What Does Red Bull Contain?

Sugar on metal scoop
Red Bull may give you a short-lived burst of energy thanks to the sugar, but now there's a sugar-free version. (Image: Amarita/iStock/Getty Images)

Red Bull is an energy drink marketed to individuals seeking to feel energized during the day. The effects of the drink are likely achieved through the substantial amounts of added caffeine and sugar. Red Bull is high in calories. The energy claims made by the manufacturer have not been substantiated.

Caffeine

Caffeine in Red Bull gives you energy. Purported benefits of caffeine include improved energy levels, increased alertness and enhanced endurance. Red Bull contains 250 ml, which is approximately the same amount of caffeine in a cup of regular coffee. Consumption of too much caffeine is associated with headaches, stomach upset and difficulty sleeping.

Taurine

Taurine is an amino acid that naturally occurs in the human body and regulates the levels of electrolytes in the body. According to the Mayo Clinic, taurine may help improve athletic performance, but the effects of taking taurine in excessive amounts are unknown. The Mayo Clinic states that 3,000 mg of taurine per day is considered safe. A can of Red Bull contains 1 g of taurine.

Sugars

Red Bull contains a lot of sugar, which increases the calorie count. A 16 ounce can of Red Bull contains 220 calories. Although sugars can cause a quick increase in energy levels, the effects are short-lived. A 16 ounce Red Bull includes 56 g of carbohydrates, or 18 percent of your total recommended daily allowance. Red Bull also contains glucuronolactone, a sugar derivative used to prolong shelf-life.

Considerations

Red Bull Sugar Free is marketed to individuals seeking to keep calorie intake low while still feeling energized. Instead of using sugar to sweeten the drink, manufacturers use the sugar substitute aspartame. A 16 ounce can of Red Bull Sugar Free contains only 10 calories and 4 g of total carbohydrates.

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