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Red Bull


Red Bull

Red Bull
Type Energy drink
Distributor Red Bull GmbH
Country of origin Thailand
Introduced 1987
Color Amber
Ingredients Caffeine, taurine, B-group vitamins and alpine spring water
Variants Original, Sugarfree, Cola, Total Zero, Red Edition, Blue Edition, Silver Edition, F1 Edition
Related products Red Bull Cola, Red Bull Energy Shot, Red Bull Sugar-Free, Red Bull Total Zero, Red Bull Racing, Red Bull Racing Team
Website .com.redbullwww
Red Bull's TAH-1F Cobra helicopter assembled by Chuck Aaron

Red Bull is an energy drink sold by Austrian company Red Bull GmbH, created in 1987. In terms of market share, Red Bull is the highest selling energy drink in the world, with 5.387 billion cans sold in 2013.[1][2][3][4]

Austrian born Croat entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz was inspired by an existing energy drink named Krating Daeng (Thai: กระทิงแดง, Thai pronunciation: ), which was first invented and sold in Thailand. He took this idea, modified the ingredients to suit the tastes of westerners,[5] and, in partnership with Chaleo Yoovidhya, founded Red Bull GmbH in Chakkapong. In Thai, daeng means red, and krating is the reddish-brown muscle-bound bovine called a "gaur", an animal slightly larger than the bison. Red Bull is sold in a tall and slim blue-silver can; in Thailand and in some parts of Asia it is sold in a wider gold can with the name of Krating Daeng or Red Bull Classic.[6] The two are different products, produced separately. The Red Bull company slogan is "Red Bull gives you wings"[7] and the product is marketed through advertising, events (Red Bull Air Race, Red Bull Crashed Ice), sports team ownerships (RB Leipzig, FC Red Bull Salzburg, Red Bull Brasil, New York Red Bulls, Red Bull Racing, Scuderia Toro Rosso), celebrity endorsements, and music, through its record label Red Bull Records.[8]

Red Bull has been criticized for its marketing with extreme sports pictures, including those of at least six known fatalities.[9] Red Bull was criticized for health risks in the past;[10] however, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded that the levels of taurine and glucuronolactone used in Red Bull and other popular energy drinks are safe.[11]


  • History 1
  • Ingredients 2
  • Health effects 3
    • Caffeine 3.1
    • Cardiovascular effects 3.2
    • Impact on driving 3.3
  • Market approval and legal status 4
  • Litigation 5
  • Advertising 6
    • Team ownerships 6.1
    • Sponsorships 6.2
    • Endorsements 6.3
    • Events 6.4
    • Locations 6.5
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


In 1976, Chaleo Yoovidhya introduced a drink called Krating Daeng in Thailand, which means "red gaur" in English. It was inspired by the tonic Lipovitan, whose prime ingredient is taurine, and was popular among Thai truck drivers and laborers. After visiting Thailand in 1982, Dietrich Mateschitz discovered that Krating Daeng helped cure his jet lag.[12] In 1984, Mateschitz co-founded Red Bull GmbH with Yoovidhya and turned it into a global brand. Red Bull was founded by each partner investing $500,000 of savings and taking a stake in the new company. Yoovidhya and Mateschitz each held a 49% share of the new company. They gave the remaining 2% to Yoovidhya's son Chalerm, but it was agreed that Mateschitz would run the company.[13] The product was launched in Austria in 1987.

In 1992, the product expanded to international markets: Hungary and Slovenia.[14] It entered the United States via California in 1997[14] and the Middle East in 2000.[15] In 2008, Forbes magazine listed both Chaleo and Mateschitz as the 250th richest people in the world with an estimated net worth of $4 billion.[16][17]

Red Bull is headquartered in Fuschl am See, an Austrian village of 1500 inhabitants near Salzburg. The building sports no logo and is heavily guarded. The company does not grant any interviews.[9]


Red Bull contains caffeine, taurine, glucuronolactone (as of 2014, Glucuronolactone is no longer on the Red Bull ingredients list), B-group vitamins, sucrose, and glucose.[18] Red Bull Sugar Free is like Red Bull Energy Drink, but without sugar. The sugars sucrose and glucose have been replaced by the sweeteners acesulfame K and aspartame/sucralose.[19]

The original Red Bull from Austria (imported, carbonated) has been in China since Mar, 2014. Now available in tier one cities and YHD commerce site. In addition to Red Bull from Austria, local energy drinks, also called Red Bull, are sold in China in two versions: a regular-strength version in a short, wide, gold-and-red can similar to the Thai drink; and an "extra-strength" version in a taller, thinner, blue-and-silver can more like the cans sold in western countries. Neither version is carbonated. Red Bull China is a separate company.

