Red Bull is one of the world’s best-selling energy drinks.
It is sold as a means of increasing vitality and improving mental and physical health.
There are, however, questions about its efficacy and possible side effects.

This article discusses the potential side effects of it, and whether drinking too much of it could be fatal.

What is Red Bull?

It is a caffeine-containing carbonated beverage that was first sold in Austria in 1987. As well as other energy-boosting substances such as B vitamins and taurine.
Although the exact composition varies by region, it contains additional ingredients. Sugar, carbonated water, baking soda, citric acid, magnesium carbonate, glucuronolactone, and artificial colors and flavors are among the ingredients.

One 8.4-ounce (260-ml) can provides :

  • Calories: 112
  • Protein: 1.2 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbs: 27 grams
  • Sugar: 27 grams
  • Caffeine: 75 mg

It also contains a lot of B vitamins, such as thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), B6, and B12.
It also has sugar-free varieties, such as Red Bull Zero and Red Bull Sugarfree. Which are made without sugar and instead use the artificial sweeteners aspartame and acesulfame K.
Although the ingredients in it can provide an energy boost. They can also have both short-term and long-term side effects.


It is a caffeinated, sugar-sweetened drink sold as a way to improve mental and physical health. Because of the combination of ingredients, there are concerns about its possible side effects, especially when ingested in large quantities.

Possible side effects of drinking Red Bull

Though Red Bull remains a popular beverage, research suggests that it may negatively affect your health.

Can increase blood pressure and heart rate

Blood pressure and pulse rate are two vital indicators of heart fitness. As elevated levels have been linked to an increased risk of hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart disease.

Many research in healthy adults found that drinking one 12-ounce (355-ml) would dramatically increase blood pressure and heart rate levels within 90 minutes and up to 24 hours after consumption.

The caffeine content in Red Bull is believed to be partially responsible for these changes in heart rate and blood pressure. One big 12-ounce (355-ml) can contain 108 mg of caffeine, which is about the same as one cup of coffee.

Despite these increases, moderate and occasional intake of it is unlikely to cause serious heart problems in healthy adults.

May increase type 2 diabetes risk

Excess sugar consumption, especially from sweetened drinks, can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

One 8.4-ounce (260-ml) serving contains 29 grams of sugar — consuming one or more servings a day can raise the risk of type 2 diabetes.

May damage your teeth

According to research, drinking acidic drinks can damage tooth enamel. This is the strong exterior coating that protects the teeth from decay?

It’s a sour beer. As a consequence, daily consumption can cause tooth enamel damage.

In one 5-day test-tube trial, exposing human tooth enamel to energy drinks for 15 minutes four times a day resulted in substantial and permanent loss of enamel.

Furthermore, the study noted that energy drinks were twice as harmful to tooth enamel than soft drinks .

May negatively affect kidney health

Although consuming Red Bull on occasion is unlikely to have a negative impact on kidney function, evidence indicates that chronic and heavy consumption can.

A 12-week study in rats discovered that chronic Red Bull consumption could lead to a decline in kidney function.

Furthermore, studies show a correlation between a high sugar intake and an increased risk of chronic kidney disease.

As Red Bull is high in sugar, frequent and excessive intake may increase your risk.

May increase high-risk behavior

Drinking Red Bull has been linked to increased high-risk behaviour, particularly when mixed with alcohol, according to research.

Caffeine in Red Bull, when ingested combined, will block the symptoms of alcohol, helping you feel less impaired while still having alcohol-related impairments.

This effect can have serious consequences.

Drinking Red Bull has been linked to increased high-risk behaviour, particularly when mixed with alcohol, according to research.

Caffeine in Red Bull, when ingested combined, will block the symptoms of alcohol, helping you feel less impaired while still having alcohol-related impairments.

Of course, not everyone who consumes Red Bull would see a spike in high-risk habits. Nonetheless, it is critical to be mindful of the possible dangers, especially in younger adults and where alcohol is involved.

