No Fear is a clothing brand that launched in 1989 by brothers Mark & Brian Simo, targeting the action sports market. You’ve probably seen someone wearing one of their shirts at one time or another. In 2004, the brand partnered with Pepsi to distribute an energy drink that was branded under the Pepsi-owned SoBe name. Eventually, in 2008, the SoBe name was dropped, leaving the drink to stand on its own solely using the No Fear Energy name. There are currently 4 flavors in the No Fear energy drink lineup. The first is the original flavor, No Fear Regular.
One wonders where No Fear currently fits in the Pepsi energy drink lineup, given that they have a owned flagship brand (Amp Energy) and just landed distribution of another established entry (Rockstar, previous distributed by Coke). No Fear would seem to be pulling up the rear as a smaller #3 in the eyes of the Pepsi distribution empire, which may be why you might not find it as easily as the previously-mentioned energy drink brands. It also seems that Pepsi has backed off pushing energy drinks with its SoBe brand, reducing the visibility of SoBe Essential Energy and SoBe Adrenaline Rush offerings.
The original flavor of No Fear, which seems to be referred to by the bland name “No Fear Regular” on the official website, doesn’t mention a flavor on the black can — though the website notes it’s a “great berry-passion fruit flavor”. Capped by the No Fear logo and “skull with wings” logo, a red banner proclaims “Super Energy” on the front. The red color is used as a highlight on various places on the can, basically setting up “red = original flavor”. A callout of typical energy drink supplements is found on the bottom of the 16 oz. can, including taurine, L-carnitine, and arginine.
Upon opening the can, it’s really hard to place just what in the world this drink smells like. At first, I noted a bit of pineapple smell. Something along the lines of a tropical fruit. The ingredients note the inclusion of grape seed extract, but you’d be hard-pressed to smell grape. However, the use of grape juice concentrate does seem to influence the color of the beverage, which leans towards a light yellow/green hue.
As for the taste, it’s somewhat bitter. Not a bad bitter, mind you, but probably not something you are expecting right away. I’d also throw in a hint of sour grape flavor. It definitely was more berry-ish rather than citrus, on par with something you would experience drinking Full Throttle Blue Demon or faintly like Amp Energy Elevate. There wasn’t much aftertaste present, and what was there was rather clean.
For those looking for a pick-me-up, No Fear Regular contains 174 mg. of caffeine, which breaks down to 10.9 mg/oz. Comparatively, industry leaders Red Bull (9.64 mg/oz.) and Monster (10.00 mg/oz.) have just a bit less. Pepsi’s Amp Energy features 8.875 mg/oz., while Coke’s Full Throttle has 9.0 mg/oz.
If you drink the entire can, you’ll be ingesting 260 calories, 230 mg of sodium, and 66 g of sugars. When you take a look at the inclusion of nutritional supplements, this 16 oz. can contains 100 mg of guarana extract, 2000 mg of taurine, 200 mg of inositol, 100 mg of ginseng extract, 50 mg of L-carnitine, and 20 mg of arginine.
A full ingredient list is as follows:
No Fear Regular
Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, taurine, grape juice concentrate (color), sodium citrate, natural flavor, inositol, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), caffeine, caramel color, fruit extract (color), monopotassium phosphate, grape seed extract, L-carnitine, panax ginseng root extract, L-arginine hydrochloride, zinc methionine sulfate, guarana seed extract, pyridoxine hydrochloride, soy protein isolate and rice flour, selenium complexed with amino acids and polypeptides, folic acid, cyanocobalamin
No Fear Regular has a bitter, yet rewarding taste often associated with energy drinks. The berry/grape taste combined with an attractive sour flavor is surprisingly welcome, while the high amounts of supplements quench those desiring an energy soft drink with a little charge.