Rockstar (drink)

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Rockstar Energy Drink
Rockstar energy drink logo.svg
Type Energy drink
Manufacturer Rockstar, Inc.
Country of origin United States
Introduced 2001
Flavor 20+
Variants Carbonated, non-carbonated, and RTD coffee

Rockstar (branded ROCKST★R) is an energy drink created in 2001.[1] With 14% of the US market in 2008, Rockstar is a leading energy drink brand.[2] Rockstar is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. As of January 2013, Rockstar Energy Drink is available in more than twenty flavors, and is in more than thirty countries.


Founded in 1998 by Russell Weiner,[1] the son of conservative talkshow host Michael Savage,[3] Rockstar launched into the fastest-growing segment of the US beverage market at the time: energy drinks.[4] In addition to featuring different ingredients, which it claimed were "scientifically formulated to speed the recovery time of those who lead active and exhausting lifestyles—from athletes to rock stars,"[5] Rockstar sought to differentiate itself from the market leader, Red Bull, by using a 16 oz can size (against Red Bull's 8 oz can) and marketing itself as "twice the size of Red Bull for the same price!"[4]

By 2007, Rockstar was one of the top three energy drink brands in North America, (having enjoyed a 155% growth in sales in 2004,[6] reaching $48 million[7]) and had sold over a billion cans.[8] It had 14% of the US energy drink market in 2008,[2] and as of 2009 was available in over 20 countries, in addition to the United States. Rockstar switched distributors from Coca-Cola to PepsiCo in the summer of 2009.[9]


Like its competitor Red Bull, Rockstar sponsors a range of action sports and music events, including the Mayhem Festival, a metal and rock festival touring the United States in July and August; the Uproar Festival, a rock festival touring the United States in September and October.[10]


Rockstar cans are known for their bright distinct colors, the various Rockstar flavors are frequently referred to by the color of the can more so than the specific name (e.g. "Zero Carb" is "Blue Rockstar", "Recovery Lemonade" is "Yellow Rockstar", "PerfectBerry" is "Pink Rockstar", etc...)

Drink Flavor Color Can/Star[11] Can Size (oz)
Original Black/Gold/Red 8.4, 16, 24
Sugar Free White/Gold 8.4, 16, 24
Zero Carb Blue/Silver 16, 24
Pure Zero Silver Ice Silver&Black 16
Pure Zero Punched Red&Silver&Black 16
Organic Island Fruit Green&Yellow&White 16
Guava Punched Purple/Yellow 16
Punched Charcoal/Red 16, 24
Energy Cola (Canada Only) Matte Black/Yellow 16
Juiced Mango Orange/Gold 16
Juiced Guava Purple/Gold 16
Recovery Lemonade Yellow/Yellow 8.4, 16, 24
Recovery Orange Orange/Orange 8.4, 16, 24
Recovery Grape Purple/Black 8.4, 16, 24
Recovery Tea Lemonade Starburst/Black 16
PerfectBerry Pink/Black 8.4, 12
XDurance Performance Energy White/Black 16
Super Sours Bubbleberry Blue/Black 16
Super Sours Green Apple Green/Black 16
Horchata White and Green/Red and Black 15
Drink Flavor (coffee) Color Can/Star Can Size (oz)
Roasted Mocha Dark Brown/Gold 15
Roasted Light Vanilla Cream/Gold 15
Roasted Latte Light Brown/Gold 15
Drink Flavor (non-carbonated) Color Can/Star Bottle Size (oz)
Rockstar Energy Water - Citrus 20
Rockstar Energy Water - Orange Tangerine 20
Rockstar Energy Water - Blueberry Pom Acai 20
Drink Flavor (+Vodka - available in Canada only) Color Can/Star Can Size (oz)
Rockstar + Vodka (Canada only) 6.9 abv 16
Rockstar + Vodka Pomegranate (Canada only) 6.9 abv 16

Rockstar products in the US have two levels of Caffeine content - either 10 mg of caffeine per ounce, or 15 mg of caffeine per ounce. Rockstar Energy Drink Original contains 160 mg of caffeine per 16 ounce can, while the Rockstar Punched energy drink contain 360 mg of caffeine per 24 ounce can.

Rockstar energy gum was introduced in 2010. There are ten pieces in a pack, and one pack contains the same amount of caffeine as five 8 oz cans. It is available in two flavors: iced mint and iced mint orange.