May lead to caffeine overdose and possible toxicity

Although safe caffeine doses differ by person, current literature suggests that healthy adults limit caffeine to 400 mg per day or less.

Since a single 8.4-ounce (260-ml) can of Red Bull contains 75 mg of caffeine, drinking more than 5 cans per day can increase your risk of caffeine overdose.

However, the normal half-life of caffeine in the blood varies between 1.5–9.5 hours, implying that it could take up to 9.5 hours for the caffeine blood levels to decrease to half of what they were.

As a result, determining the precise quantity of Red Bull that may result in caffeine poisoning is difficult.

Furthermore, teenagers under the age of 19 could be more susceptible to caffeine-related side effects.

Caffeine can be limited to 100 mg or less a day in teenagers aged 12–19, according to current guidelines. As a result, consuming more than one 8.4-ounce (260-ml) serving of Red Bull can increase the risk of caffeine overdose in this age group.

Symptoms of caffeine overdose and toxicity can include nausea, vomiting, hallucinations, anxiety, rapid heart rate, dizziness, trouble sleeping, and seizures (Trusted Source).


Occasional, mild Red Bull consumption is unlikely to cause any significant side effects. However, when taken in large quantities and on a regular basis, it may have a number of detrimental and potentially life-threatening side effects.

Is sugar-free Red Bull healthier? 

Sugar-free Red Bull is lower in calories and sugar but has the same amount of caffeine as regular Red Bull and therefore likely the same potential side effects (Trusted Source).

Despite not containing sugar, sugar-free Red Bull can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes if drunk on a regular basis due to the presence of two artificial sweeteners — aspartame and acesulfame K.

In reality, evidence links daily use of artificial sweeteners to an elevated risk of type 2 diabetes, as well as its own set of possible safety risks and side effects.


Although sugar-free Red Bull has fewer calories and sugar, it contains the same level of caffeine as normal Red Bull. Furthermore, since it includes artificial sweeteners, daily consumption may increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Can drinking too much Red Bull be life-threatening?

Although it is uncommon, heavy consumption of Red Bull and other energy drinks has been attributed to heart problems and deaths. The majority of these cases were found to have occurred in younger adults who consumed energy drinks on a daily and excessive basis.

There are several factors that affect how much caffeine is needed to be harmful and potentially life-threatening.

Although existing guidelines suggest restricting caffeine consumption to no more than 400 mg per day in healthy adults, caffeine-related deaths have predominantly occurred in persons with extraordinarily high caffeine intakes of 3–5 grams per day.

This equates to nearly forty 8.4-ounce (260-ml) cans of Red Bull consumed in a single day.

Despite this, in many of the heart attack and accidental death cases surrounding energy drinks, people consumed only 3–8 cans in a single day — far less than 40 cans.

One recent study in 34 healthy adults found that drinking 32-ounces (946 ml) of Red Bull daily for 3 days resulted in significant changes to the interval between heartbeats .

A change in pulse rhythm can cause arrhythmias, which can result in sudden death, particularly in people who have high blood pressure or heart disease.

Additionally, researchers claim that these changes in heart rhythm can’t be explained solely by the amount of caffeine but were likely due to the combination of ingredients in Red Bull (Trusted Source).

More analysis is required to determine how the mixture of ingredients affects the risk of heart disease and other significant side effects. As a result, pregnant women, infants, people with heart issues, and caffeine-sensitive people should avoid Red Bull completely.


Excess intake of energy drinks has been linked to heart attacks and sudden death in rare cases. More research is needed, but certain populations should avoid Red Bull entirely.

The Take Away

Red Bull is a sugar-sweetened, caffeinated energy drink.

Frequent and excessive consumption can have severe and potentially fatal side effects, particularly when mixed with alcohol.

Pregnant women, teenagers, people with heart issues, and caffeine-sensitive people should stop drinking Red Bull altogether.

Furthermore, since it is high in sugar and has little nutritional value, you can benefit from using healthy alternatives, such as coffee or tea, to help raise your energy levels.

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