Admittedly, the energy drink market is a bit saturated. There are a ton of manufacturers out there and the competition has gotten a bit stale. Setting aside the overall marketing and exterior design, a ton of energy drinks are the same dang thing.
Gratuitous amounts of caffeine.
The results are pretty useful for most people, even though the sheer amount of caffeine is not the most ideal way to boost energy levels, considering its highly addictive nature.
For the most part, any differences in the over saturated world of energy drinks come in the form of calorie count per serving, sugars vs synthetic sweeteners, and (obviously) flavor.
Naturally, GNC saw the market for *another* energy beverage and seized the opportunity, releasing their Mad Pony Energy line late last year.
Admittedly, I was wary of picking up any of these for various reasons. They are newer, after all, and I haven’t heard too many people talking about them, unlike the Bang, Monster, Red Bull, or Rockstar lines.
I picked one up while I was in the store as a freebie , however, and here is my honest review.
Flavor and Texture
After looking at the shelf, I scooped up a solo Cherry Berry. Overall, it isn’t bad. If you are familiar with Rockstar, it was very similar to their Punched Pure Zero flavor. It actually tasted pretty good, but the drink was obviously made with artificial sweeteners. It’s blatantly obvious when you sip into it.
While that isn’t a deal breaker, it is just something to be aware of if you don’t particularly enjoy the flavor of sucralose.
This beverage has the usual carbonation, but it isn’t too heavy. Some energy drinks have far too many bubbles for my liking (looking at you Red Bull and Monster), but this line has a refreshingly light carbonation to it.
The line comes in Cherry Berry, Orange Mango, and Watermelon currently.
Overall, the ingredient list is surprisingly light. For only 10 calories, it should be. Not too many people, myself included, want to consume low calorie foods or beverages packed with more chemicals than you can count.
In Mad Pony you will find the usual water, flavorings, and sweeteners (duh), but the rest of the ingredient list is pretty short.
- Caffeine: 200mg
- Vitamin B-6: 3.4mg
- Vitamin B-12: 4.8mcg
- Neurofactor Mix
- Sodium Benzoate / Potassium Sorbate (preservatives)
- Gamma Aminobutyric Acid (GABA)
- Choline Bitartrate
- Coenzyme Q-10
- Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
Vitamin B-6, B-12, and Taurine are fantastic additions that help the body to increase the rate at which it produces energy, while GABA works to reduce stress and induce a calming feeling. That is probably a good call, considering the amount of energy inducing chemicals within the beverage, and more than likely why there are no jitters or the anxious feeling you usually get with too much caffeine.
There are 200mg of caffeine in Mad Pony, which works out to about 12.5mg per ounce. This level is somewhere in the middle of most energy beverages. Red Bull has about 9.25mg for every ounce of their beverage, while Rockstar Punched has about 12mg per ounce of theirs.
For reference, the 200mg found in Mad Pony Energy beverages is slightly more than the Cellucor Original line of pre-workout powder, but less than other pre-workouts, such as the Muscletech Shatter line. It is, of course, lacking all of the other things that make you want to go lift heavy objects, but provides a good reference for gauging how much caffeine is in a can.
The formula isn’t overwhelming, won’t generally make your heart beat out of your chest, and (with the can I had) seems be on par with other beverages in terms of energy levels.
There are also some decent amounts of Vitamin-B and amino acids to help with energy.
Additionally, the flavor profile is pretty decent. I am not complaining about the Cherry Berry flavor in the slightest. A good tasting beverage is always a plus, especially if it has low calories (helps with those tracking macros or calorie intake).
From the single can that I purchased, I don’t have too many complaints. The major issue I have is, unsurprisingly, with the price. I am not a fan of paying as much for an energy drink as most of them cost.
The level of reliance on caffeine is also an issue, but I see why they (and so many others) do it. It’s something to keep in mind, however, when some of the effects that caffeine has on the body (anxiousness, increased heart rate, higher blood pressure, calcium depletion, etc.) are taken into consideration.
Otherwise, there were no jitters, it tasted pretty good, had low calories, and a short ingredient list.
You can buy 12 cans from GNC today (February 2020) for $25.99. Works out to $2.16 per can, but singles are going to run you a bit more (if you can find them). The price is on par with most other energy drinks you can find.
If you can find this drink on sale, Mad Pony Energy is worth a pickup while you are standing there.
Give us a try
If you need a push, are looking for accountability, or generally just need some help, check out what we offer to help get you off to a good start.