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Red bull Side Effects (Energy Drinks’ Health Hazards)

Red bull Side Effects (Energy Drinks’ Health Hazards)

Red bull Side Effects (Energy Drinks’ Health Hazards)

Energy drinks are a pack of caffeine, sodium and sugar. Caffeine content is twice that of coffee and several times more than other beverages. Almost all energy drinks are carbonated beverages that contain caffeine and other energy-augmenting substances including some beneficial vitamins and minerals as well.

When it comes to energy drinks one name strikes to the mind – RED BULL. Absolutely, why not, it is the highest-selling energy drink across the globe.

Red bull benefits and side effects

When you ask any youngster about red bull – they say, it improves mental strength, boosts energy levels, augments mindfulness and peaks performance. The reason! “RED BULL” is marketed that way.

When you ask them this question – What about “Red bull everyday side effects”?  – they say “no, nothing as such” but the reality is contrary to what they say.

For this reason, many youngsters are taking energy drinks without even bothering about the safety, Negative effects of red bull or any other energy drink per se and the health concerns associated with its use. There are many disadvantages of drinking red bull.

This article is an attempt to highlight the potential harmful effects or Side effects of drinking too much red bull. In general, not only this brand of energy drink (Red Bull) but also any other energy drink in general. We will also see the side effect of drinking red bull every day and also whether drinking it in excess could be life-threatening.

Let us first see the composition of an energy drink.

Composition of Energy Drinks

  • Carbonated water
  • Sugar (some sugar-free options have aspartame and acesulfame K)

This type of energy drink is marketed as sugar-free and Zero sugar. Though it is marketed as safe, it is not.

  • Caffeine
  • Proteins
  • Taurine (amino acid)
  • Calories
  • B Vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12)
  • Citric Acid
  • Baking Soda
  • Glucuronolactone
  • Artificial colours and flavours

Red bull uses and side effects based on composition: It is used as a stimulant and for peak performance and also for boosting energy instantly. Though some varieties are marketed as zero-sugar or zero calories – they too come with potential side effects.

Sugar free red bull side effects

This version of red bull too has similar side effects and drinking it regularly causes potential side effects. Though it doesn’t provide sugar, regular intake of red bull’s sugar free version still increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. According to research studies, two artificial sweeteners acesulfame K and aspartame in sugar-free version of red bull increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. Though this version is low in calories but still has the same amount of caffeine – which is harmful.

Red bull ingredients’ side effects

“When you mix caffeine, sugar (in excess), and other ingredients like ginseng, taurine, guarana and others, then combined effect can be delirious to the mind and lethal to the body.

Red bull vitamin B6 overdose

Many energy drinks have excess amounts of vitamin B6 and B12. Youngsters who drink more than one drink may put themselves hundreds of times over their daily vitamin B6 need. This may increase the risk of toxicity and harmful accumulation of vitamins – posing huge risk to liver health.

Red bull side effects on liver

Excess Niacin (vitamin B3) in Red bull can cause liver toxicity and hepatitis warns a study published in The British Medical Journal (BMJ). A standard can of Red bull contains nearly about 22 milligrams of niacin which is 120% more than the recommended daily value (RDA).

Red bull side effects on the body

Red bull side effects on brain: Red bull ingredients side effects from a complex mixture can range from headaches, nervousness, anxiety, depression to heart problems, strokes and seizures,” says Dr Vikram Sharma.

Red bull side effects on heart

Drinking one serving or one can or 260 ml of energy drink increases heart rate and blood pressure within 90 minutes and up to 24 hours after consumption. This is due to high caffeine content.

Occasional and moderate intake doesn’t cause any heart problems – but excessive consumption particularly in the young age group has been linked to serious heart issues – heart attacks, arrhythmias and cardiac arrest.

Long term effects of red bull

Pre-existing heart disease and high blood pressure can become worse and life-threatening for those who consume energy drinks regularly.

Increased sugar intake from sweetened energy drinks (one to two serving per day) could increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in the long run.

Drinking acidic beverages can destroy tooth enamel and increase the risk of tooth decay by microorganisms. These are some of the long-term effects of drinking red bull.

Red bull side effects on kidneys

Energy drinks are high in sugar – therefore, excessive consumption can increase the risk of kidney disease. The risk of the formation of kidney stones and chronic kidney disease increases due to regular intake of energy drinks.