In Malaysia, Red Bull is sold in five versions: in addition to the regular strength version in short, gold-and-red can like the one sold in China, and "International" version sold in a taller, thinner, blue-and-silver can (looking like the "extra-strength" version sold in China, but carbonated), a "less-sugar" also sold in a short, silver-and-red can- this version tastes much more sour compared to the gold-and-red can version, but is otherwise identical in terms of nutrients. Additionally, both regular and less-sugar version are also available in a lower dosage, sold in glass bottles with gold-and-red or silver-and-red label depending on version, mimicking the bottles sold in Thailand.

Health effects

Claims about the drink's effects and performance have been challenged on various occasions, with the UK's Advertising Standards Authority imposing advertising restrictions in 2001 in response to complaints recorded as early as 1997.[20]

Caffeine, taurine and glucuronolactone have been assessed by health authorities for their safety. Health Canada conducted a review of the scientific literature on caffeine, concluding that the general population of healthy adults is not at risk for potential adverse effects from caffeine if they limit their consumption to 400 mg per day.[21]

Taurine and glucuronolactone are human body constituents and present in the human diet from foods such as scallops, fish, poultry and grains. The Scientific Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS) was published in 2009 at the request of the European Food Safety Authority's commission (EFSA) and evaluated the safety of two particular "energy drink" ingredients, specifically taurine and glucuronolactone, and concluded that the exposure to these said substances at the levels presently used in energy drinks is no safety concern.[11]

In 2009, the EFSA published another scientific opinion in the 'EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies' (NDA), focusing this time on various studies of taurine and its commercial alleged health claims, namely: antioxidant activity, detoxifying properties, and protection of body cells from oxidative damage (defined as per the EFSA: Protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage), energy metabolism (energy-yielding metabolism), ergogenic role in sports and exercise (Delay in the onset of fatigue and enhancement of physical performance).

The EFSA concluded that on the basis of the available data, the cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of taurine and the previously mentioned commercial claims.[22]

A review published in 2008 found no documented reports of negative or positive health effects associated with the amount of taurine used in energy drinks, including Red Bull. Caffeine and sugar levels in Red Bull are comparable to coffee and fruit juices, respectively.[23]


The caffeine content of a single can of Red Bull is 80 mg/250 ml (32 mg/100 ml).[24][25] This is about the same as one cup of coffee, or slightly less depending on the brewing method.[26] The actual caffeine level in Red Bull can vary depending on country, as some countries have legal restrictions on how much caffeine is allowed in drinks. As is the case with other caffeinated beverages, Red Bull drinkers may experience adverse effects as a result of overuse. Excessive consumption may induce mild to moderate euphoria primarily caused by stimulant properties of caffeine and may also induce agitation, anxiety, irritability and insomnia.[27][28]

Cardiovascular effects

There has been at least one case report of Red Bull overdose causing postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome in a young athlete.[29] A February 3, 2009 article in The Daily Telegraph titled "Red Bull 'may have triggered heart condition that killed student' " reported the death of a 21-year-old woman who died after drinking four cans of Red Bull as well as alcohol at "social levels".[30] It is believed, but was not proven, that she suffered from a rare heart condition called long QT Syndrome.[30] She was on medication for epilepsy and had an abnormally large heart. A medical examination found no illegal drugs in her body. The article quoted a doctor as saying, "The coroner recorded that the 21-year-old woman died of natural causes."[31]

In March 2014, a girl in the UK had three heart attacks after drinking alcoholic shots containing Red Bull. This is currently under investigation.[32]

Impact on driving

Joris Verster and colleagues from Utrecht University concluded that Red Bull Energy Drink reduces driver sleepiness and enhances driving performance during prolonged highway driving.[33]

Market approval and legal status

Authorities kept Red Bull from being sold in France from 1996 to 2008, and in Denmark, and Norway[34] for years. As of 2014, it is on sale in all 28 member states of the European Union and in 165 countries around the world.

The French food safety agency was concerned about taurine. A Red Bull drink that did not contain taurine was introduced. The French refusal of market approval was challenged by the European Commission, and partially upheld by the European Court of Justice in 2004.[34] The French food safety agency relented in 2008, because it was unable to prove a definite health risk, taurine-related or not.[35]

In Kuwait, Ministry of Commerce banned Red Bull for under 16 years olds after causing heart attacks for a 16-year old and a 21-year old national Squash team player.[36][37][38][39][40][41][42]


In 2013, Red Bull told the Redwell brewery, a Norfolk micro brewery to change its name or face legal action, because it sounded too similar to Red Bull. The eight man brewery in Norwich was told its name could "confuse" customers and "tarnish" its trademark.[43] The two companies reached a settlement permitting Redwell to continue using its name.[44]

