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Clipping Red Bull’s wings?

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On Sunday, The People – a paper that I do not consider serious reading but is worth the occasional perusal – reported the effects of drinking five cans of Red Bull on the system of one of its reporters. The journalist drank five cans in succession, her heart rate and tension rising with every finished can.

She was declared unfit to drive after consuming the five cans of stimulant energy drink, reportedly feeling too edgy and excitable. She also wrote that she had trouble sleeping and had a bad headache in the morning.

Well, pardon me, but, no duh! If you consume five cans in a row of a caffeine-and-sugar packed drink, you are bound to feel that way. Five Red Bulls would equal nearly 15 cups of sugared coffee. (There is, however, a sugar-free version of Red Bull now on the market.)

France and Denmark have banned the drink, while Sweden considers doing so. That is not the way to deal with the potentially harmful effects of Red Bull.

A few years ago, there was a controversy over mixing alcoholic drinks with Red Bull. This was because the heavy caffeine content in the Red Bull made it hard to judge just how much alcohol the drinker was consuming. People passed out due to taking in more alcohol than they thought they were drinking. The controversy washed over without much becoming of it; bars still sell cans of Red Bull.

Regarding the latest controversy surrounding the drink, I find it hard to imagine that anyone would want to consume five cans of Red Bull. People might drink two in a row, and they would then be quite a tad energetic. However, what kind of science dictated the decisions of two nations to ban the drink because it has the potential to make idiots that drink more than two cans at one sitting very uncomfortable?

True enough, I sure as hell don’t want anybody driving completely wired from too much caffeine. I would punish that as severely as driving while drunk or stoned.

France isn’t about to ban coffee. What’s to stop me from consuming three or four espressos on a lovely warm Niçois morning? I can have as much coffee as I like, in France or anywhere. In fact, banning Red Bull for being too heavily caffeinated is as ludicrous as banning Everclear for having too heavy an alcohol content. Or maybe the French think of Red Bull as a religious symbol, hence its ban. (The Danes and Swedes, being Scandinavians, have always been keen to ban substances that either intoxicate or stimulate.)

Banning is not the answer to the Red Bull “crisis.” Yes, caffeine, like any drug, has the potential to harm if overdosed on. So slap a warning on the cans.

But banning the drink is prohibition, and prohibition is the ultimate evil.

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  • Antfreeze

    My idiot boss drinks this stuff like water and he gets migrains all the time. For some reason I keep forgetting to tell him about the possible connection.

  • Frankfurt

    The caffeine in one can of Red Bull equals that of one cup of filtered coffee – It’s not that bad!

  • Yeah, Mishal, that’s journalistic reporting a la Hunter Thompson! (lol)

  • easy rider

    we drink red bull at work to give us energy while talking to our clients, but i think if you drink more than 2 your a big idiot and you should just lock yourself in your room and try banging your head against a wall for 30 minutes, im sure you’ll get the same effect. red bull good, people who drink to much of it……retarded.

  • You’ll love this, easy: In today’s news, an idiot here in Britain led police on a high-speed chase after drinking 20 – yep, I said twenty – cans of Red Bull. Police said there was no alcohol or drugs in his system whey they tested him. Ummm – no drugs?! Caffeine? Sugar? Those aren’t drugs?

    Like anything, Red Bull can certainly be abused. I’d say that driver abused it – and then some. If it’s possible to rape and molest a substance beyond recognition, that’s the definition of it. 20 cans … my God!

  • Ralph

    Anything in excess is bad for you. I like Red Bull, but I think it’s pretty obviously a stupid idea to drink five cans of it at once. Would you drink five cans of beer in a row, get drunk/a hangover the next day, and blame the beer? It’s the person’s own fault.

  • Allison

    Well, lets put it this way. The Red Bull website recommends drinking a can of Red Bull before a strenuous activity or something that requires extreme focus/concentration or energy.

    A friend of mine, and yes we were about 15-17 at the time, decided that on the day of his first real show with his band he’d get a good start. Drank a Red Bull, went for a run. Drank a Red Bull, went to practice. Drank another Red Bull to set stuff up for the show and finally, just before the show, he drank another Red Bull. That’s only what, 4 cans?, in a day?

    Well, he didn’t make it through the show. He was on such a rush, he passed out on stage, we had to bail on the show and carry him off and cart him to emerg.

    Red Bull is just one of those things that you have to think about before you drink. If you missed some sleep, by all means have one. If you’re going drinking, I wouldn’t. Caffiene always masks the effects of alcohol and of course, like the author wrote, you’ll probably take in far more alcohol than you original thought.

    Take it how you will, folks.

  • sammy

    i drink alot of red bull
    and used 2 b relly obssesd wiv like 3 canz a day but now i;ve calmed down
    but im being honest the main reason i drink it iz becasue of its side effetcs

    wow i luv dat feelin it makes me at peace
    you might fink im mad by saying that but
    i dont think i am
    alot of people want peace
    and weakness is peace
    depression is peace
    wel.. 2 me it iz

  • beck13

    can i drink 3 in 1 day, like every few hours?… i’ve had 2 so far and its not doing a very good job, i just need help staying up tonite for an assignment

  • E.T

    I really think that drinking 5 cans of Red Bull is DEFINETLY imature. Who would do that anyway?!?

  • STM

    I don’t know if anyone’s actually had a good look at the cans, as we’ve been having this argument in Australia for the past four years.

    It does carry a health warning in Oz that recommends a maximum of two of the SMALL cans daily.

    Surely it wouldn’t be released in the US without a similar warning. In fact, I know it wouldn’t.

    Drinking five is ridiculous.

    Personally, I’m not a big fan but Ido have the odd one occasionally and my daughter also drinks it now and then, and another caffeine drink called “V”.

    She’s 14 … and smart enough to keep the consumption down after reading the warnings on the (small) cans – 1 a day for her.

  • STM

    And the Pommy goose who drank 20 is lucky he wasn’t accidentally removed from the gene pool during the police chase.


    I LOVE THE BULL but lets be idiots about it alchol legal cigerttes legal red bull bad! F O .

  • “And the Pommy goose who drank 20 is lucky he wasn’t accidentally removed from the gene pool during the police chase.”


    I like the “V” drink as well, sometimes I think it’s better than Red Bull.

    I def. think warnings should apply to all cans of the product sold everywhere — not just Red Bull, but Monster, V, Relentless, Rock Star and the hundreds of other high-caffeine content soft drinks out there — for the benefit of those who seem to think that caffeine is a harmless drug.

    I overdosed on the stuff myself once as a college student. The results were not fun.

    These days, I drink one can of low-carb Monster at the beginning of my night shift and it keeps me going till morning.