Asian Red Bull – Krating Daeng (different to Red Bull)
The Asian Red Bull - Krating Daeng?
It's the most popular energy drink in the world.
Consumed in almost every corner of the globe, Red Bull has become a staple in many people's daily lives. Since Red Bull is an Austrian energy drink, most of us would think that it originated from Austria.
However, before it became the energy drink that we've grown to know and love it was originally formulated in Thailand by Chaleo Yoovidhya, a Thai national.
He called it "Krating Daeng", meaning "red bull" in Thai.
The Asian version of Red Bull, Krating Daeng is most popular in southeast Asian countries like Thailand.
It was originally introduced as a liquid refreshment for Thai laborers, made to provide factory workers with a quick energy fix so they could get on with their work.
Unlike its western counterpart Red Bull, Krating Daeng is a non-carbonated energy drink and is almost exclusively sold in Southeast Asia.
What's the difference between Krating Daeng and Red Bull?
At first glance, it's pretty hard to distinguish between the two brands.
Both bear the same logo and name. The only difference is that the packaging for Krating Daeng is slightly different than that of Red Bull. Regular Red Bull comes in a tall, skinny can, whereas Krating Daeng comes in a short, stubby can, or a small glass bottle.
However, don't go thinking that Krating Daeng is a ripoff version of Red Bull. If anything, it's the other way around.
In fact, Red Bull, the energy drink that we've all grown to love, is based off the original Thai version of Krating Daeng.
What is the price for Krating Daeng?
Krating Daeng in Thailand is very cheap. Unlike in the states where a can of Red Bull will usually cost around $2 per, in Thailand it will only cost you about 10 baht at a local store (roughly 35 US cents).
Plus, if you decide to buy them in bulk, they will be even cheaper.
Where to buy Krating Daeng
If you're in the US, chances are it will be pretty hard for you to get your hands on Krating Daeng.
This is partly due to the trademark infringements with Red Bull Austria. The Asian Red Bull is no longer allowed to be distributed anywhere else other than in the Asian region.
However, if you visit countries in Asia like Malaysia, Singapore or Thailand, you can find Krating Daeng in most grocery and convenience stores.
Usually, it's positioned right beside the Austrian version of Red Bull, but for a fraction of the price.
Is Krating Daeng good for your health?
I wouldn't say it's good for your health, but it isn't very bad either if you consume it in moderation.
The same is true for all energy drinks. If the rest of your diet and lifestyle is balanced and healthy, you're unlikely to experience any side effects or encounter any of the potential dangers of energy drinks.
Drink Krating Daeng in moderation and you'll be just fine.
Is Krating Daeng Dangerous?
No, it's not dangerous to drink Krating Daeng unless you have a pre-existing health condition.
The most "dangerous" ingredients in Krating Daeng are probably caffeine and sugar.
Do your own research to better understand the potential health issues associated with over-consumption of both of those, or consult your doctor for a professional opinion.
If you're considering drinking Krating Daeng every day, I would advise you to go for the sugar-free version, rather than the regular Krating Daeng, which does contain quite a lot of sugar (42 grams).
However, even if you do drink the sugar-free version, remember to always consume them in moderation and to make sure the rest of your diet and lifestyle is healthy and balanced.
It's always best to consult your doctor if you're uncertain about whether or not if it's alright for you to drink Krating Daeng.
Krating Daeng energy drink ingredients
Each can of Krating Daeng (8.4 fl.oz) contains the following ingredients:
- 160 Calories
- 44g Carbohydrates (most of which are sugars)
- 42g Total Sugar (Sucrose)
- 1g Protein
- 0g Fat
- 1000mg Taurine
- 400mg D-glucuronolactone
- Vitamin B3 (57% of the daily recommended value)
- Vitamin B5 (100% of the daily recommended value)
- Vitamin B6 (300% of the daily recommended value)
- Vitamin B12 ( 166% of the daily recommended value)
There are also small amounts of:
- Choline Bitartrate
- Citric Acid
- Sodium benzoate (preservative)
- Flavoring and coloring
Krating Daeng energy drink flavors
The Asian Red Bull comes only in a few flavors:
- Original (250ml)
- Original (150ml)
- Sugar-Free (250ml)
How much caffeine is in Krating Daeng?
By volume, Krating Daeng has a much less caffeine than regular Red Bull.
Krating Daeng contains 50mg of caffeine per 8.4 fl.oz can. This puts Krating Daeng at the lower end of the scale of the world's strongest energy drinks.
According to the guideline set by the US FDA, the maximum recommended daily dosage for caffeine is 400mg for an average healthy adult.
I consider 50mg to be a sensible amount of caffeine in a drink. It's much less than a cup of coffee which has about 95mg of caffeine. This is good because consuming too much caffeine can be bad for your health, but it's still enough to get a nice energy boost from.
