Energy Drinks

Have you ever had a Red Bull? Like maybe that one time you were driving by yourself down the valley road from Hatch and you spiked a couple of big cans with a flask or two of Espolon? Remember, Andrew?

There’s something about Red Bull. But what is it?

Here’s the ingredients in Red Bull, according to the can my wife picked up for me at our local grocery store: Carbonated Water, Sucrose, Glucose, Citric Acid, Taurine, Sodium Bicarbonate, Magnesium Carbonate, Caffeine, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine HCl, Vitamin B12, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Colors.

Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine HCl, and B 12 are all B vitamins.

Taurine is almost an amino acid with important physiological function, however, its effect on endurance and cognition is unproven, and it’s been studied a lot. A can of Red Bull has about a gram of Taurine.

Sodium Bicarbonate and Magnesium Carbonate are both used to settle upset tummies.

My bet is that the four most potent ingredients in energy drinks like Red Bull are caffeine, Vitamin B, sugar, and Espolon, and I hear you can get your Red Bull with or without the tequila.

I’m thinking you can get all the benefits of Red Bull by taking Vitamin B with a cup of coffee, and, if you want the sugar and alcohol, Kahlua.

Vitamin B is water soluble. So if you’re not peeing orange, you’re probably not topped off. Vitamin B improves cognitive function. It’s like fog lights. Like a headlamp when the inside of your head is coalmine dark like under a thick wool blanket.

Vitamin B comes in different doses. Some people really like to abuse it.

I used to take the 50s every day, till I started breaking dinner plates with the power of my thoughts. When I walked through the yard at night, the roosters crowed.

You can also get the Super Bs in 100s, but they make your nose bleed and your head shake till your teeth fall out.

These days I take a B Complex. It’s enough for me.

Look, if you’re used to coke or crank, Vitamin B will have about as much effect on you as a glass of water. But if your blood is a little thinner these days, a Multi-B vitamin might be just the boost you need.

Vitamin B, for when you want to add horsepower to your candlepower.


  1. Sorry, but I am very much against all of these energy drinks, including the grandpa, GatorAde. Basically, in my not so humble opinion, they all involve something artificial to supplement what you should already be getting enough of naturally. Just because you’re an athlete does not mean you need more of this shit than do I (a very fat old man). Just drink adequate fluid to be adequately hydrated, and make sure you have a lot of variety in your overall diet.

  2. I’ve never tried any type of energy drink since I am a die hard coffee drinker, well, no more than 2.5 cups daily, or I become way too chatty and my students don’t need the annoyance. My preoccupation is basically avoiding ’empty calories’. It ain’t easy because empty calories usually taste sinfully good. In human nutrition, the term empty calories applies to food such as solid fats or added sugars supplying food energy but little or no other nutrition. The USDA advises, ” A small amount of empty calories is okay, but most people eat far more than is healthy.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *