carbonated drinks. But then again, that just makes them diet softdrinks, right?
The first Thunder super soda that I’ll talk about is the “green” one, Fruit Shock. It kind of looks like a somewhat off-colored version of Mountain Dew. Yes, it’s green like Mountain Dew but the overall color looks a little more “pure” by a tiny fraction. It kind of has a tinge different green but maybe that’s just the bright sunlight since I opened up the contents of the Fruit Shock outdoors.
I would almost say that Citrus Shock tries to copy Mountain Dew but doesn’t really succeed. When you first take a swig of it, Citrus Shock tastes like a diluted Mountain Dew. You can still taste the “citrus/dew” flavor but it’s definitely much milder. However, things drastically change once you do start swallowing the liquid. The mild Mountain Dew flavor is immediately replaced by a slight acidic aftertaste. Not necessarily sour but it did catch me by surprise. Maybe that’s where the “shock” from Citrus Shock comes from; that’s because I was rather shocked by this weird aftertaste.
I will give credit where credit is due. Thunder’s Citrus Shock didn’t have the biting sweetness of energy drinks like Monster. I didn’t feel like it was trying to overwhelm me with sugary sweetness like other energy drinks in the market. Then again, Thunder isn’t an “energy drink;” it’s a super soda. Still, since it tastes like a weaksauce Mountain Dew overall, I’d say Citrus Shock underwhelmed.
Now, I’ll talk about Fruit Bomb, the yellow one. Or is it the orange one? If I sound confused, well, that’s because of the rather inconsistent packaging. The Fruit Bomb’s can is mostly yellow so I assumed that the liquid would be in the same color. I expected something akin to lemonade. However, when I poured the contents into the glass, it turns out the contents had a weird orange tint to it. The best way to explain the color is if you got some orange soda and mixed a little bit of standard Coke in. If you haven’t tried this softdrink cocktail, you’re missing out. Sadly, I can’t say the same for the taste of Thunder’s Fruit Bomb.
Although Thunder “super sodas” are not called energy drinks, Fruit Bomb doesn’t taste like a soda but it definitely has the flavor of your standard energy drink, but without the sickeningly sweetness. Oh, it’s still sweet, thanks to all the artificial sweeteners both Thunder super sodas have. But the Fruit Bomb has that very strong medicinal flavor that most energy drinks have. And it’s a taste that I strongly do not care for. I guess the only benefit from buying Thunder’s Fruit Bomb vs. something like your typical Monster Energy drink is that you won’t get crippling diabetes from drinking Fruit Bomb. Otherwise, they simply taste the same.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the other effect of the Thunder super sodas; they do wake you up. Maybe it was a big mistake on my part to review both the Citrus Shock and Fruit Bomb in one sitting, which facilitated the need for me to drink both of them in the same sitting. I didn’t feel that much of a change after downing both and taking my notes. But soon after, boy! I felt wired! I’m not exactly sure how much caffeine I ingested exactly by glugging both of them down but it’s probably not a healthy amount! To be fair, I would say the effect is much more mellower than your regular energy drink. That’s because I’m writing this review a good eight hours after drinking them both and I’m feeling kind of tired right now. Normally, I should be wide awake. Then again, I did feel the need to walk quite a lot shortly after drinking both the Citrus Shock and Fruit Bomb in quick succession. Maybe that super long walk wore me out, despite the heavy amount of caffeine from the super sodas.
The bottom line: would I recommend any of the Thunder super sodas to anyone? Well, if I were to pick between the two, I’d go for the Citrus Shock. Sure, it tastes like watered down Mountain Dew with a weird aftertaste but I’ll take that over the energy drink-like flavor of the Fruit Bomb anytime.
Would I recommend the super sodas over other energy drinks or sodas? Maybe I would do so over regular energy drinks but just because the energy boost comes from caffeine and not by engorging your insulin levels with sugar. But I’d strongly urge them to go with Citrus Shock and avoid Fruit Bomb. Yes, that’s how much I hate Fruit Bomb.
Oddly enough, I wouldn’t from vote for it over non-super sodas, even though the latter has copious amounts of sugar. The taste tradeoff just isn’t worth it, in my opinion. You’ll be adding to your risk of getting diabetes, sure. But because of the rather comparable terrible taste, it’s a risk I’d chance.
Have you tried any of the Thunder super sodas? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments section below!