Most energy drinks have a warning label on the packaging which usually mentions that the product is not suitable for children or pregnant women.
However, for Krating Daeng, there isn't any warning label anywhere on the packaging. I'm not assuming that it's safe for children or pregnant women to drink, I just think that perhaps there are different laws around what warnings are required on caffeinated products in Asia compared to in the Western world.
I wouldn't recommend you to drink Krating Daeng if you're under the age of 18, pregnant, breastfeeding, have an existing medical condition or on any prescription medication.
Sugar content in Krating Daeng
The Asian version of Red Bull contains a total 42g of sugar per 8.4 fl.oz (250ml).
Simple sugars like sucrose are mainly used in the Asian Red Bull to give it a distinct sweetness.
As we all know sugar is bad for you, especially if taken in excess overtime. It can cause you to develop some serious health issues like diabetes.
The recommended daily dosage of sugar for men is only 38g per day and for women it's just 25g. That's according to the American Heart Association.
Drinking just one can of Krating Daeng will put you way above the recommended maximum daily dosage, without taking into account the other sources of sugar you may be consuming elsewhere in your diet.
What are the side effects of Asian Red Bull - Krating Daeng?
Just like any other energy drinks, Krating Daeng has some potential side effects if consumed in excess.
The severity of the side effects is largely dependent on your genetic makeup. If you have an allergic reaction or have a low tolerance for some of the ingredients in it, there's a possibility that you may experience some devastating side effects from drinking Krating Daeng. But these are extremely rare.
It's best for you to consult a doctor first if you are on any medical prescription or have any existing health issues, before drinking Krating Daeng.
Possible minor side effects:
- Weight gain
- Sugar crashes
- Increased heart rate
Possible more serious side effects:
- Poor dental health
- Kidney stones
- Allergic reactions
Review of Krating Daeng - The Asian Red Bull
The entire design of Krating Daeng is very similar to Red Bull.
The small bottle that Krating Daeng comes in looks somewhat like an old fashioned medicine bottle.
The canned version, on the other hand, is somewhat smaller and wider than the regular 8.4oz Red Bull can.
Personally, after trying the Asian Red Bull myself, I can say it tastes a whole lot sweeter than the western Red Bull.
This doesn't come as a surprise, as it does contain more sugar than the western counterpart with 42g per 8.4 fl.oz versus 27g per 8.4 fl.oz in a regular can of Red Bull in the US.
If I were to describe the taste, it tastes somewhat like a non-carbonated sweet syrupy drink.
Personally, I find it a bit too sweet for my liking.
Just like what I expected from this energy drink, within minutes of consuming it I noticed a clear improvement in my energy levels.
I noticed a nice energy boost which made me feel wide awake and more alert. The only downside to it is that I started feeling a slight buzz in my head after consuming it which lasted for quite some time. I assume it's from all the sugar in combination with the caffeine, but it did make it difficult to maintain my concentration.
The effects lasted about 3 hours, which was enough for me to get my work done. After that, I started to experience an energy crash, becoming more fatigued and even less able to focus.
My guess is that this is a side effect from consuming so much sugar in a short period of time.
If you were to ask me which was better, the Asian Red Bull or Red Bull, I would choose the Austrian version.
For me, the Asian Red Bull contains too much sugar and tastes too sweet.
The Asian Red Bull, in my opinion, is great as a pre-workout drink for you to get an extra pump in the gym. It's not carbonated, which means you won't be left feeling bloated after drinking it, unlike the western counterpart.
But, as a daily source of quick energy fix, I wouldn't recommend it. You'll only be productive for about 3 hours before experiencing a dreadful sugar crash.
For those reasons, I would recommend you to stick to regular Red Bull, especially the sugar-free version. Sure, it costs an extra $1-$2 than Krating Daeng, but it tastes much nicer and it doesn't give you the same sugar crash as I experienced from Krating Daeng.
But hey, if you're ever in Asia, try them both for yourself and make up your own mind.
Despite what I think, most would agree that Krating Daeng holds a place in history as one of the greatest energy drinks of all-time, simply because it is the Grand-Daddy of modern day Red bull and all subsequent energy drinks.
Alternatives to Krating DAENG
If you're looking for other products like Krating Daeng, there are some other great energy drinks in Asia to check out:
• Red Bull (the Western version)
• Extra Joss
• REIZE (my personal favorite, ships worldwide)
At 50mg of caffeine, REIZE contains as much caffeine as Krating Daeng, but it's sugar-free, which in my opinion makes it a good energy drink for daily consumption.
REIZE is also a lot more convenient and versatile than Krating Daeng. You can add it to all sorts of beverages - soda, hot water, cold water, flavored juice, just about anything you can think of.
In addition to 50mg of caffeine, REIZE also contains taurine, ginseng and B group vitamins that all work together to give you a great energy boost - without the sugar crash.
Give REIZE a try today and you might just find that you prefer it to Asian Red Bull.