Energy Drink of the Month – Nov 2017: Hydrive Energy Water

The challenge with Energy Waters is two-fold. First of all, water, by itself, is a boring beverage. But it’s important to drink water, so we start adding things to it to make it more enticing: lemons, cucumbers, flavoring… The second challenge becomes trying to define when something is no longer a “water” because of all the additions.

If you’ve tried other energy waters and wanted more flavor, more sweetness, maybe a little more color, then I’ve got a beverage for you. This month’s pick is a little more than an Energy Water, but it’s still a healthier alternative than the stereotypical energy drink. We’ll review how to tell if this drink is for you, what the key ingredients do, and how the caffeine compares to other energy drinks.

The Energy Drink of the Month for Nov 2017 is Hydrive Energy Water

Hydrive Energy Water - Energy Drink of the Month Nov 2017
Hydrive Energy Water – Energy Drink of the Month Nov 2017

There are four flavors available – Black Cherry, Triple Berry, Citrus Burst, and Blue Raspberry. All four have the same caffeine content and the same ingredients except for small differences in flavor and color.

Only have 1 minute? Here’s the Quick Review:

Who is This For – Ingredient Preferences and Phobias

Is this drink for you? What ingredients do you look for (or try to avoid) in an energy drink?

  • Zero Calories
  • No Sugar
  • No Juice
  • Natural flavor
  • Artificial color
  • Artificial sweeteners sucralose and (“ace-K”) acesulfame potassium
  • Caffeine, by itself, not a plant extract
  • Resealable for easy portion control
  • Non-carbonated
  • NO stereotypical energy drink ingredients (such as taurine, carnitine, glucuronolactone, and guarana)
  • Some (but not excess) B-vitamin fortification: 45% niacin, 40% B6, 90% B12, 60% pantothenic acid

Key Ingredients

Obviously, caffeine is a key ingredient. The caffeine is not stated on the label to imply it’s coming from a natural source. It’s just caffeine. To see how the caffeine content compares to other energy waters, see the graph below.

Non-Carbonated Water

The point of energy waters is to be both hydrating and energizing. Dehydration causes fatigue, so I always recommend plain, non-caffeinated water as a first resort when you’re tired. But when you’ve ruled out dehydration and know you are legitimately tired, a non-carbonated energy drink is a better option than a carbonated one.

“…when you’ve ruled out dehydration and know you are legitimately tired, a non-carbonated energy drink is a better option than a carbonated one.”

A carbonated energy drink will irritate the stomach lining so that caffeine gets absorbed slightly faster. The energy drink will feel stronger when it’s carbonated, even if the caffeine content is the same. It’s better to opt for the non-carbonated energy drinks and save the carbonated ones for when you are in more dire situations, fatigue-wise.


The B-vitamins in this drink are B3 (niacin), B6, B12, and B5 (pantothenic acid).

  • Niacin is part of over 200 reactions in your body, almost all of which involve the production of ENERGY. If energy drink ingredients were Marvel Avengers, then caffeine is the Iron Man and Niacin is Captain America.
    [See this Book Excerpt of the Week]
  • Vitamin B6 helps the body make protein. Ever heard of essential and non-essential amino acids? Vitamin B6 helps our bodies make those non-essential amino acids…(through a process called transamination, for you biochem nerds). B6 also helps us maintain optimal blood sugar levels.
    [See this Book Excerpt of the Week]
  • The Krebs cycle is a giant wheel of reactions that lead to massive amount of energy per turn. Since B12 helps fats get “into shape” (as in, from an odd-numbered chain into an even-numbered chain) for entry into the Krebs cycle, B12 is facilitating the production of energy. It may not be as boring as biotin or as amazing as niacin (my favorite B-vitamin), but B12 gets the award for the best team player.
  • Pantothenic Acid is readily available in almost every food group, so I have yet to meet a person who can help me understand why B5 is added to drinks. Regardless of the superfluousness, vitamin B5 becomes the enzyme (think body-machine) that participates in the Krebs cycle.
    [Here’s a puppy metaphor I use to remember how B5 works]


Other Ingredient: Glycerol Ester of Wood Rosin

Fun facts!

Science Behind Glycerol Ester of Wood Rosin

Caffeine Comparisons and 5 Levels of Fatigue

Hydrive Energy Water is stronger than it may seem, especially if you mistake it for a Gatorade alternative. Compared to a few other popular energy waters, the caffeine content is stronger and may be too strong for people who get jittery from one cup of coffee or one Red Bull.

popular energy water comparison

Based on the caffeine content (160 mg) and the fact it’s non-carbonated, Hydrive Energy Water belongs at the bottom of Fatigue Level 3. To learn more about the 5 Levels of Fatigue and how to use it to avoid caffeine dependence and toxicity, see this overview.

Bottom Line

This drink is suitable for someone who has reached Fatigue Level 3 – someone who is looking for a strong-but-healthy alternative to Monster Energy (carbonated, 140-160mg caffeine) and cares more about Calories and sugar than artificial colors and sweeteners. With 160 mg caffeine, natural flavor, no carbonation, and an artsy-curvy-looking resealable bottle, this energy drink in disguise is worth a try.

Hydrive Home Page:



Get your copy of MY BOOK: “Are You a Monster or a Rock Star: A Guide to Energy Drinks — How They Work, Why They Work, How to Use Them Safely”


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