Besides caffeine and sugar, Rockstar Energy Drink contains a variety of herbs, including panax ginseng, ginkgo biloba, milk thistle extract, and guarana seed. The amount of guarana used to be higher, but "after being criticized for including guarana once health concerns about the herb were publicized, the amount in the drink was significantly reduced."[12] It also includes 1000 mg of taurine.[13]

Side effects[edit]

As with all energy drinks, Rockstar can cause jitteriness, anxiety, and high blood sugar levels. If mixed with alcohol it may also mask the level of alcohol intoxication. There are no known side-effects if used in moderation.[14][15] Several alcoholic versions of Rockstar are available in Canada; an alcoholic version in the US was discontinued in 2007, possibly in response to criticism that young people were confusing the alcoholic version with the regular one.[16]

Rockstar Original was named Worst Energy Drink by Men's Health magazine for having 280 calories due to 67.5 grams of sugar. Monster Energy Lo-Carb, with 20 calories, was suggested as a replacement.[17]

Rockstar has introduced a line of low calorie energy drinks that include electrolytes called Rockstar Recovery, partially in response to these concerns.


Members of the LGBT community have supported a boycott because the company's founder and CEO is the son of controversial radio personality Michael Savage, and because its former CFO, Janet Weiner, is Savage's wife and also CFO of Savage Productions.[18][19] The boycott was motivated by allegations that Savage had made comments perceived to be homophobic, racist, and discriminatory.[20][21][22] In May 2009 San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom returned a $25,000 donation which Rockstar had made to his 2010 re-election campaign.[19][23]

During an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Eric Jaye of the campaign, stated the money was returned because "there was some statements made during (Weiner's) 1998 campaign in the GOP primary which conflicted with the mayor's position and we're returning the check," he said.

In a later interview Weiner told the SF Gate: "I still wish Gavin well. I always will." But he said that with the donation rejected, "I'm taking this money and I'm donating it to charity. We're telling them to name a charity of their choosing, and if they don't want it, we'll donate it to Project Open Hand."

Rockstar CFO Janet Weiner had stepped down from her role as CFO of Savage Productions "as an apparent statement of solidarity with equality advocates" which had not been requested as part of the agreement.[24]

Rockstar, saying that the "" domain name was registered and used in bad faith, obtained control of that site under a decision from the National Arbitration Forum.[25]


  1. ^ a b Business WeekRockstar, Inc.
  2. ^ a b Reuters, 20 February 2009, PepsiCo sees $650 million in snacks for women
  3. ^ "NEO-CONSERVATIVE HOST ONCE EMBRACED THE COUNTERCULTURE". San Jose Mercury News. 2003-07-25. Archived from the original on 3 December 2003. Retrieved 2012-10-21. 
  4. ^ a b New York Times, 4 April 2004, Business; Energy Drinks Charm the Young and Caffeinated
  5. ^ New York Times, 23 May 2004, JUST BROWSING; Opening 13 Cans of Whoop
  6. ^ Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 29 May 2005, Coke gets in on hot energy drink market
  7. ^ Los Angeles Times, 17 April 2004, "Red Bull Is Determined to Defend Its Territory; The top energy- drink brand is taking action to protect its market share and trade name, including suing bars."
  8. ^ Fluidtrade, 22 May 2008, Rockstar the 5 million can brand in the UK.... and counting....
  9. ^ "PepsiCo signs deal to distribute Rockstar via Pepsi bottlers". 2009-02-19. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  10. ^ "FMQB: Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Nielsen Ratings, Music News and more!". 
  11. ^ "Rockstar Energy Shop - Home Page". 
  12. ^, The Story behind Rock Star Energy Drink
  13. ^ Original Rockstar Ingredients
  14. ^ "Golden Gate [X]press : Energy Drinks More Dangerous than Efficient". 
  15. ^ [1] Archived 16 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Study finds dangers in energy drinks with booze, Golden gate X-press, 6 December 2007
  17. ^ Accessed: 2009-09-28. (Archived by WebCite at
  18. ^ Edge, 11 June 2009, Should You Boycott Rockstar?
  19. ^ a b, 4 June 2009, Rockstar Demands Retraction from Gaywired
  20. ^ Alternet, 10 June 2009, AlterNet Takes on Shock Jock Michael Savage and Gets Threatened With a Lawsuit
  21. ^ "The Truth About Rockstar Energy Drink (official website)". 
  22. ^ "Free Press Release Distribution - Newswire". 
  23. ^ The Associated Press. "Newsom campaign to return Rockstar CEO's donation". San Diego Union-Tribune. 
  24. ^ "Rockstar Energy Drink CFO breaks ties with Savage Productions | The Bilerico Project". 2009-07-17. Retrieved 2012-10-21. 
  25. ^ "Decision". Retrieved 2012-10-21. 

External links[edit]