[Update: 70% off!] Giveaway/Review: GungHo Energy

Update: The folks at GoGungHo have offered you, our oh-so-lovely readers, 70% off their energy gel shots. Just jump through to their site via this link to grab the deal. Best hurry though, this is valid for the next 24 hours only.

If you missed this post before, just read below for what the product is all about, including our own take on it.

Original: This is a bit of an odd one for us, seeing as we don’t usually post about, review or give away products not directly related to videogames. So when GungHo contacted us a week or so ago and asked us to try out their fascinatingly weird energy gel shots, we almost didn’t do it.

But to hell with, I thought! We’ve done it before, and it can’t possibly be worse than the last energy product we tried. Twice! Could it? Kristen was willing to take the risk.

You can read her take on the product below, but own tongue is king, yeah? To that end, we’re also giving away a bunch of these. Just leave a comment below or contact us via Twitter (@ThatVGBlog) and you’re good to go. If you’re among the randomly chosen lucky few, expect to hear from us next week. Though, after reading Kristen’s review below, you may want to go straight to the source and buy yourself some of these bags o’ magic direct from GungHo. In that case follow this link, knowing that it will give you a $5 discount over the regular price.

Now on to Kristen’s review:
Once the exclusive domain of tired truckers and hungover students, energy shots have joined energy drinks in the mainstream, offering the same vitamin, caffeine and chemical-packed boost at a fraction of the calories. But like their sugar-packed predecessors, the energy shot market is rocketing toward critical mass. Enter GungHo, a new energy gel shot targeted toward gamers that boasts “ninja like focus.” Their marketing promises longer-lasting and sharper-focused physical and mental energy than any other energy/focus supplement, but is this the truth or another classic example of sneaky ninja marketing tactics?

GungHo comes in individual .75 ounce packets that you tear open and toss back like a less-viscous squeeze yogurt. The recommended dose is two packets per day with meals, not to exceed four per day. They are also better chilled, according to GungHo, so the first taste test came fresh from the fridge at breakfast time. And unlike pretty much every other energy shot I’ve tried, the taste was good. Surprisingly good. Despite being completely sugar free, GungHo goes down smooth thanks to its citrusy vanilla flavor, with just a slight medicinal sting. Don’t let that last part turn you off. It’s amazing that it doesn’t taste more medicinal, considering it’s 790mg of medicinal ingredients, including cognizin, glucoronolactone, caffeine, ashwaganda, guarana, kola and eleuthero, topped off with 20mg of Niacin.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to tell you I’m allergic to Niacin. I know this because, in my doctor’s own words, I am “genetically screwed” when it comes to my family history of heart disease. Dad has had seven heart attacks, one of the most memorable occurring at an Olive Garden where he forced us to finish the $10 lobster dip through our tears before he’d let us take him to the ER. So, I’ve been on a variety of cholesterol-lowering medications since high school, including Niacin. The slight flush that most people get is for me a painful full-body rash that feels like I just made sweet, sweet love to a bed of fire ants.

What I’m building up to is that when I saw Niacin was the first ingredient listed, I downed it anyway – for science! And I am happy to report that even those with an extreme sensitivity to Niacin can enjoy GungHo without fear of emergency medical intervention, just don’t exceed the recommended daily dosage – the tingles are still there, but it’s that flush from a good run feeling, not that meth-induced bugs under the skin feeling. On a side note, don’t mix with meth.

GungHo might actually help you kick crank entirely, as it really seemed to work to improve my energy and focus. I tried one at breakfast, one at lunch and one during that dreaded late afternoon slump, when I usually hit the meth pretty hard. Okay, all meth jokes aside, it really did deliver on the promise of increased alertness and concentration. It took longer to feel it “kicking in” than your typical energy drink, but that’s because your typical energy drink is essentially a roided-out pixie stick. Slow and steady is definitely preferable to the twitchy, jittery feeling you get from shotgunning sugar and taurine, and there’s no crash waiting for you at the bottom of the can. Heck, there’s not even a can!

When stacked against other energy shots, even other energy drinks, GungHo does its dojo proud – it’s loaded with vitamins, not calories and chemicals. That being said, if it’s truly the gamer market they’re trying to corner, the main competition isn’t other energy products – it’s soft drinks like Mountain Dew, Coca Cola and Bawls. There’s a reason I only talked about the mental kick in the proverbial ass GungHo gave me, and that’s because my literal ass was sitting on the couch playing videogames. But I felt like I could get shit done, if only the good people of Skyrim weren’t so damned demanding. GungHo is the perfect product for gamers who work as hard as they play. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to mix my fourth and final daily dose into a 20oz bottle of Code Red and watch the universe implode.