A new option for outdoors use and everyday life, Voke Tabs are chalky pills that offer a pickup equivalent to a cup of coffee.
If you are like me, an infusion of caffeine can make you feel invincible. I use the effect to help during training, racing, and sometime simply to jumpstart my day.
For a few months now I have been testing Voke. The tablets are billed as a natural caffeine source — it’s made of green tea leaves, guarana berry, acerola cherries, and other non-synthetic constitutes. They cost $1 per tab, or $7 a tin.
Origins Of Voke
Voke was invented by a competitive skier who mixed together energy tabs to create a spill-proof alternative to coffee. He teamed up with a biochemist to finalize the Voke formula.
Today, the company, based in Bozeman, Mont., has product ambassadors including the mountaineer Conrad Anker.
Voke is marketed as something of a natural Red Bull. Each pill offers 77mg of caffeine from tea leaves, as well as additional perk from the aforementioned guarara seeds, cherries, and even a dash of beet juice powder.
On The Tongue
It’s an acquired taste, to say the least. Voke Tabs taste like dehydrated cherry skins soaked in stevia infused in Tums. There is an initial good taste that fades to a somewhat medicinal flavor by the time you swallow the masticated powder. If it’s your first experience, keep a cup of water at the ready.
But I came to not mind the taste. Considering Red Bull tastes like chewing on a block of aluminum soaked in an orange peel (that is hooked up to a car battery that still has a bit of a charge on it), well, maybe I’ve been conditioned for all this.
Not everyone says it tastes like medicine. I offered one to my girlfriend, and nothing but good things were said. She liked them from the first tab. When I can’t find my Voke tabs, I just have to look in her purse — that’s where they usually can be found.
Voke In Use
Voke is not about the taste. If we elevated taste above all else we’d be living off of Nutella-dipped bacon. Instead, it’s about the energy you get by infusing your blood steam with molecules that give you energy, responsibly.
That’s right, Voke claims that some caffeine is less responsible. See sodas and sugary energy drinks as exhibit A.
Much of the raw caffeine from soda and energy drinks comes from factories that produce it synthetically in China. Just three Chinese factories exported seven million pounds of synthetic caffeine to the United States in 2011, wrote Murray Carpenter, author of the book “Caffeinated.”
Secondly, caffeine from natural sources might provide a healthier, more sustained and less spiky effect on the nervous system than the synthetic alternative. Some sources claim synthetic caffeine absorbs through the digestive system faster than naturally-occurring caffeine, giving a quicker spike and a “crash.”
Voke is a simple way to consume caffeine that doesn’t require a coffee or beverage delivery system. If you’re climbing a mountain or running a trail, it’s handy.
The tins of red tablets can be shared among friends, and the puckered lips and complaints about taste really aren’t that bad. Voke is a convenient form of caffeine intake and, ostensibly, a healthier one, too.