Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Red Bull is the brand name of an Austrian carbonated soft drink. Sold as an energy drink and to combat mental fatigue, it contains about 5 teaspoons of sugar, 1000 mg of taurine, 600 mg of glucuronolactone, B-complex vitamins and 80 mg of caffeine (as much as one cup of coffee). A sugar-free version has been available since the beginning of 2003. It is popular as a mixer, notably with vodka or Jägermeister. Red Bull is produced and sold worldwide. Almost 1 billion of the slim 250ml cans were sold in 2000 in over 100 countries, 260 million of them in the UK. In 2003, almost 2 billion cans were sold in over 120 countries.
The drink was created by Dietrich Mateschitz. He adapted it from the Thai beverage Krating Daeng (กระทิงแดง) in 1984 and approached the local firm TC Pharmaceuticals to manufacture it. They agreed, and took a 51% stake in his firm, Red Bull GmbH. It was launched in 1987, supported by sleek advertising and, with its high-priced small blue-and-silver can, targeted at young urban professionals. The advertising slogan of Red Bull in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia is Red Bull Gives You Wings and focuses on the stimulant properties of the drink.
Despite its rapid success having quickly attracted imitators, Red Bull is still dominant in the energy drink market (70 percent of the marketshare in 2003).
Having sponsorship presence in the sport for some time, on November 15, 2004, Red Bull confirmed that they had acquired the Jaguar Formula One team from Ford Motor Company, creating Red Bull Racing, set to enter in the 2005 season.
Potential health risks
In 2000, Ross Cooney, a healthy, 18 year old basketball player from Limerick in Ireland died after sharing four cans of the drink before a gaelic football game. An inquiry into his death ruled that he died from Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome and the connection to Red Bull was inconclusive.
In 2001, the drink was investigated by the Swedish National Food Administration after being linked to the deaths of three consumers. It has been subject to a number of other health scares regarding glucuronolactone, a precursor of taurine. Sale of Red Bull as a normal soft drink is prohibited in Denmark, Norway, and France. Due to its high caffeine content, local authorities catagorized Red Bull as medicine and ask for medical advice before drinking.
The official imported Canadian Red Bull is a non-caffeinated alternative of Thai Krating Daeng. Until late 2004, its sale was prohibited in Canada. Now a can must carry a warning label that says:
- "Not recommended for children, pregnant or breast-feeding women, caffeine sensitive persons or to be mixed with alcohol. Do not consume more than 500 ml per day."
Doctors and nutritionists have warned of the dangers of mixing caffeine and alcohol in excessive quantities.
This drink is very popular among teens.
- Red Bull
- Red Bull health impact (Google Answers)
- Red Bull buys Jaguar Racing AFP
- Raging Bull Investigation CBC Marketplace (Feb 2005)
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