Red Bull gives you flings

You should not have drank that!

Today’s Factoid from the Abyss:

I have never had a Red Bull. I’ve never even tasted one so I have no idea what the flavor is like. I’ve heard it tastes like cough syrup. Now I have tasted Jagermeister and I was not impressed, to say the least. Is it anything like that?

For me the refusal to try a Red Bull is a lot like a badge of honor. “He never tasted Red Bull” is a leading contender for a spot on my tombstone. (I think about my tombstone daily.)

I don’t understand the urge to drink shit like Red Bull and other energy drinks. But it is an important staple in the gerbil diet. I just met someone recently who drinks a lot of these – a young person – and it made me curious so I thought I’d check it out.

Contrary to urban myth, Red Bull does not contain “bull urine” or “bull semen.” It does, however, contain an organic acid known as Taurine that is found naturally in bile and lower intestines of many animals, including bovines and humans. It was originally isolated in 1827 from ox bile. Getting thirsty yet? [Edit: Corrected year.]

Taurine can be found in bull urine and bull semen but it is not the source of Taurine in the food industry. Since approx. 1930 synthetic Taurine has been produced on a large scale.

I was also curious about pricing. At the grocery store today I documented a price of $2.25 USD for an 8.4 ounce can here in the United States. That’s works out to be about 25.6 cents per ounce.

If you could purchase Red Bull in a slightly larger container it would cost a whopping $32.76 per gallon.

For comparison I used a price of 58 cents for a 12-ounce can of Pepsi. That worked out to be $6.21 per gallon.

That means that Red Bull is more than fives times as expensive as brand name soda and approx. 11 times more expensive than the gas we put in our cars.

Think about it. The price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas in my neighborhood right now is less than $3.00 per gallon. And the oil industry has to research, explore, drill, transport, refine, and deliver before consumers can buy their product. Which industry do you think is more profitable?

Incidentally, regarding Taurine:

Taurine occurs naturally in food, especially in seafood and meat. The mean daily intake from omnivore diets was determined to be around 58 mg (range from 9 to 372 mg) and to be low or negligible from a strict vegan diet. In another study, taurine intake was estimated to be generally less than 200 mg/day, even in individuals eating a high-meat diet. According to another study, taurine consumption was estimated to vary between 40 to 400 mg/day. (Source.)

A single 8.4 ounce can of Red Bull contains approx. 1,000 mg of Taurine.

Regarding Taurine, the official Red Bull web site has this to say:

The taurine in Red Bull Energy Drink is a purely synthetic substance produced by pharmaceutical companies and is not derived from animals or animal materials.

All ingredients for Red Bull Energy Drink are synthetically produced by pharmaceutical companies.


Is that much Taurine bad for humans? I researched it in Google and couldn’t get a solid answer. Maybe you’ll have better luck. One thing seems certain: 1,000 mg per can seems to be a lot higher than what most people encounter naturally.

Even if it isn’t dangerous, based on price alone, next time you feel tempted to indulge in a Red Bull you might be better to just fling your wallet. Come on, say it with me: “Red Bull gives you flings!”

16 responses

  1. I’v never tasted Red Bull, either, but now I’m sure I never will! Thanks for saving me from that horrible fate. I wonder whether Red Bull is named after Taurus/taurine? I’m too lazy to do the research, but someone else (hint, hint) could enlighten us about why cats need a lot of taurine, which is why cats need their own food. Today, Loki the Destroyer (puppy) jumped up on the bar and knocked off the cat’s food food and gobbled it up. Dogs can eat anything. I won’t even tell you what nonfood items have been in her poop (poop, one of your favorite words!)


    1. You’re right! You know your stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I encountered the cat angle when researching this post. I feed my kitties Iams so I immediately ran to their web site and found this:

      What Is Taurine And Why Is It Important To Cats?
      Taurine is an essential amino acid that is critical for normal heart muscle function, vision and reproduction in cats, and should be found in any healthy cat food. Taurine is also needed to form the bile salts that aid in digestion. Unlike other amino acids, taurine is found as a free amino acid in body tissues such as the heart and eyes and is not incorporated into proteins.

      Most mammals manufacture taurine from other amino acids. However, cats cannot manufacture a sufficient amount and, therefore, must acquire enough additional taurine through diet to meet their needs. Specifically, cats need meat to fulfill this requirement, as taurine is found exclusively in animal-based protein.

      If cats don’t get enough taurine then eye degeneration can occur.

