Posted July 10, 2011 by Big Red Boots in energy gums and chews

Sheets energy strips

Famous athletes and energy drinks go hand in hand.   Who can forget the cool Powerade commercials of Lebron James sinking 3 pointers for Powerade, or  when LeBron James shucked for Vitamin Water with those funny Attorney ads?  Though it looks like this is the first time LeBron actually put his own money down to come up with his own product – and still is nowhere to be found on the product itself.  Well, putting your image on your product is not always the best idea.   We all know how well that worked out for Carmelo Anthony’s energy drink.

Now, unlike the very ill fated C15, I actually found Sheets in my local convenience store – surprisingly looking retro in a big display case.  Like the package itself, the display looked like it could have been something out of the 40s.

The writing on the package is very retro – looking like it belongs more on the side of a diner than on an energy product.  Don’t get me wrong – I love the design – it is just unexpected.  The happy face with the tongue sticking out is reminiscent of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy mascot, only for a block of red on the tongue.  I liked the design enough I hoarded the sticker that comes in every pack with the same dude on it.

Opening up the matchbook-cover style case, I found four metal and plastic packs, much like how  Koru Energy Strips produced their packaging.  Of course theirs had a funny design on it and that’s about it, this one helpfully has the ingredients printed neatly on the foil as well.They managed to get the vitamin count, the caffeine content (yay!) and even their phone number in a very small space.  The sticker was a nice surprise inside too.

Overall,this was a fun pack to have in my pocket, and proved to be quite functional too! The only one small flaw I saw was that unlike the other strips, this one stuck to the film backing, like a fruit-roll-up would stick to the paper.  On my first try, I thought I could just lick it off the package hands free, and managed to firmly stick it to the packaging.  It wold be cool if they made the strip a little less sticky, so it would be more of a Dentine strip and less of a Fruit Leather, but once you peel the strip off things go fine.

This is also not the first time I have tried caffiene strips.  I have tried a couple of these over the years and have found these not as good as the others.  Diablo Strips  tasted better than this – and actually dissolved on = he tongue faster.  This reminded me more of a very thin fruit snack than something like Dentine Ice.  It sticks great to the palate, but not so hot on the tongue, where it sorta bunches up. I ended up chewing all the pieces rather than get it stuck to the roof of my mouth, which I find unpleasant.  If you have not tried energy strips before and don’t have anything to compare it to, I could see this being a big hit.  However, knowing what you CAN do out there makes me enjoy the texture less.

Now as for flavor, there was some big obstacles to overcome.  50mg of caffeine and B Vitamins are hard enough to mask in a big can with water, but even harder in a little sugar free calorie free strip of goo.  Really, they did not do too badly, although you could definitely taste the chemicals a bit.  This starts off sweet and cinnamon-y, but then after about 20 seconds you get the harshness of the chemicals.  Still it is not that bad – and it ends on a high note as well.   People who are taking this are probably going to be OK with the bit of caffeine harshness.

I liked the flavor of Koru and Diablo more, but they were also half the strength. Koru Energy Strips had 40mg of caffeine in it and Diablo was weak but came in an 18 pack.  Basically, it is possible to get around 200mg of caffeine if you consume all four pieces, which is not really that much caffeine, considering.  Strangely, unlike the other products like this, Sheets actually has to be digested and swallowed before it goes into your bloodstream.  The other products just get absorbed through your mouth, but these just sorta melt in your mouth and then have to get digested like any other energy supplement.  Whis has some benefits and some drawbacks,   You have to wait longer for the energy to absorb in your bloodstream, but the buzz sticks around for a while after you are are done with it.    I managed to go through a four-pack in the space of about 15 minutes, and kept a nice buzz going for about 2.5 – 3 hours without feeling drowsy.

I think that finally, after attaching his name to so many different products, Lebron finally picked a winner to stick his money on.  As long as Sheets makes it into enough stores, I can see this one sticking around on our collective palates for some time.  

Big Red Boots