Red Bull is produced and sold by the Austrian company Red Bull GmbH. In 2006 there were three billion cans sold.
The motto for the drink is “It gives you Wings.”
What with its high sugar and caffeine content, it’s understandable that it will give you energy and “wings” – although it’s not a healthy type of energy that it gives you.
It contains 21.5 grams of sucrose, 5.25 grams of glucose, and 80 mg of caffeine. The caffeine in Red Bull is equal to the amount found in an average cup of coffee, although it’s twice the amount found in a can of Coke. A sugar-free version is available, sweetened with aspartame and sucralose, instead of sucrose and glucose.
Commonly reported adverse effects due to caffeine used in the quantities present in Red Bull are insomnia, nervousness, headache, and rapid heartbeat.
The results of a study conducted in 2008 showed that the ingestion of one can of Red Bull had an immediate detrimental effect on both endothelial function, and normal blood coagulation. This temporarily raised the cardiovascular risk in these individuals to a level comparable to that of an individual with established coronary artery disease.
Based on their results, researchers involved with the study cautioned against the consumption of Red Bull in individuals under stress, in those with high blood pressure, or in anyone with established atherosclerotic disease.
There has been at least one case report of Red Bull overdose causing death in a young athlete.
But regardless of all this, because of the way it is promoted, it is the world’s leading energy drink.
But the kind of energy boost it gives is one that will ramp up your adrenal system and put your body in hyperdrive. It’s the kind of boost that puts you in High Density Lifestyle mode.
And now, on top of all that Red Bull is, it was recently discovered that Red Bull has cocaine in it.
Because of the recent findings of cocaine in Red Bull, it has been banned in at least six German states.
The cocaine was discovered by a German food safety agency in the North Rhine-Westphalia (LIGA) state, which stated they found 0.4 micrograms per liter in the drink.
While Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment and the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection both said the level did not pose a threat to public safety, it was thought more German states may join the ban.
“The institute examined Red Bull Cola in an elaborate chemical process and found traces of cocaine,” said Bernhard Kuehnle, head of the food safety department at the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection.
Officials also said that the presence of the cocaine residues violated the parameters of being classified a “food stuff.” Rather, it should be classified as a narcotic, and that classification needs a specific license.
The use of coca leaves is something that the beverage industry is understandably coy about given its links to cocaine, even if decocainised leaves are legal in most countries.
According to a story in Time magazine, Coca-Cola refused to confirm or deny whether it used either regular or decocainised coca leaves in its products.