Newsflash: You don’t have to be an eight-year-old at the community pool to love yourself a classic red, white, and blue Bomb Pop popsicle (or Firecracker, if that’s more your jam) on a hot summer day. That said, we get it if you’d rather skip the whole “blue ice pop juice stains on your shirt” vibe or if all that sugar doesn’t work with your nutrition plan.
Still, the nostalgia is clearly real—and the proof is in the many Rocket Pop-flavored drinks, sports supplement mixes, and more that have been popping up lately, meaning that the cherry-lime-blue-raspberry goodness can now help you fuel your workouts, hydrate, get shredded, and crush your fitness goals.
To get in the summer spirit (and plow through that afternoon slump), our team conducted a taste test of the Rocket Pop-inspired RTDs (grab-and-go drinks) in our office fridge. The following three were fan favorites.
Not only did Alani Nu’s Rocket Pop Energy Drink take one of the top slots for its fun can design, but its flavor was a favorite with our taste-testers. Lightly carbonated and just 10 calories, this energy drink keeps you going with 200 milligrams of caffeine and a slew of other engine-revving ingredients, including Panax ginseng, taurine, l-carnitine, and more. (The usual B vitamin suspects, B6 and B12, also make an appearance.) Sweetened with erythritol and sucralose, it’s sugar-free and also contains a dash of biotin to keep you glowing.
Alani Nu’s summer-inspired energy drink got rave reviews from our team, who almost all highlighted its perfect level of carbonation as a major selling point. (The review “good bubbles” made an appearance.) They also loved that different Rocket Pop flavors, like cherry and lime, really came through in every sip—a nice balance of sweet and sour! Taste-testers imagined themselves cracking open a can “before a summer workout” or “on the beach for the vibes.”
PRIME’s RTDs are hardcore multitaskers that hydrate you while flooding your muscles with the fuel they need to grow and your body with a variety of helpful nutrients. Made with 10 percent coconut water, every bottle also packs electrolytes like magnesium and potassium to support hydration. Meanwhile, 250 milligrams of BCAAs (that’s branched-chain amino acids) give your muscles the necessary building blocks to recover from workouts, and antioxidants and zinc support immunity. Sweetened with sucralose, it’s free from artificial colors and flavors.
Multiple taste-testers described its taste as “melted popsicle” and daydreamed about drinking it at the beach or poolside on a hot summer day. They also liked that it was light and sweet but not too sweet, which made it smooth and easy to sip on.
C4 is no stranger amongst fitness fanatics—and it takes on new life in Cellucor’s Smart Energy drinks. The Freedom Ice Superbrain Performance Fuel is formulated to help you “tap into the limitless power of your mind” with a whole slew of ingredients to support energy, focus, and mental performance—whether you’re working or working out. Three of the major players: 200 milligrams of InnovaTea caffeine (which is derived from green tea), 250 milligrams of Cognizin citicoline (a patented form of the focus-boosting compound), and 50 milligrams of n-acetyl-l-tyrosine (a compound that supports neurotransmitters like dopamine). This stuff packs a pretty powerful punch without any calories, sugar, carbs, or artificial dyes.
Read More: How Fast Do You Metabolize Caffeine?
The Freedom Ice C4 Smart Energy drink is a good go-to for anyone with a sweet tooth; most of the team called out that it’s sweet as can be! Melted ice pop syrup meets brain-boosting energy? Sign us up.
Given its unique lineup of ingredients, consider popping one of these bad boys open when you need to plow through some work in order to take advantage of those Summer Fridays.