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Function Alternative Energy – Drink Review

Function Alternative Energy drink

I joke on this site a lot about health, even though health is actually important to me. Since, you know, health is what’s standing between me and the long, long dirt nap, I do have an appreciation for health. I do enjoy a lot of unhealthy things and I admittedly drink more energy drinks than I probably should. But I’m an adult, at least physically, and I know what I’m doing. Mostly.

Still, when you get an energy drink that is courting people who want to sleep less and still stay healthy–a tough demographic seeing as how many would consider the two items to be mostly mutually exclusive–I do pay attention. That’s the case with Function Drinks. On the label it goes to great lengths to separate itself from its energy drink brethren. “All Natural,” it says at the top. “Created by Physicians.” The label also says “Get up and keep going with the first time-release formula for long-lasting energy. The all-natural combo of catuaba, muira pauma, epimedium, and yerba mate provides stamina for 6 to 8 hours.” In addition to those neat things, the proprietary blend on back lists caffeine and guarana extract as well. And sure enough, the sugar we’re dealing with here is natural evaporated cane sugar instead of, you know, crap. Yerba mate, guarana and caffeine–all good things. Catuaba? Is used for aphrodisiacs? Interesting…what about muira pauma? Used to increase sexual desire and libido? Um. Okay…epimedium? It’s another name for Horny Goat Weed? What exactly were these physicians doing while creating this, I wonder…?

The flavor, for the record is “Tangerine-Yuzu.” Which is not, also for the record, the demon from The Exorcist, although it has been mistaken for Pazuzu at parties.

[ad#longpost]The back of the label states “Are you as tired as we are of all those artificial, toxic-tasting energy drinks? Or are you just plain tired?” To which I say: if you’re talking about drinks that contain sucralose or aspartame, then your description of “toxic” is quite apt.

“The doctors at Function worked around the clock to develop a 100% natural energy drink that will keep you going all day and all night long.” To which I say: huh. If you were working around the clock to develop a drink that would keep people up around the clock, what did you use to go around the clock in the first place? Because I want to try that product as well. Although if you look at the ingredients list you might think they were staying awake through liberal doses of sex with a sprinkling of sex.

Anyway. Skipping ahead a bit, it says that ingredients within will give you a steady supply of energy. “This means no scary heart palpitations or dizzying crashes after your initial boost.” Me, I find heart palpitations and crashes to be like a roller coaster where I never have to leave my house. But to each his own.

Function Alternative Energy 'functional units' chart

I don’t mean to spend a lot of time on the label, but I wanted to put across the idea that the drink talks a good game. The only worrying bit is off to the side. It shows muira pauma/epimedium and yerba mate/guarana with a scale called “Relative functional units” that rates the ingredients for energy, stamina and alertness. Everything is at 100 except for muira pauma/epimedium, which lags behind just a little on energy. Why is this worrying? Because this is absolutely useless information. It’s pointless data. These functional units are relative to what, exactly? How much is, exactly, a functional unit? I did Google “relative functional units” and the only mention of it I could find was with a homeopathy drink. So that doesn’t help either. Just for the record, Function Drinks don’t appear to have any relation to the drink in question, especially since Function actually contains caffeine rather than just, say, the vibration of it. There might be a perfectly good explanation for why this chart is important, but it comes off looking like bullshit.

So finally, let’s drink the damn thing, shall we? It tastes a lot like Gatorade, frankly. I don’t find the taste of Gatorade offensive so I’m good with that. I don’t know that I tasted either tangerine or Pazuzu while drinking it but I don’t consume either often so maybe the combination tastes like this. I cannot say. I can say that as far as energy boost, I got something that lasted for maybe two hours. I believe the mate had something to do with this. I also think it might be the horny goat weed. Not because I deal with a lot of horny goats, but because the Crunk energy drink claims to have horny goat weed as well, and that drink seems to get me buzzed fairly nicely. I don’t know for certain because, unlike mate, I’ve not tried horny goat weed solo in a tea. I will say that for a drink that has three ingredients that so easily factor into sexual jokes, it didn’t turn me into a raving horny lunatic. Probably because, being a male, I already am one.

The taste is good and it certainly is a different experience than most energy drinks, so that’s an up-vote right there. A change of pace is always good, considering 90% of the drinks out there taste like Six Degrees of Red Bull. And the buzz is decent. Considering I have the tolerance of an adolescent Megatherium, that’s an up-vote from me. I would say give it a try. As always, your mileage may vary.


  • I’m not a medical expert of any kind, I’ve only read a fair amount on medicinal herbs and foods, so your mileage blah blah blah…But things that are ‘aphrodisiacs’ tend to be very good for the circulatory system, which can help keep you awake by doing any number of good things like aiding oxygen transfer, because blood flow has a lot to do with the naughty bits functioning.

  • Mechangel, thanks for the comment. Yeah, I’m sure they do more than to keep the yang up, but I just thought it was amusing. “Created by Physicians…very randy physicians, but physicians all the same…”

  • I am getting burned out on the standard energy drinks that do have some unhealthy stuff in them. I am looking for something healthy that does give a boost. What is the best you know of? I tried Function, and it is ok. But there are a lot. Any recommends?

  • James: I’ve taken myself out of the energy drink sampling arena for the moment due to a diet. There are a lot of energy drinks that claim to be healthy and I’m a bit out of the loop. I would say you might try Brain Toniq. I thought it seemed to be fairly effective, for me anyway. Full disclosure: we are a Brain Toniq affiliate and get kickbacks for selling them through the site. They have them (at least here in Atlanta) at computer/gaming stores, so you might try a single can from one of them and see if it cranks your tractor. I will say that the five-hour energy things…none of them do anything for me. So. If you find something you like, please report back. When I get down to my ideal size I will be delving into them once more and any leads are appreciated.