For more than 7 years, Red Bull was my crutch. When I was feeling down, I drank a Red Bull. When I was tired, I drank a Red Bull. When I was stressed, I drank a Red Bull.
And it didn’t stop there. I drank Red Bull ALL the time! Most days I had 2 and every so often I would have 3..
Because my health has always been so good, I never really put much thought into the effects that drinking so much Red Bull might have. At 120 calories per can, what’s the big deal, I thought.
The good news was that I have a lightning fast metabolism and seem to burn calories at an extraordinary pace. I figured that after drinking one, I would easily burn off the Red Bull within the hour..
My only real issue with it was the cost. I was spending upwards of $70 per month on the stuff. Yes, Costco was my friend…
After multiple failed attempts at getting off of Red Bull, it finally happened.
Actually, I hadn’t planned on it at all. It was just another day filled with caffeine and I was halfway through my second one for the day.
And then my body just said “no more”! I literally couldn’t put the can to my lips for another drink of it. That had never happened and I realized then that my body was so toxic from the years of this stuff that it finally had enough.
And then I got sick…real sick. For three days I felt like death was closing in on me and could barely get out of bed. This was a blessing in disguise because I had no interest in any food or drink, let alone another Red Bull.
My head was pounding from a combination of dehydration and caffeine withdrawal, but I managed to make it through ok.
That was it. I decided that I would not put my body through that ever again and committed to myself that I would not have another Red Bull.
8 Weeks Later
That was in early December and as of the writing of this post, I can officially say that I am done with Red Bull and actually feel just fine. I do miss opening that can first thing in the morning or that feeling of getting ready to drink one in the mid afternoon, but I have made my decision.
Red Bull still sells billions of cans annually and I’ve seen kids as young as 10 drinking the stuff. I know it’s not good for us and although I chose to ignore it for so long, I still feel compelled to write about the effects of this stuff.
Red Bull Health Effects
I’ve decided to get to the bottom of the issue of exactly how bad this is for people, so I have done a bit of research. I’ve found that there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of (good) information about Red Bull health effects, so I thought I would try to break it down myself.
I guess a good place to start would be a list of the ingredients in one of these things. Here they are in order:
- Carbonated Water
- Citric Acid
- Sodium Citrates
- Magnesium Carbonate
- Pyridoxine HCL
- Vitamin B12
- Natural and Artificial Flavors and Colors
If you’re still reading, good for you. I’m sure I’ve bored a few people already….
The savvy marketing squad at Red Bull loves to talk about the amino acid, taurine that is in each can. Here is an excerpt from their website:
“Taurine is involved in vital functions of the human body. It acts as a detoxifying agent by binding with harmful substances and thereby accelerating their excretion from the body. Taurine is also involved in neurological processes and positively influences the performance of the heart. Further, taurine plays a role in thermoregulation.”.
I won’t deny that taurine has an important role in the human body, but to say that there are health benefits associated from getting your dose of it from a Red Bull is ridiculous.
The second ingredient, sucrose, is nothing more than table sugar. I’m sure you’re not surprised. We all know that an excessive intake of sugar is directly related to all kinds of health problems like obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, hypoglycemia, not to mention rotting your teeth.
The caffeine content is high, and contains about 3 times as much as the same volume of Coke. And while caffeine has many health and ergogenic benefits, it also is a diuretic. Meaning that it draws water from our bodies.
Red Bull is marketed as beneficial to sports and exercise related activities, but other than the boost from caffeine and initial blood sugar spike from the sucrose, it’s not doing anything except dehydrating us.
We know that caffeine is a diuretic, which strips water from our bodies. How is this beneficial to athlete?
I could go on for another 2,000 words, but I will leave it at this. Although it’s addictive, laden with sugar, and delicious, it still is a product that should probably be avoided. It does not add anything positive to our daily diets, which are already horrible beyond comprehension.
Take it from me, don’t start drinking this and if you already are, then do your body a huge favor, and quit right now.