has been blamed for a handful of deaths
, all of which were surrounded by media hype
and purposeful mystification. Very few people fully understand the purpose of Red Bull, and believe without doubt that it is an infallible "performance enhancing drug". (The manufacturer, while stating relative truths on the official Red Bull web site, takes little action to actively dissuade this opinion.) Red Bull is a useful substance, in some circumstances. The official website (www.redbull.com) even recommends it for intense sporting events, with the following disclaimer:
"(Drink Red Bull) prior to demanding athletic
activities, or in a performance drop during a game. As Red Bull
has not been formulated to deliver re-hydration
, we encourage people who are engaged in sport also to drink lots of water
during intense exercise."
Red Bull isn't officially recommended
for consumption with alcohol. However, redbull.com states: "we have to reinforce the fact that only the alcoholic
part of the mixed drink can have a negative impact on health
." In short, it is their public opinion that Red Bull is no more harmful than any other non-alcoholic
mixer. Other sources disagree:
"(The consumption of Red Bull in conjunction with alcohol use) can lead to a wired and drunken feeling at best, nausea and heart disrhythmia at worse (sic)." Both alcohol and caffiene can contribute to dehydration, and Red Bull has a relatively high caffiene concentration. Combining the two drugs could result in severe dehydration. In addition to this, pre-existing heart conditions (even undetected ones) can exacerbate the effects of caffeine. Consumers with pre-existing heart conditions should avoid mixing stimulants such as caffiene and taurine with depressants such as alcohol due to the opposing ways these substances can affect the heart rate.
It would be overly reactionary to ban Red Bull itself because of a few deaths after unusually high consumption levels. A more reasonable solution is to consume both alcohol and Red Bull in moderation, ensuring that you remain hydrated by drinking water or another hydrating substance
also. Keep in mind that a 250mL can of Red Bull contains 80mg of caffeine
; the same amount as a 600mL bottle of coke, or a 330mL bottle of Red Eye
Platinum. However, your reaction to these drinks may differ as Red Eye and Red Bull take their caffiene content from guarana, and also contain other stimulants, only some of which I have mentioned here.
CHOICE Magazine (Australian)
(fellow E2 User)