Red Bull isn’t bad, but does it really give you wings?
Every year, around 7 billion cans of Red Bull energy drink are consumed around the world. That's approximately one can for every man, woman and child on Earth.
Red Bull has had staggering success over the years and we should thank them for creating energy drinks as we know them, but have you ever wondered about what's actually in a can?
Is Red Bull bad for you?
But, there's quite a bit more to the discussion.
Before we get to that though, let's have a look at the ingredients in a can of Red Bull.
What's in a can of Red Bull?
Each 8.4 fl.oz can contains the following ingredients:
- 110 calories
- 27g sugars
- 80mg of caffeine
- 28g carbohydrates
- Niacin (100% of the recommended daily intake)
- Vitamin B6 (250% of the recommended daily intake)
- Vitamin B12 (80% of the recommended daily intake)
- Pantothenic Acid (50% of the recommended daily intake)
In addition to these, there are trace amounts of:
- Carbonated Water
- Citric Acid
- Sodium Bicarbonate
- Magnesium Carbonate
- Calcium Pantothenate
- Pyridoxine HCl
- Vitamin B12
- Natural and artificial flavors
Some people have strong opinions about whether Red Bull is bad for you without even fully understanding the ingredients. As you can see, there's nothing scary in there and if you drink Red Bull in moderation you won't have much to worry about, especially if the rest of your diet is healthy and balanced.
In my opinion, the most "dangerous" ingredients in a can of Red Bull are the sugar and caffeine. But, of course, there are many other products that contain these ingredients, so I think it's wrong to point the finger at Red Bull and say that it's unhealthy or dangerous.
I previously wrote an extensive article about whether energy drinks are bad for you. Since most energy drinks contain similar ingredients, you might like to check that out.
Is Red Bull as bad as they make it out to be?
Personally, I don't think so.
Red Bull is not any healthier or worse for you than any other energy drinks in my opinion. If you drink Red Bull in moderation it's really no worse than having a daily cup of Joe with some sugar in it. No one seems to take issue with that, so we shouldn't treat energy drinks any differently.
Although it's generally safe to drink Red Bull, if consumed in excess it can cause some problems health issues. This is because they contain lots of added sugar which are far more than what's considered healthy for you. For that reason, I strongly discourage you to drink more than one or two cans a day.
However, if you need two cans of it in order to function properly, it's probably best that you go for the sugar-free Red Bull instead.
You can read more about my previous article where I discuss whether it is safe to drink a can of Red Bull every day.
Side Effects of it
Just like any energy drink, Red Bull does have the potential to cause health problems if consumed in excess. Energy drinks like Red Bull can cause side effects such as:
If consumed in excess you may experience an even more severe side effect such as:
When it comes to energy drinks, it's always best to drink them in moderation and Red Bull is no exception. Consuming energy drinks such as Red Bull shouldn't do you any harm unless you have a pre-existing health condition or if you drink them in excess.
How much caffeine is in Red Bull?
Red Bull contains 80mg of caffeine per 8.4 fl.oz can.
80mg of caffeine is a moderate amount. It's similar to what you would get in a cup of coffee.
In fact, the FDA recommends to limit your caffeine intake to no more than 400mg per day.
With that in mind, 80mg of caffeine seems to be a safe amount, unlike some other very strong energy drinks which contain up to 300mg of caffeine per serve.
How much sugar is in a can of Red Bull?
Red Bull contains 27g of sugar, which is on the higher end of the spectrum.
The American Heart Association, recommends limiting your sugar consumption to no more than 37.5g for men and 25g for women per day. If you're a woman just one can of Red Bull will put you over the daily limit. For men, that's not much extra wiggle room after downing an 8.4 ounce can.
Taking in so much sugar definitely isn't good for you, especially if it's added sugars. Excess added sugars are known to be the leading cause of type 2 diabetes, premature aging, and tooth decay.
If you want to drink energy drinks, I strongly suggest that you go for the sugar-free versions. In addition to not containing added sugars, they're much healthier for you in general in my opinion.
Is Red Bull unhealthy?
No, Red Bull isn't overly unhealthy for you.
That's true if you consume Red Bull in moderation and if you don't have any pre-existing health conditions.
In my opinion, Red Bull contains lots of ingredients which, if you consume in moderation won't do you any harm. However, in excess, these ingredients can cause potential side effects and cause a potential decline in your health.
I think the most "dangerous" ingredients in Red Bull are caffeine and sugar. Red Bull certainly isn't the only drink to include those. You should always consume caffeine in moderation and try to limit your sugar intake, whether you get them from Red Bull or any other source.
The key message here is to drink Red Bull in moderation.
If you're interested to find out whether Monster energy drink is bad for you, check out my other article.
Is Red Bull bad for your heart?
Red Bull contains caffeine, which is a stimulant known to increase your heart rate and blood pressure.
Drinking a single can of Red Bull every day won't have much of an effect on your heart unless you have pre-existing health issues.
Once again, the key here is to only consume one or two cans of Red Bull a day.
Drinking two or more cans of Red Bull in one go may cause your heart rate to increase to an uncomfortable level.
As a matter of fact, a study found that drinking more than one can of energy drink can cause cardiac arrest for individuals who have pre-existing heart conditions.
This happens because your body infuses more caffeine than it can handle. Over time, this can cause the blood vessels surrounding your heart to weaken and rupture. This can lead to a variety of heart issues, such as cardiac arrest and strokes.
