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Razer RESPAWN Performance Drink Mix

Christopher Coke Posted:
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It started as an April Fools’ joke. With Project Venom, Razer posited the idea of a branded energy drink. Sure, it was over-the-top silly but there was also a grain of truth to it as the company was actively doing R&D on a drink specifically for gamers. A mystery box arrived at my door earlier this month. Inside was the result of that R&D, Razer RESPAWN Performance Drink Mix, a powdered mix designed to raise mental acuity and focus over long gaming sessions without the drawbacks of normal energy drinks. Does it work? Let’s find out.

Don’t call it an energy drink. Razer is quick to point out that this isn’t an energy drink, it’s a mental performance drink. I can’t say I blame them. Energy drinks get a deservedly bad rap and, in fact, RESPAWN is designed to counter some of their worst side effects. What’s more, after researching different energy drinks and finding that they focused on providing energy for physical exertion, they’ve concocted a recipe they say is tuned for mental alertness to keep you focused on the game and playing your best longer.

Razer RESPAWN isn’t a drink, per se; it’s a drink mix. The sampler I was sent included four different flavors: Green Apple, Blue Raspberry, Tropical Pineapple, and Pomegranate Watermelon. Each includes the same basic formula: 95mg caffeine, B-vitamins, choline, niacin, and pantothenic acid, as well as flavorings. Dump the mix into 16-20 ounces of water, preferably ice cold, stir, and you’re ready for a good time. Compared to your average energy drink, however, you’ll notice that it lacks taurine and about half the caffeine, plus a hefty dose of extra chemicals.

It’s at this point I should probably tell you I have a terrible caffeine tolerance. As in, I can drink an energy drink before bed and have no problem falling asleep. Over the last several years, energy drinks have become my vice often drink two a day. When I saw that each packet had 95mg of caffeine, about half my usual energy drink, I was skeptical that it would do anything at all. I decided to replace my morning energy drink with a packet of RESPAWN and see how it went. It’s wasn’t gaming, but as a teacher, I need to be on my game first thing in the morning.

And you know what? It works. Razer RESPAWN offered me the same kind of mental pick-me-up as an energy drink to get me out of that morning slump without the negative side effects. While the big dose of caffeine and taurine I usually get would wake me up, it would also leave me feeling crummy. With the RESPAWN, I can honestly say that it makes my whole body feel better. I’ve avoided other drink mixes, so I don’t know if this is unique to Razer or not. What I can say is that this is the first drink that tastes good enough and gives me enough alertness to replace my morning canned drink, while being all-around healthier and better for me. I’ve wanted something like this and it arrived in a mystery box. How about that?

Of course, Razer says that this is designed for gamers and honestly, it makes sense that it would help you play your best. You’re getting the alertness that comes from their blend of vitamins and minerals as well as a good dose of water which will help your brain process better.

I often game at night after a long day at work and an evening putting three young kids to bed. I’m pretty well beat, so I put the drink to the test with my go-to shooters, Battlefield V and APEX Legends. RESPAWN definitely helped give me the energy and focus I needed to pick out enemies and up my reaction time. Did it suddenly make me a better aim? Of course not, but it did help me play my best when I otherwise wouldn’t.

It also helps that the mixes taste good too. Razer sent along the shaker cup (available for purchase separately), so I was able to mix it up with a few ice cubes and keep it cold for a good long time. The Tropical Pineapple was my favorite but even Green Apple and Blue Raspberry, two flavors I usually dislike, are good. Just make sure to drink them cold; I wasn’t a fan after they got to room temp.

Let’s round out with the questions you really want to know: does it really work and is it really just a glorified energy drink? First things first: there is no drink that will suddenly make you a more skilled gamer. Hopefully everybody knows that going in. Razer RESPAWN will make you a better gamer by making you more alert and able to respond, but will it do so more than anything else that gives you extra energy? Maybe so, maybe not. I had trouble telling. What I did notice, though, is that I felt better and didn’t notice a crash afterward. To me, that makes it worth it and let me stay clicked into the game longer.

Second, is it just a glorified energy drink? It has caffeine, there’s no escaping that, but I think it stands apart in that you’re also getting a big drink of water. That’s better for your body (and probably why it made me feel better all around) and better for your mental acuity. I don’t know enough about food science to tell you whether the mix they use is that different than what you’d find in a normal energy drink. What I do know is that it worked and I didn’t feel exhausted after coming down from it.

It’s rare that I can say this and I don’t take it lightly. I drink way too many energy drinks and Razer RESPAWN has been the first product that’s helped me kick the habit. I’m drinking more water and feeling better all around. It’s lead to better mornings when I drink it on my commute because I don’t face the mid-morning crash. When I’m gaming in the evening, it helps to shake off the exhaustion of the day and be a better teammate. If you lean heavy on energy drinks or coffee like I did, or just want a healthier way to perk up before a big game, I highly recommend giving Razer RESPAWN a shot.

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.


Christopher Coke

Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight