I can't really tell you why it's a better choice, but I can tell you that I read an article written by a nutritionist (also an avid backpacker) who mentioned it as one of the better sources of electrolytes and the B12 boost (in the context of backpacking nutrition), and I just decided to try it. It has replaced coffee for me over this summer (until last week anyway) and serves me about as well, but with the added benefits already noted. I don't get an irritated stomach like I get from energy drinks, and have yet to have either a rush or crash from it. Will it cause me to grow a thumb in the middle of my forehead? Could be, but if it doesn't, something out there will. So I just don't sweat it as long as it keeps me truckin.