In 2014, Red Bull faced a $13 million settlement addressing two consumer class action lawsuits in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The listed Plaintiffs were Benjamin Careathers, David Wolf, and Miguel Almarez who sued the company for Red Bull's marketing and labeling claiming that the company violated 'express warranty and unjust enrichment' since their products were first launched. The Court hearing will take place the morning of May 1, 2015 in an attempt to determine approval for the settlement. Customers that submitted claims then have the opportunity to receive cash reimbursement or Product Option within 150 days of the approved appeals. [45]


A 2010 Formula 1 car of the Red Bull Racing F1 Team

Red Bull's slogan was "it gives you wings" until they were hit with a 13 million dollar class action lawsuit.[46] Red Bull's international marketing campaign targets young men mostly with extreme sports. These range from mountain biking, BMX, motocross, windsurfing, snowboarding, skateboarding, kayaking, wakeboarding, cliff-diving, surfing, skating, freestyle motocross, rally, Formula 1 racing, to breakdancing. Red Bull uses music and videogames, and has enlisted celebrities, such as Eminem (sponsoring the Red Bull "EmSee Battle Rap championships"). It hosts events like art shows and the "Red Bull Flugtag" (German for "flight day" or "flying day"). Red Bull owns association football teams, with clubs in Austria, Germany, the United States and Brazil featuring the Red Bull trademark in their names. By associating the drink's image with these activities, the company seeks to promote a "cool" public image and raise brand power. The energy drink has created a market for over 150 related types of merchandise,[47] like Red Rooster and Blue Lightning.

In the PlayStation 3's social gaming platform, PlayStation Home, Red Bull developed its own in-game island, specifically advertising its energy drink and the Red Bull Air Race event (for which the space is named) released in January 2009. In late November 2009, Red Bull produced two new spaces, the Red Bull Illume space, and the Red Bull Beach space featuring the Red Bull Flugtag, both released on the same day. In January 2012, Red Bull released its first personal space called the "Red Bull House of Skate" featuring an indoor skate park.

In the video game Worms 3D, Red Bull allows worms to move more quickly than normal. Red Bull is displayed on virtual track-side billboards during game play and in the opening cinematic in the video game Wipeout 2097.

Team ownerships


Audi A4 DTM, which won the Manufacturers' championship in 2004
The Citroën rally car, which won the manufacturers' title in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
A Red Bull sponsored racing bike
  • KTM road and Dakar rally bikes
A Sauber C15 from 1995 in display at Red Bull Hangar-7
A VW Touareg during the Dakar Rally, which won the event in 2009, 2010 and 2011


In 2009, Red Bull added mainstream sport athletes to its roster of sports endorsements.