Stomach pain after drinking red bull

Excess consumption of red bull or long-term use can cause indigestion by disturbing the balance of acid in the stomach. Energy drinks irritate stomach lining and gut and cause heartburn by relaxing oesophagus. In some people nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal cramps may develop.

Red bull addiction side effects

Red bull withdrawal symptoms: People who consume excessive energy drinks may suffer from caffeine overdose and toxicity – Red bull addiction withdrawal symptoms may include trouble sleeping, dizziness, rapid heart rate, anxiety, hallucinations, nausea and vomiting.

Headache after red bull: Headache after drinking red bull is common – especially in youngsters – the reason, energy drinks boost blood flow and blood pressure. Some individuals are susceptible to caffeine-related headaches that may manifest following caffeine consumption.

Dr. Vikram Sharma quotes a wonderful question often posed by his patients

A majority of his patients ask the following question to him: “Sir can caffeine stop or treat a headache and or can it trigger a headache.” Dr. Sharma says, caffeine does both.

Dr. Vikram further adds that some of the ingredients of energy drinks can interact with prescription medicines (diabetes, high blood pressure and medicines prescribed for depression) and cause undue side effects.

Furthermore, excessive consumption of energy drinks can lead to severe headaches and migraines from caffeine withdrawal symptoms.

Red bull with alcohol side effects

When consumed with alcohol, there is an increased risk of high-risk behaviour in youngsters – says Dr. Vikram Sharma. Youngsters feel less intoxicated after mixing alcohol with red bull as the energy drink masks the effects of alcohol although they still experience alcohol-related impairments.

Many youngsters who don’t pair energy drink with alcohol may still be at an increased risk of alcohol dependence and illicit drug use.

Vodka with red bull side effects

Don’t neglect the dangers while providing solace to your soul and for that euphoria feeling – Dr. Vikram warns you to Stop! Before gulping your next glass consisting of vodka and red bull.

Excessive surge in energy levels can prove detrimental to your health. Excess energy, plant-based ingredients – caffeine, sugars make you feel energetic and masks the effects of vodka. For instance, outside you may look sober, but inside alcohol can make the situation worse. While alcohol acts as a depressant, red bull acts as a stimulant – this contrasting combination can affect heart muscles and cause abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmias), heart attacks and even sudden cardiac death.

Bottom Line

Though sugar-free version of Red Bull is considered as relatively safe by many assuming that it is low in calories and sugar, the caffeine amount it has is equal to sweetened Red Bull – therefore, it is still likely to cause similar harmful effects.

Energy drinks are unhealthy for all – particularly for youngsters.

Some brands do not list caffeine content on their labels. Therefore, caffeine content greatly varies in popular energy drinks. Moreover, they claim their beverage as a natural dietary supplement. A typical energy drink can contain between 150 mg to 300 mg of caffeine and larger cans can have up to 500 mg of caffeine. Excessive caffeine intake can cause restlessness, dehydration, insomnia, heart palpitations, high blood pressure and increased heart rate. Caffeine is a drug and it is addictive.

Red bull energy drink side effects in Youngsters

Many youngsters combine caffeine-rich energy drinks and alcohol, but it becomes a deadly combination. When they do so they have a perception that they are not as drunk as they really are. When they feel this way, they tend to drink more as they experience fewer effects from alcohol. The possibility of engaging in binge drinking and risk behaviours (driving, fighting) increases in these youngsters.

Red bull addiction side effects: Those who are addicted to high doses of caffeine should not quit it suddenly as they may become prone to withdrawal symptoms. They can, instead, gradually reduce their caffeine intake on a weekly basis. In this way, they can wean off caffeine completely.

Red bull withdrawal symptoms: Headaches, sluggishness, insomnia or sleeplessness, anxiety, hallucinations, depression, nausea, and vomiting.

Red bull bad effects on Heart

A high dose of caffeine in energy drinks constricts blood vessels -owing to which they become narrow and the blood pressure increases. This will increase the risk of heart attacks and brain strokes. Energy drinks also cause disturbances in the heart’s electrical pattern – which are even more fatal as the risk of sudden cardiac arrest increases. There has been reported cases of sudden cardiac arrest in youngsters who abuse energy drinks.


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