Wednesday, April 15, 2015

SnM: Chaos and Pain's Aggro

There are certainly plenty of energy drinks out there to choose from. Today I'm reviewing Chaos and Pain's take on it with Aggro. Can this new product really give Monster or Red Bull a run for their money? I don't know about that, since that's a business question and those companies are massive, while CnP is essentially a two man operation, but I can tell you my opinion on which is a better product.


Before we start let me say that I am not affiliated with any supplement company in any way, including Chaos and Pain, Monster, or Red Bull. I receive no free product or payment in any form. I payed for my bottle of Aggro, just like anyone else. The following is based on my opinion and experience only.

Aggro is marketed as being specifically designed for gaming. I used to be a so called "hardcore" gamer. Depending on how you define it, that usually means you play more adult themed games, but almost always means you dedicate an unusually high amount of time to it. I started gaming in the Eighties, when the NES was the current gen system, and I've gamed on just about every major system since then. As usual, as I get older, and more and more time goes to working, I have less time for other things, and my gaming habit has taken a huge hit. Now I generally game on PC and only play those few games that I really enjoy. My series of choice recently is Borderlands, and one can log dozens if not hundreds of hours on such games. One particular year, when I was unemployed I daresay I logged nearly 2,000 hours on one particular online game (not WoW). So while I used to be "hardcore" I'm hardly that anymore. Aggro, therefore isn't really useful as a gaming supplement for me. So if that's why you want to use it I unfortunately can't help you there.

I'm going to be reviewing it simply as an energy drink. You can also use it as a more mild preworkout. And although I say "mild", if aggro is mild then so is nearly every other preworkout on the market, like C4. It's simply mild when compared to CnPs actual pre-workout Cannibal Ferox. There are essentially two reasons why you would want an energy drink. You want the stimulants, or you like the taste. And Aggro delivers on both.

TASTE

Now I'm not an energy drink junkie. I have only had a few monsters and Red Bulls in my life, and they aren't particularly good. They both have a slight carbonation, which I don't like at all. I don't like soda for that same reason. Aggro, however, is more akin to juice than pop. Actually it's more like an artificial candy flavor, not so much juice. Monster doesn't taste all that bad, but Red Bull simply sucks. I have had the "Hulk Juice" flavor of Aggro, which I suppose is actually green apple. It essentially tastes like candy. Of course, Aggro is a powder so you can vary the dilution to your liking. I personally think it's best in a 1/2 scoop per 12 oz. of water ratio. It is certainly better tasting than any other comparable energy drink that I've had. That being said, Starbucks doubleshot is the best tasting energy drink since it's essentially iced coffee.

INGREDIENTS VS MONSTER and REDBULL

Below is a comparison of Aggro, Red Bull (calorie free version), and Monster (calorie free version). A 16oz can of regular monster has nearly 50 grams of sugar in it. Because Aggro does not have sugar I went ahead and showed the calorie free versions of Monster and Red Bull below to be more fair. Monster has about 175 milligrams of caffeine per can. A serving of aggro has 200. The caffeine in aggro is in multiple forms, however, so it has a time released effect. Red Bull is pretty similar to Monster, except it's half the size and thus has half the caffeine and sugar in a can. It tastes about half as good too. So the basic formula for the popular commercial drinks is essentially sugar, caffeine, and inferior forms of B vitamins.

Click to enlarge. Doesn't work on biceps.
Aggro omits all the sugar yet tastes better than even regular versions of other energy drinks, has more caffeine, and dumps in a slew of other focus enhancing ingredients, the most notable being Noopept. And they actually list all the ingredients on the label so you can research for yourself what they all are. The other notable thing about aggro is that it's a powder so you can mix as much as you want.

PRICE AND CONVENIENCE

Aggro being a powder is less convenient than a Monster. Well, let me re-phrase that. The fact that Monster and Red Bull are sold in stores is what makes them convenient. If you're buying them, taking them home, then packing them for lunch, you could just as easily mix up some aggro in one of the dozen shaker cups you have and take that with you. But you won't be going to a gas station or vending machine to get an Aggro whenever you want. So if that's your habit I guess Monster wins this one.

But Aggro is cheaper. It's 1 dollar per serving, compared to over $2 for a Monster or Red Bull. And remember a serving of Aggro is stronger than Monster and over twice as strong as a Red Bull. I might as well just stop talking about Red Bull as it's inferior in just about every single way to Aggro. Monster still falls way short, but at least it's comparable in terms of caffeine, which is what the average person is going to look at when choosing an energy drink.

Aggro probably isn't going to catch the attention of the average person for that reason. They don't know what half the ingredients on the label are and they won't look them up online. But you're not the average person, are you? It's so easy to use Google. Why don't you try it now? I'll wait.

RESULTS

To be completely honest, the boost an energy drink gives me is pretty tame. Maybe I'm more tolerant of stimulants than the average person, or maybe, and this is what I'm betting on, the effect can easily get lost among more important factors. I'm particularly sensitive to my emotional state, which is to say I'm very aware of if I'm happy, excited, angry, or ornery. And I've made correlations through years of paying attention between how I feel mentally and how I feel physically. I personally believe that how you feel mentally is a major factor in how much physical energy you will have. I don't know about you, but when I want "energy" I want that pumped up excited can't sleep because it's Christmas Eve feeling. That is something a supplement can enhance but not create.

As such, if I take stimulants when I'm not particularly happy about what I will be doing that day, it enhances that negative feeling. Certainly I get the CNS effects like increased heart rate, but it feels akin to being nervous. Conversely if I stim up on the weekend when I'm going to do something fun I get more of the effect I'm looking for, where I'm excited and then get a boost of energy to go with it. This all assumes being properly fed so that you have caloric energy to use, otherwise it's like pressing the gas pedal with fumes in the tank.

So all that being said, Aggro definitely hits me the hardest of the energy drinks I've tried, Red Bull did absolutely nothing (no surprise as it's the weakest). Monster and Starbucks Doubleshot seem to have some effect. Although it may have just been my surprise at how the Doubleshot tasted since the second time I tried it, it didn't seem to have the same result. But again, for the most part an energy drink is not a huge stim packed drink. And really it shouldn't be.

Aggro is aimed at gamers, and you definitely don't want to be jittery when trying to line up a quick headshot. And for that purpose I think Aggro would work quite well. It's designed to increase mental performance and focus, not just ramp up your CNS. It tastes great. It's the cheapest. And it has the best ingredients. And to top it off, it's made by a company who happens to give a shit about their customers, as evidenced by such things as completely transparent labels. In fact, the only downside of Aggro is that it doesn't come in a ready to drink form. So if mixing it yourself in a shaker cup is a deal breaker for you, then I guess that's that. Otherwise, if you regularly slam Monsters, Doubleshots, or Red Bulls, give Aggro a shot.

You can check it out, and all their other products, at www.chaosandpain.com.

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