Red Bull Flugtag Stockholm 2010
Red Bull Flugtag Stockholm 2010


See also


  1. ^ Boome, Adam (31 May 2011). "Who makes Red Bull". 
  2. ^ Burt Helm (4 January 2005). "Energy Drinks Build Their Buzz". BloombergBusinessweek. BLOOMBERG L.P. Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  3. ^ Red Bull (2012). "Company Figures". Red Bull. Red Bull. Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  4. ^ "Red Bull the company - Who makes Red Bull? Red Bull Origin :: Energy Drink :: Red Bull". Retrieved 2013-11-13. 
  5. ^ Asian brand strategy: how Asia builds strong brands, Martin Roll, pg 199. 2005-10-17.  
  6. ^ Cheryl Tay (8 April 2011). "Former F1 Driver David Coulthard Thrilled Shoppers Along Bukit Bintang In Red Bull Racings Show Car Run". Va Va Vroom. Cheryl Tay Pte Ltd. Retrieved 2012-07-27. 
  7. ^ "Company". Red Bull. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  8. ^ Lauria, Peter (2008-04-01). "Pump the Music: Red Bull Eyes Starting Branded Music Label —". New York Post. 101013
  9. ^ a b "The Dark side of Red Bull".   (German)
  10. ^ Desciscio, Paolo; Prabhu, Anisha; Worthley, Matthew; Roberts-Thomson, Ross; Sanders, Prashanthan; Willoughby, Scott (2008). "Acute Effects of Red Bull on Platelet and Endothelial Function". Heart, Lung and Circulation 17: S23.  
  11. ^ a b EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (2009). "The use of taurine and D-glucurono-γ-lactone as constituents of the so-called 'energy' drinks". The EFSA Journal 935: 1–31.  
  12. ^ "Face value | Selling energy". 2002-05-09. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  13. ^ Kerry A Dolan (2005-03-28). "Magazine Article". Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  14. ^ a b "Red Bull GmbH Company History". Funding Universe. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  15. ^ Ligaya, Armina (2010-05-12). "Region abuzz over energy drinks".  
  16. ^ "The World's Billionaires". 2008-02-11. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  17. ^ "The World's Billionaires". 2008-02-11. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  18. ^ "Red Bull Ingredients :: Energy Drink :: Red Bull". Red Bull. Retrieved 2012-05-04. 
  19. ^ "Sweeteners in Red Bull zero sugar? :: Energy drink sugar free". Red Bull. Retrieved 2012-09-24. 
  20. ^ "HEALTH | Energy drink claims rejected". BBC News. 2001-01-24. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  21. ^ "It's Your Health - Caffeine". Health Canada. April 13, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  22. ^ Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to taurine and protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage (ID 612,1658, 1959), energy-yielding metabolism (ID 614), and delay in the onset of fatigue and enhancement of physical performance (ID 1660) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006, European Food Safety Authority 2009,
  23. ^ Persad, Nikki; McQueen, Cydney E.; Shields, Kelly M.; Clauson, Kevin A. (2008). "Safety issues associated with commercially available energy drinks". Journal of the American Pharmacists Association 48 (3): e55–63; quiz e64–7.  
  24. ^ "Red Bull caffeine beverage review".  
  25. ^ "Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Energy drink, RED BULL, with added caffeine, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamins B6 and B12". Condé Nast. Retrieved 2012-05-29. 
  26. ^ Owen, Daniel (2006-01-15). "How much caffeine is there in [drink/food/pill]?". Retrieved 2012-09-24. 
  27. ^ Alford, C, Cox, H, Wescott, R (2001). "The effects of red bull energy drink on human performance and mood". Amino Acids 21 (2): 139–50.  
  28. ^ Van Den Eynde, F, Van Baelen, PC, Portzky, M, Audenaert, K (2008). "The effects of energy drinks on cognitive performance". Tijdschrift voor psychiatrie 50 (5): 273–81.  
  29. ^ Terlizzi, Rossana; Rocchi, Camilla; Serra, Maria; Solieri, Laura; Cortelli, Pietro (2008). "Reversible postural tachycardia syndrome due to inadvertent overuse of Red Bull®". Clinical Autonomic Research 18 (4): 221–3.  
  30. ^ a b "Red Bull Caffeine Drink May Have Helped Cause Students Death". The Herald. 2 February 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  31. ^ "'"Red Bull 'may have triggered heart condition that killed, student. London: Telegraph. 2009-02-02. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  32. ^ Teenager suffers three heart attacks after drinking ten Jägerbombs in two hours
  33. ^ Mets, Monique A. J.; Ketzer, Sander; Blom, Camilla; Gerven, Maartje H.; Willigenburg, Gitta M.; Olivier, Berend; Verster, Joris C. (2010). "Positive effects of Red Bull® Energy Drink on driving performance during prolonged driving". Psychopharmacology 214 (3): 737–45.  
  34. ^ a b Frith, Maxine (2004-02-07). "European court backs ban on Red Bull over health concerns".  
  35. ^ "France ends 12-year ban on energy drink Red Bull".  
  36. ^ Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief (2013-05-16). "Kuwaiti player dies after taking energy drinks".  
  37. ^ "KUNA : Decisions regulating sale of energy drinks issued - Economics - 21/10/2012".  
  38. ^ كونا : وزارة التجارة تصدر قرارا ينظم انتاج وعرض وبيع مشروبات الطاقة - التجارة - 21/10/2012 (in العربية).  
  39. ^ "التجارة": مشروبات الطاقة ممنوعة لمن دون ال‍ـ‍ 16 (in العربية).  
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  41. ^ "Red Bull Kuwait Loses Millions". Q8Critic. 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2013-06-28. 
  42. ^
  43. ^ "BBC News - Red Bull pursues Redwell brewery in Norwich over name". 2013-08-14. Retrieved 2013-11-13. 
  44. ^ "BBC News - Red Bull ends dispute with Redwell brewery in Norwich". 2013-08-14. Retrieved 2013-11-13. 
  45. ^ "'"So Red Bull doesn't actually 'give you wings. 2014-10-09. Retrieved 2014-11-03. 
  46. ^ "Red Bull to Pay $13 Million". Law360. Retrieved 2014-10-21. 
  47. ^ "RED BULL HISTORY". Electrick Publications. Retrieved 2012-07-27. 
  48. ^ "Red Bull New York -- Ball Sports Profiles". Red Bull. Retrieved 2012-05-04. 
  49. ^ "Reggie Bush Goes to Red Bull — ESPN The Magazine". Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  50. ^ "StarTale - Liquipedia - The StarCraft II Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2014-10-30. 
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  54. ^ "Red Bull Dolomitenmann |". 2013-04-03. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
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  58. ^ "Red Bull Soapbox Race". Archived from the original on 2013-02-07. Retrieved 2013-02-07. 
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External links

  • Official website
  • Thai Red Bull / Krating Daeng [1]
  • Red Bull Energy Drink [2]
  • Red Bull's Total Marketing - slideshow by Der Spiegel
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