In the world of Caffeine Supplements and alternate methods of caffeine delivery there are very few options which don’t overload you with sugar, and still provide you with a decent boost of energy. With this in mind I was asked to review the UberCube: Chocolate Caffeine Chews. While I’m still partial to coffee, I understand that two factors play into the enjoyment of supplements like this. First off they need to bring people who don’t enjoy coffee into the fold, and secondly they can be used in places where coffee just isn’t an option.
I was sent two Cube Tubes, a collection of 6 pieces per tube, each one would normally retail for $3.99 each, each piece according to the documentation has the equivalent of a cup of coffee’s worth of caffeine inside. The cubes themselves look like thick jolly rancher candies. They are brown in color, no surprise given that they are chocolate flavoured. and are quite soft. Too often I find that chews are tough to get started and end up with a consistency of gum more than a quick bite. I love the tube concept, not only does it provide a quick way to grab some caffeine but it also protects the cubes within enough to throw it in your bag for later consumption without worrying about crushing them. The Cubes have a wonderfully rich Chocolate smell when you first open the piece.
Upon biting into the cube they have an interesting taste. Its a mix between coffee and chocolate but doesn’t exactly taste like a mocha coffee. Its somewhere in between a tootsie roll with a splash of coffee and a piece of light fudge. The cubes themselves taste good. The problem lies in the fact that the cubes pack a decent amount of caffeine into each bite sized piece. Caffeine is by nature a bitter compound so the cubes tend to leave a bitter aftertaste in your mouth when done. If you were to throw one in your mouth after dinner you’d probably want to chase it with a mint to clear the palette. The aftertaste tends to linger for a while unless you follow it up with something else.
Honestly this is not unexpected penguin mints have much of the same problem, each mint has an odd taste after the mint flavor is gone. As long as you know that there is no problem. Caffeine is a strong bitter component and most products try to mask that with a heavy dose of sugar, which i don’t particularly like, lots of sugar leads to a false euphoric experience and an quick crash when the sugar wears off, it can also lead to the caffeine being a good deal less effective. The Ubercube only has 3g of sugar in each bite so its just enough to sweeten the actual bite. The aftertaste is not a deal-breaker for me, but it might be for the casual consumer, it all depends on your motivation for eating the cube, do you want taste or energy?
The Ubercube is another product which has chosen to marry caffeine with alternate sources of energy, like Red Bull and Bawls Energy Drinks before them the Ubercube includes Ginseng, Taurine, Vitamins B6, and B12. Unlike the insane levels of B vitamins in other products I have reviewed each one of these cubes only contains 75% of your suggested daily value of B12 and 20% for B6. Compare that to the %50,000 in the last product and I feel much better about these supplements.
They might taste like candy but people need to understand that these are concentrated doses of caffeine, you probably wouldn’t want to down more than one piece at a time, especially if you are sensitive to caffeine.
I decided to broaden my test bed this time, i tried the product both first thing in the morning as an attempt to replace my morning cup of coffee and right before a workout to see if there was any difference, or issues. I also gave the chews to my brother in laws to see how they liked them. Both complained about the aftertaste but other than that had no issues with them. In fact the chews facilitated a great night of gaming with high energy all the way through.
For my own experiences starting the day with a cube provided a great boost in the morning but I missed the ritual associated with my standard cup of coffee. I think after countless product trials that caffeine is a great way to wake up before the drive in, under the power of the cube i did talk my wife’s ear off that morning, but i don’t think I could replace the Coffee on a permanent basis. I did really enjoy taking the cube before a heated match of racquetball. If I try to down a cup of coffee under those circumstances i end up with stomach issues running around the court. The cube provided high energy through both games, which i won by the by, all while not being weighed down by a stomach full of coffee. Also even on an empty stomach after having had my morning coffee i had no adverse reactions to the chews, no jitters just alert high energy fun.
Another aspect where the cube shines is in the cost factor. at 3.99 for a single tube of 6 pieces you equal the cost of 1 energy drink at a convenience store. So instead you have 6 serving for the price of 1. Under any economic conditions those results are hard to ignore. There are two other price points being listed on the UberCube website at 18 pieces for 10.79, a Cube tube Cubed, ie three tubes of 6. Or the huge size of 100 pieces in the Uber Tube for 49.99. Any way you look at it the UberCube is much more economical than energy drinks.
The UberCube is a good product which does exactly as advertised, it provides quick energy at a low cost in an easy to ingest form. With the one minor drawback of the bitter aftertaste the cubes are definitely an interesting product.