Over the weekend, I made a mistake.
I don’t know what happened. Maybe it was the excitement of the moment. This was, after all, the first time in more than a year that I’d had a (vaccinated) friend over, inside my apartment, to just hang out. Or maybe it was the nature of our plans: We were going to watch the second season of The Circle, a so-bad-it’s-good Netflix reality show about a bunch of people crammed into an apartment building who can only communicate via a “social network” that’s all smoke and mirrors. If we were gonna beam trash into our eyes, why not put trash into our bodies as well?
Plus, my friend asked for caffeine, and I’d had a canister of Doom Eternal-themed G Fuel sitting in my kitchen for a month. So I suggested we mix it with alcohol.
The cocktail was about as straightforward as a beverage containing an ingredient called “Spicy Demon’ade” can get. It was one serving of G Fuel (reconstituted with water), a couple liberal splashes of vodka, and some lemon-basil simple syrup. Flavor-wise, it was acceptable after I got past the initial attack on my nostrils. The Demon’ade powder should be classified as an airborne virus, such is its ability to travel bewilderingly large distances and lay spicy siege to multiple senses. Even mixed into this beverage, it caused me to sneeze several times before my body’s natural defense systems decided to surrender and prepare for death.
But it was the aftereffects of drinking this cocktail that really got me. After a handful of sips and 10-15 minutes, I began to feel like I was viewing the world from deep inside two dim, hazy tunnels. I did not feel drunk, nor did I feel wired, nor did I feel drunk-wired in the way that often accompanies, say, a vodka-Red Bull. Everything just felt off. My heart was racing and my limbs were heavy, but these sensations took the form of distant pangs, rather than immediate concerns. I had incredible trouble following anything that was happening on The Circle, a problem I have not had while watching it sober. Despite all of this, I believed myself coherent. It did not feel like anything would be wrong with the words coming out of my mouth, until I opened it and began producing them. I do not remember a ton of what I said, but I remember that a not-insignificant amount of it was nonsense.
Having since done some research, what I’ve realized is that I managed to more or less recreate an earlier iteration of Four Loko, which until an FDA intervention in 2010 contained caffeine and taurine—two major components of G Fuel’s “energy formula.” I do not believe this put me in any actual danger, but it sure made me feel like garbage. My friend reported similar results. “My heart has been absolutely RACING for 24 hours,” he said on Twitter. “Also, the mix is so laced with chili powder that accidentally inhaling it is like catching a burst of pepper spray to the face.”
I also discovered that many other people have considered trying this chalky combo, but—just to be safe—have first asked the internet if doing so would literally kill them. And so, to everybody Googling this exact question, I can tell you that, based on a sample size of two young adult men, a G Fuel cocktail seems like it won’t kill you as long as you can endure the initial assault, a uniquely painful brain reboot, and the potentially day-long side effects—so actually, probably just never do this.
(Updated 3/3/22 with new details)