A couple weeks ago the makers of a new energy drink called “With Alift” offered to send me some samples to try and review. The drink has just been released and is currently only available in the DC market. I said sure, why not? Thinking I’d be writing a rather bland summation of the latest same-old-same-old energy drink to hit the market. Well, after trying With Alift and reading up on it, I can say my review will certainly not be bland: this is definitely one of the dumbest wastes of money I’ve ever had the pleasure of reviewing.
The whole premise and selling point behind With Alift seems to be that it is “flavorless.” I’m not sure why this is a selling point, but it is. The whole marketing is based around the idea that instead of drinking an energy drink you think tastes gross, you can just add the flavorless With Alift to your favorite beverage and voila! all the energy you need PLUS the taste enjoyment of your favorite beverage. Makes sense I suppose. But a word to the wise: if you drink this straight out of its bottle, it tastes HORRIBLE. It may technically be “flavorless” when mixed in a drink, but it’s more like flavor-piss when you drink it on its own. Who knew that a complete lack of flavor could taste so repulsive?
One of the more hilarious marketing pitches behind With Alift appears on its website:
The magic of our approach was guided by a celebrated, trained chef, not a chemist, bringing the art of skillfully blending ingredients to the creation of the first flavorless energy mix-in.
I’m not sure why I need a chef, let alone a celebrated or trained one, making an energy drink. Chefs are supposed to make things that taste good. Why would I need a chef to make something that is completely flavorless? I trust chefs to make things with flavor. I actually trust chemists more than chefs when it comes to making things where flavor is not present. Also, who is this mystery chef who is both trained & “celebrated”? Celebrated by whom, his/her spouse on birthdays? If you are going to tout the maker of your product as someone who is “celebrated” you should maybe A) tell us who it is, and B) tell us what they are celebrated for.
But hey, lets get to the actual contents/ingredients of With Alift. Now we all know most energy drinks are fueled by caffeine, although many try and go the extra distance to give you energy through other vitamin or herbal based means. For example, 5-hour energy has 2000% of your daily recommended allowance of B6 vitamins and 8333% of B12. Since so much of the energy from their drinks come from these bursts of vitamins rather than caffeine, this is why they claim there is “no crash.” But With Alift? Pretty much just straight up liquid caffeine (an irrelevant 33% of daily allowance for B6 and B12). But they did add “all the electrolytes of a sports drink” (aka small amounts of sodium and potassium). Fun!
But hey, we know caffeine works. It will give you energy, and it will keep you awake, future crash be damned. After all, that’s one of the reasons coffee is so popular. So if we’re just getting some liquid caffeine in a bottle, it must be pretty cheap right? Um, WRONG. These are retailing, both in stores, and on the With Alift website, for $2.99. At least 5-hour energy packs the bottle full of B vitamins, and Rock Star and Red Bull give you a can full of flavor (even if you think the flavor is gross). What am I paying for here? A shot of caffeine that tastes disgusting on its own and tastes like nothing when added to something else? Sounds like a caffeine pill. How much are those costing these days? Oh, that’s right, $.10 each. Hmmm, do I drink a Gatorade and pop a caffeine pill for $.10, or pay $2.99 for the exact same thing? Tough call.
Perhaps as troubling as the ingredient list is the With Alift web presence. Someone get these guys some online and social media help! On the bottle I was sent, the website URL is printed as www.aliftenergy.com. So of course when I wanted more info on the product, I went to this site. Only to find this:
Whoops! Proper website URL printing FAIL! So I Googled the three words with alift energy….and found no results even relevant to the product in the top ten. D’oh! After putting them in quotes though (“with alift energy”) I finally found the real website. They are also on Facebook, where you can click on the tab titled “solving DC’s energy crisis” and enter your e-mail for a chance to win a $300 metro card. This contest is in the pursuit of achieving “300 likes on Facebook” but in yet another hilarious online/social media fail, you don’t even have to like the page in order to submit your e-mail for a chance to win – which is pretty standard practice for any intelligent Facebook giveaway/sweepstakes campaign. I will point out that on both their Facebook page and website they have a Google map that shows you all the retail locations in the greater DC area where it’s being sold. Which is both kind of cool and handy info to provide if you fall in love with the product and need to track some down.
I guess what it boils down to is this: With Alift Energy is a small bottle of liquid caffeine. I added it to a Gatorade, and that Gatorade continued to taste like Gatordade. It gave me energy, just like a cup of coffee or a caffeine pill would. For this, you must pay $2.99. Energy drinks *may* all be a scam, but at least 5-hour energy is loading it up with vitamins and Red Bull is oh-so-delicious when mixed with vodka. With Alift doesn’t really seem to have anything to offer beyond the “flavorless” gimmick.
So Good’s verdict? Don’t be a sucker. You can spend the same amount for a 5-hour energy drink or a bottle of caffeine pills. Take a pass on With Alift Energy and spend your money more wisely.