Caffeine that isn't coffee, tea or Toronto, and not expen$ive?
May 7, 2015 7:10 AM   Subscribe

Is there an inexpensive local or online seller (Toronto) where I can order or go buy a liquid caffeine source that's either tasteless or sweet?

I sometimes need a caffeine kick on top of my morning coffee or tea. I'm trying to avoid colas and dislike caffeine pills (because ugh pills) and standard energy drinks (because extra ingredients that aren't caffeine).

I've been using Cuisinart Diet Energy (just adding a couple of spoonfuls to a bottle of water), but it's getting harder to find and more expensive. Mio Liquid Energy is something I might try, but it doesn't seem to be locally available (I'm in Toronto, Ontario, Canada) and the prices on eBay are expensive.

Is there an inexpensive local or online seller where I can order or go buy a liquid caffeine source that's either tasteless or sweet? I don't mind paying SOME money, but the latest Diet Energy is nearly $100 for 6 bottles (!!).

I look forward to your wisdom...Ask MeFi has given me superb answers in the past!
posted by Schadenfreudian to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Is Mountain Dew or Diet Mountain Dew available to you?
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 7:14 AM on May 7, 2015

I don't understand the "ugh pills" here. What's the difference between some tasteless caffeine liquid and a caffeine pill?

My wife likes caffeine mints, but you have to eat quite a few of them (at least, I do). She's bought them in bulk before in both some terrible chocolate form and in minty-mint form.

You can buy powdered caffeine very cheap. You could probably add a bit to whatever else you drink. I've never tried it in water so I don't know how much you could add without noticing the taste. I use it to add caffeine to my gel recipe.
posted by RustyBrooks at 7:14 AM on May 7, 2015

Oh it just occurred to me that maybe you have trouble swallowing pills? That hadn't occurred to me when I wrote the above.
posted by RustyBrooks at 7:15 AM on May 7, 2015

Check at some of the convenience stores around local colleges. Many regions have a caffeinated water of some sort. Around here it's Water Joe but it doesn't seem to be available as far away as Toronto. The college students are usually the biggest consumers of this sort of thing.
posted by jgreco at 7:22 AM on May 7, 2015

If you try the powdered caffeine, be very careful with it. A tiny bit goes a really long way and too much is dangerous.
posted by Kimmalah at 7:34 AM on May 7, 2015 [4 favorites]

Yeah - I use a tiny scale that is accurate to milligrams, and typically i'm weighing out 5g at a time to split among a ton of servings.

Caffeine has a pretty high LD50 but if you accidentally give yourself 500mg you're probably going to not like it much. A very strong cup of coffee might be 150-200mg and that is a tiny tiny amount of caffeine powder.
posted by RustyBrooks at 7:39 AM on May 7, 2015

They sell a product like this in my local grocery store: Hiball Caffeinated Soda Water.

I'm not sure that is the best value you can find, but there seem to be a lot of similar caffeinated soda water with no sweeteners out there.
posted by easter queen at 7:53 AM on May 7, 2015

My grocery store has caffeinated cough drops (marketed as "daytime" cold relief).
posted by something something at 7:54 AM on May 7, 2015

Ah, here's the brand they actually sell: caffeinated club. Not a bad price.
posted by easter queen at 7:55 AM on May 7, 2015

A bit of an outside possibility, but if you have Hispanic or South American markets nearby, check them for guarana drinks. Those might or might not meet your criteria. If you're avoiding cola because you don't like cola, they might be good for you. If you're avoiding carbonated drinks, guarana sodas might not be what you want.

Brazilian-made sodas could be a lighter way of getting a bit of caffeine without all the added other gunk that energy drinks like Rockstar or Bawls have (which contain guarana alongside a lot of other additives).
posted by gimonca at 7:57 AM on May 7, 2015

Are you discounting energy shots? You can get a pack of 12 of the '5 hour energy shot' for $20 USD on amazon. (It ships to me in Vancouver, so I assume it will ship to Toronto as well). Not sure how many extra ingredients are in those though -- my poison is cola and energy drinks. But poking around amazon, they seem to sell several options in the "Endurance & Energy" category, maybe something else would also meet your needs.
posted by cgg at 8:06 AM on May 7, 2015

I've never used these people, I just found them via google:

But they do ship internationally. There's a 50g packet option that seems like it would be convenient for adding to other drinks on the go.

In the less-mad-scientist route, I really like the HiBall energy drinks linked above - mild grapefruit flavor, no fake sweetener.
posted by mercredi at 8:54 AM on May 7, 2015

Penguin caffeinated mints can be purchased inexpensively in bulk from Amazon and possibly other places. 3 mints equals a can of Coke's worth of caffeine. They don't taste wonderful but they don't taste vile either.
posted by Candleman at 10:22 AM on May 7, 2015

My main caffeine sources are from Crystal Light Energy (powder) and Kroger-brand Mio liquid. Unless there is a weird situation, I should think the Crystal Light should be shippable from Amazon or purchased locally. Even though they're meant for 16oz/0.5L water bottles, I thin them out to about six packets per gallon/4L.
posted by bonje at 10:32 AM on May 7, 2015

I don't know if they sell it in Toronto or where in Toronto, but caffeinated water is a thing I've seen sold in the grocery store. It's like bottled water, but it has caffeine in it. Maybe google "caffeinated water" and see what's available there.
posted by AppleTurnover at 10:48 AM on May 7, 2015

Unless there is a weird situation

in Canada

Supermarkets here have a fraction of what the US carries and much of, especially grocery, doesn't ship here.

(OP, I got nothin' -- I have a flavoured water habit and just imported a bulk quantity of drink mix from Europe. Find the product you like and order enough to make somebody want to ship it to you at a decent price instead of hoping Canadian distribution might ever involve more than three varieties...)
posted by kmennie at 11:32 AM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

Mountain Dew is not caffeinated in Canada.
posted by carolr at 12:01 PM on May 7, 2015

There's Black Black, a Japanese caffinated gum, which you can find many but not all Japanese grocery stores. Or trivially online.

I'd learn to make espresso, myself.
posted by sebastienbailard at 2:26 AM on May 8, 2015

Mountain Dew is not caffeinated in Canada.

The law got changed in 2012, Mountain Dew now has 51mg of caffeine per 355ml can.
posted by Harpocrates at 12:08 PM on June 18, 2015

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