This article goes out to all you energy drink lovers out there. To be honest, I’m one myself. Like most, I love a little caffeine to spark me up here and there and I don’t always want coffee in the mornings. So like many, I gravitate towards an energy drink on occasion as an alternative.
With attention being given to the health consequences of high sugar beverages, sales with soda have seen drops while the low to no sugar energy drink categories have climbed the charts. Despite media and FDA criticism regarding the safety of energy drinks, 2018 energy drink sales were up 4.1% compared to the same time period in 2017.
I’m sure most of you have at least seen, tried or currently drink Bang energy drinks as they have really taken off with their growth in popularity. VPX is the name of the company that owns and distributes Bang drinks.
Once only seen online, supplement shops and gyms being marketed as a pre-workout drink, you can now find Bang drinks in large chain grocery stores on a nationwide scale these days. Due to Bang’s recent acceleration in growth, one of the top leaders in sales within the energy drink sector of beverages – Monster, has been been seeing big drops in numbers.
Aside from filing a lawsuit against VPX, which was met with a countersuit filed back against Monster by VPX (more on that story shortly), we have just recently witnessed the introduction of the Reign energy drink – which is Monster’s answer to compete with Bang drinks that have been climbing towards the top of the energy drink market.
What is The Difference Between Bang & Reign?
When comparing the two products next to each other, there appears to be a lot of similarities and very little difference if any. Kind of like comparing Coke to Pepsi or GNC 100% whey protein to Optimum 100% whey protein to most.
Giving the short, very to the point and without a ton of long elaboration and explanations answer here; there is little to no difference between the two. You’re essentially getting flavored carbonated water with caffeine in it for the most part, period. However, for the handful of differences and explanations – you can watch the short video above.
If you like that and can justify that with your purchase, then cool and good for you. Hell, I do on occasion myself and I’m okay with it BUT; I don’t expect anything more or buy into the over hyped claims. I will admit that I am a fan of Bang drinks. Primarily because I love the taste on a few of them, and unlike coffee (I can’t do straight black) they do not have a ton of sugar added.
VPX’s Bang is Facing Some Legal Heat
Bang has made a lot of questionable claims on their ingredients used with the biggest one plastered right across the top of every can in large lettering with its “Super Creatine”.
In layman’s terms, VPX claims that when Creatinyl-l-leucine dipeptide is consumed, stomach acid will break the bond between the creatine and l-leucine, thereby releasing creatine (and leucine) into the stomach which is then absorbed by the body just like regular creatine (and amino acid) would be.
But this is not what happens when consumers ingest Creatinyl-l-leucine dipeptide. The data included in VPX’s own patent and the results of a study that VPX recently commissioned on creatinyl-l-leucine in rodents shows that VPX knows this and they may be intentionally lying to consumers.
Even at the 40mg amounts of Super Creatine that is said to be contained in a Bang drink, this is essentially a useless serving size since it is such a negligible amount. Consider this; you have 1000 mg in 1 gram. Typical serving sizes of creatine that athletes use for weight training usually hover around 5-10 grams in a serving.
That is kind of like putting a little half cup of gas into the tank of my car when I need 18 gallons to fill it up; I won’t get anywhere with such a laughable amount at a half cup.
So in summary here, the Super Creatine probably shouldn’t be relied on to do much. For this and more, VPX and its CEO Jack Owocis is facing multiple lawsuits. One from Monster and another among many more, from the company called ThermoLife.
According to patent research firm Lex Machina and quote – “ThermoLife filed more than 100 cases in 2017 and was amongst the ten most litigious plaintiffs for patent-related cases for the year”. The firm described ThermoLife as a “patent monetization entity” (PME), or a company that holds and licenses patents and files patent lawsuits but does not sell products or services.”
VPX Retaliates with Reigning Punches Back
To make the story more interesting, there has also been a lawsuit filed by Bang against Monster with regards to them using the name Reign as apparently VPX already claimed the name and had been using it on a drink of theirs.
In an Instagram video posted on March 28th to its verified account, Bang Energy CEO Jack Owoc announced the launch of their own product called REIGN, which is packaged in 8 oz. bottles and described as a “pre-workout energy drink.” The product is also referenced in the complaint.
“Today is the launch of our new energy drink called Reign,” Owoc says in the clip. “Don’t be fooled by the Bang knockoff 16 oz. Reign product by the makers of Monster. I, Jack Owoc, am the sole and exclusive owner of the USPTO registered trademark ‘Reign.’”
What Are The Differences in Ingredients?
As mentioned already, there isn’t much. But, if we are to bust out the magnifying glass and break comparisons down, I’m here to do just that.
- Bang has vitamin C. Reign has zero.
- Bang only has 25% daily value of vitamins B3, B6 and B12 per can. Reign has 4x these amounts at 100% per can.
- The form of B12 contained in bang is a superior form called methylcobalamin. Reign has cyanocobalamin – not nearly as usable by the body.
- Bang has zero sugar. Reign has 2 grams per can. Not much difference.
- Both claim to have CoQ10 and branched chain amino acids but the amounts are so small they are really laughable, not relevant and simply hyped up marketing. No winner here.
- Bang has 300mg of anhydrous caffeine. Reign has 300mg of regular caffeine. Studies have suggested there is not a noticeable difference between caffeine anhydrous found in Bang vs regular caffeine found in Reign. No winner here.
What Energy Drink Tastes The Best?
Well, taste is often a matter of opinion depending on who you ask. Like others, I have my favorites.
Other DIY Energy Drink Alternatives
When I do decide to indulge in a carbonated caffeinated beverage, I honestly prefer to make my own most of the time and for a few reasons. I can make a much better quality drink with effectively dosed ingredients that work, control (and lower) the caffeine content and cut my cost down significantly.
Here are some suggestions on products and following after below, how to mix them yourself:
- Get some carbonated waters. LaCroix, Waterloo (cherry is my favorite), Kroger brand and Bubly. Or, you can also buy your own with purchasing SodaStream – which I own one and do this too!
- Get a good and suitable quality pre-workout, nootropic or full-body wellness powdered product.
- Get a YETI or Bubba cup!
- Assuming you like your drinks cold, put some ice in.