Red Bull is one of the most popular energy drinks throughout the world selling 5 billion cans per year. Its name is also attached to many sports such as motorsports and biking.
This is because red bull has been branded with regards to its energy-boosting abilities which makes it the perfect sponsor for specific types of events. Hence why there is a Formula One team called Red Bull Racing!
What Does Red Bull Contain?
Red Bull is a carbonated drink that contains an abundance of caffeine as well as other compounds that are considered to be energy-boosting. It also contains taurine and a variety of B vitamins.
Whilst the specific ingredients vary between different countries, the key ingredients are:
- Carbonated Water
- Baking Soda
- Citric Acid
- Magnesium Carbonate
- Artificial Colors
- Natural Flavors
Red Bull also provides sugar-free alternatives such as Red Bull Zero and Red Bull Sugarfree. These drinks use sweeteners in place of sugar.
Each ingredient is included to provide that vital energy boost and whilst this is great in the short-term, the drink can cause long-term issues.
Like many other energy drinks, Red Bull contains some questionable ingredients.
Whilst this is extremely rare, excessive consumption can lead to a heart attack and although this is a rare scenario, we should remain cautious about consuming this drink in high quantities.
This is because regularly drinking Red Bull can also increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes, High blood pressure and tooth damage.
The drink is very high in sugars (or sweeteners) but has a low nutritional value and healthier alternatives like tea or coffee will give you the boost that you require without causing as many health concerns.
Is Red Bull Vegan?
There are a number of ingredients included in Red Bull that are questionable when following a strict vegan lifestyle.
However, this will depend on the extent to which you follow a vegan diet. Red Bull contains artificial colors which come with a history of animal experimentation.
Artificial colors are tested periodically and this rarely ends well for the creature that is being tested on.
It is also important to note that the Red Bull GmbH company supports these tests according to data gathered by PETA and you should therefore think twice about consuming Red Bull products if you are following a vegan lifestyle for ethical reasons.
The natural flavor contained within the drink can be derived from both animal or plant-based sources. These are usually extracted from fruit juice or vegetable juice.
However, they can be extracted from meat, seafood, or poultry. Dairy products are also a source of natural flavoring.
These sources are usually obtained through a roasting process and common natural flavors like ‘Castoreum’ are actually taken from beavers.
Although the vast majority of natural flavors will be vegan friendly, if you are unable to determine this from the label, you should contact the company directly in order to establish the source of the natural flavor contained.
Is Sugar Vegan?
The sugar contained within this specific drink is vegan. However, the sugar contained within a lot of energy drinks will not be vegan-friendly.
This is because most sugar will have been refined using bone char from animals as this bleaches the sugar to give it its white coloration.
Bone char is created by heating the bones of animals at high temperatures. Red Bull’s website stipulates that the sugar in their drink stems from beets and it is therefore considered to be vegan friendly.
There is a common misconception that the Taurine found in Red Bull is taken from bulls. Taurine is actually an amino acid that is usually naturally produced by the body.
Many people have stated that this amino acid is taken from bull urine. However, the name is derived from the word ‘Taurus’.
The taurine contained is also formed synthetically and although it can be obtained from specific animal products, it usually comes from a laboratory.
Red Bull Doesn’t Contain Animal Ingredients
Whilst this drink doesn’t explicitly contain animal products, it does contain artificial colors which many strict vegans will avoid.
It is also important to note that the company itself supports animal experimentation which makes it unethical for the vast majority of vegans.
If you are concerned about drinking a can for other reasons, you can purchase an Organic Red Bull although these are usually more expensive.
It is also important to note the health issues that have been linked to the excessive consumption of energy drinks. You are increasing your chances of a heart attack as well as developing type 2 diabetes.
These products are not designed to provide you with an abundance of nutritional value and only provide you with a short-term energy boost that wears off throughout the day.
This short-term effect leads you to consume more and thus, you can find yourself drinking this drink habitually and increasing your chances of developing life-threatening illnesses.
Whilst there is nothing flagrantly unethical about drinking Red Bull when following a vegan lifestyle, you should always try to consider the sources of your product and how this supply chain has an impact on the wider environment.
Animal experimentation causes great suffering and although scientists state that it is essential, this will pose a moral dilemma for the vast majority of vegans who are also energy-drink lovers.
Try to always read the label prior to purchasing any form of energy drink and have an awareness of the ingredients that are contained so you can make a balanced and informed decision at all times.