Does Red Bull affect your Liver?
Yes, Red Bull can affect your liver if consumed in excess.
High sugar diets are highly correlated with instances of fatty liver disease.
Red Bull contains lots of sugar for a pretty small can. 27g of sugar in a regular 8.4 fl.oz can is a lot.
Actually, it's more than 6 full tea spoons of sugar.
Red Bull isn't the most sugary energy drink on the market, but that amount of sugar won't do you any good. Too much sugar can harm your liver, and is also bad for your teeth.
Your liver is mainly responsible for digesting sugar to turn it into fat. Excessive sugar can cause a fatty buildup in your liver which can lead to various liver diseases.
Stick to a single can of Red Bull per day, or drink the sugar-free option and you should be fine.
Is Red Bull bad for kids?
If you're under the age of 18, it's best to stay away from Red Bull and other energy drinks.
At the moment in the United States, there isn't any age restriction for buying energy drinks.
However, in countries like England, children under the age of 16 are banned from buying energy drinks. I've previously written about the debate on whether or not energy drinks should be banned for teenagers. Check that article out to get all the facts.
I wouldn't recommend kids to drink energy drinks anyway, even though it's perfectly legal in most countries. For the record, I also think children should stay away from tea, coffee, chocolate and food and drinks that are high in sugar.
As an adult, our matured bodies can handle the caffeine in Red Bull and other energy drinks. Even so, if you consume energy drinks in excess, even adults can face serious health issues.
Is it safe to drink Red Bull every day?
Personally, I don't see why you couldn't drink Red Bull every single day
Check out my other article on that topic where I take a deep dive to find out what would happen if you did drink Red Bull every day.
Despite that, I wouldn't recommend you to do so anyway. It's best to drink Red Bull in moderation and to take some days off every once in a while to avoid becoming addicted to caffeine.
I wouldn't recommend following this lady's incredibly insane Red Bull diet either, which ended with catastrophic consequences.
Red Bull doesn't contain the most caffeine or sugar among energy drinks, however, in excess, Red Bull may still cause some damage to your health.
Take it easy and have an otherwise balanced diet and you'll be just fine.
Can you die from drinking Red Bull?
Technically, it's possible for you to die from drinking Red Bull especially, if you already have a pre-existing health conditions.
However, practically speaking, your chances of dying from drinking Red Bull are almost zero.
For a normal healthy adult, death from drinking Red Bull is extremely rare, and I would say that it's a nearly impossible event. It's certainly not something that you should worry about.
It's worth mentioning that you can also die from drinking too much water too. Put this concern out of your mind and enjoy your Red Bull without fear.
How much Red Bull would you need for it to be fatal?
Well... caffeine affects everyone differently, it depends on your individual tolerance to caffeine.
The more caffeine that you ingest, the higher your tolerance (or dependence) to it. But, to reach the fatal levels of caffeine intoxication, you would have to take in around 10 grams of caffeine. That's a lot of caffeine to consume at once.
That's roughly equivalent to drinking 125 cans of Red Bull in a day.
In fact, even if you were drinking one of the strongest energy drinks in the world, it would be practically impossible to drink enough of them in a short period of time to reach that level of caffeine toxicity.
However, even after consuming 300mg of caffeine, you may start noticing signs of excessive consumption, such as nervousness, jitteriness and even heart palpitations which is probably going to cause you to stop drinking anymore energy drinks.
If you've still got your heart set on Red Bull, you can check the latest price on Amazon here.
Otherwise, let's take a look at a few other products that are similar to Red Bull.
Alternatives to Red Bull
There are lots of great alternatives to Red Bull to choose from when it comes to energy drinks. If you're looking for something similar to Red Bull, take a look at these energy drinks and figure out what works best for you.
• Rip It
If you're interested in something which is slightly different, but works in a very similar manner, try Vivarin Caffeine Pills. Vivarin Caffeine Pills contain 200mg of caffeine in a pill.
Other caffeinated alternatives such as Make it Mio are also worth considering. Make it Mio is a water enhancer that gives your water a nice flavor and caffeine boost.
If you're looking for something much more convenient, powdered energy drinks are another great option.
They also tend to also be much more affordable than most of the market leading energy drinks.
• REIZE (10 out of 10 )
If you're looking to try powdered energy drinks, I would highly recommend REIZE!
The best Red Bull alternative - REIZE
REIZE is nothing like your conventional energy drink.
Instead, it comes in a powdered form that makes it much more versatile and easier to use compared to most energy drinks.
That's not all, you can also mix REIZE with any other beverage of your choice. In my opinion, it's definitely the most versatile energy drink on the market.
REIZE contains just 50mg of caffeine per serve. Although it's less than what's in Red Bull, REIZE still gives you more than enough of an energy boost without all the negative side effects of too much caffeine or sugar.
REIZE contains tons of other great energizing ingredients such as taurine, ginseng and B vitamins which all work great together with the 50mg of caffeine to give you a better energy boost.
REIZE is also sugar-free, so you don't have to worry about sugar crashes or even excessive calories.
The best part, REIZE ships right to your door for about $1 per drink. That's great value and definitely much more affordable than Red Bull.
You can choose between a monthly deliveries or a one-time purchases, whichever best suits your needs.
Give REIZE a try, and you might just find that REIZE is better than Red Bull.