      The name of Red Bull? I also came across that when writing this post. Wikipedia says:

      Red Bull is an adaptation of the Thai energy drink Krating Daeng, which means ‘Red Bull’.

      Also interesting: I’m pretty sure that a can of Red Bull says it comes from Switzerland but Wikipedia says the “country of origin” is Thailand.

      Also, Red Bull was banned in some countries (like France) for containing trace amounts of cocaine.

      Red Bull has been subject to bans in France, Denmark and Norway. The ban has been lifted in Norway and Denmark.[24] The French ban was challenged by the European Commission and (partially) upheld by the European Court of Justice in 2004.


      1. Re the cats: Sounds like the Lysine Contingency from Jurassic Park!
        Re the cocaine: It would be cheaper to just buy the cocaine than Red Bull.


  2. I have tasted it – and it’s definitely not worth the price. You cracked me up with your closing statement about flinging your wallet. Thanks for the Taurine trivia and the chuckle!


    1. LOL! I admit the fling thing was kinda lame but my quest was rhyming something with the word “wings.” Not a heck of a lot of choices there! ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. I’m not a big fan of energy drinks, but I’ve had Red Bull and Absolut Mandrin a couple of times and it’s a pretty good mix. Tastes exactly like an orange Tic Tac, which is what they (The Department of They) call the combo.


    1. You know how much I respect your opinion, so what the heck. Because of this comment I may actually have to pry my mind open and give it a try. ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. Forget dangerous – it doesn’t even sound appealing! I mean, a drink made all out of synthetic stuff? That sounds to me like drinking silicone or something…


  5. I’m have to say, I’m oddly proud of the fact that I’ve never tasted Red Bull or any of those energy drinks before. I don’t know exactly why I am, but I am.

    “All ingredients for Red Bull Energy Drink are synthetically produced by pharmaceutical companies.”

    Ummmmm, yeah. That really makes me want to go out and get one.


  6. unabridgedgirl | Reply

    Lemme tell you a story.

    Once upon a time I worked night shifts. One time, I worked three 11PM – 7AM shifts in a row. I hardly had time to sleep, as, by the time I got home, I needed to shower and be at school. By the third shift, I was in la-la-land. It was then that I was given the idea to try a Red Bull.

    Up to the Red Bull, the most daring thing I have ever “drank” in my life is Diet Coke.

    Two things:

    1. No one ever explained to me that you do not gulp the whole Red Bull at once.
    2. Never. Again.


    1. So that is what Red Bull does?!? ๐Ÿ™‚ I hate the weird shifts. They literally make me physically ill.

      I once drove all night. I left at 6pm and drove straight through to 12pm the next day. It was an 18 hour drive. At 7pm I hit a drive thru, quaffed a large Coke (I still drank soda back then) and washed down a couple of No-Doze pills. It worked great until about 9am the next day when I had the sunlight in my face. All night long I had no problem with drowsiness. It was only when the sun came up that I crashed from my caffeine high and could barely stay awake. The last three hours of that trip were brutal.

      Yeah, now that you mention it, slamming down the Red Bull shooters sounds a little hard core. ๐Ÿ™‚


  7. I usually only have red bull when mixed with Vodka. And that usually only happens when I’m dragged along with hubby somewhere – like a bar in Vegas until the wee hours of the a.m. Bars make me sleepy, alcohol makes me sleepy, and being up past 10pm makes me REALLY sleepy. So the red bull + vodka = solution.

    Then there’s people like that captain on Deadliest Catch – seems he drank cases upon cases of that crap. (Yep, he’s the one that’s dead now.) Red Bull can’t be 100% to blame – I’m sure the smokes had something to do with it too. Yikes.


    1. Thanks for the comment! So, is a Red Bull and vodka delicious or is the only purpose the intended effect? Can you describe how it tastes? ๐Ÿ™‚


      1. It tastes a bit like moonshine mixed with Vicks 44D. I like them not for how they taste, but – you guessed it – the effect. I can actually stay awake!! Nothing says party pooper like falling asleep at the bar. About the only other time I’ll consider Red Bull (or Rockstar) is if coffee is unavailable in the morning.


  8. Interesting. Thanks for the reply, Bitten. The only reason I ask is that my young friend goes to bars and orders this for fun. So I was very curious! ๐Ÿ™‚


  9. […] said. “He spoke often about it, and even confirmed it on his blog. He wants the phrase “He never tasted Red Bull” engraved on his tombstone. Guest Blog courtesy of Mrs. […]


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