Red Bull drink lifts stroke risk: Australian study
Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:26pm EDT
By Rob Taylor
CANBERRA (Reuters) - Just one can of the popular stimulant energy drink Red Bull can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke, even in young people, Australian medical researchers said on Friday.
The caffeine-loaded beverage, popular with university students and adrenaline sport fans to give them "wings", caused the blood to become sticky, a pre-cursor to cardiovascular problems such as stroke.
"One hour after they drank Red Bull, (their blood systems) were no longer normal. They were abnormal like we would expect in a patient with cardiovascular disease," Scott Willoughby, lead researcher from the Cardiovascular Research Centre at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, told the Australian newspaper.
Red Bull Australia spokeswoman Linda Rychter said the report would be assessed by the company's head office in Austria.
"The study does not show effects which would go beyond that of drinking a cup of coffee. Therefore, the reported results were to be expected and lie within the normal physiological range," Rychter told Reuters.
Willoughby and his team tested the cardiovascular systems of 30 young adults one hour before and one hour after consuming one 250ml can of sugar-free Red Bull.
The results showed "normal people develop symptoms normally associated with cardiovascular disease" after consuming the drink, created in the 1980s by Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz based on a similar Thai energy drink.
Red Bull is banned in Norway, Uruguay and Denmark because of health risks listed on its cans, but the company last year sold 3.5 billion cans in 143 countries. One can contains 80 mg of caffeine, around the same as a normal cup of brewed coffee.
The Austria-based company, whose marketing says "Red Bull gives you wings", sponsors Formula 1 race cars and extreme sport events around the world, but warns consumers not to drink more than two cans a day.
Rychter said Red Bull could only have such global sales because health authorities across the world had concluded the drink was safe to consume.
But Willoughby said Red Bull could be deadly when combined with stress or high blood pressure, impairing proper blood vessel function and possibly lifting the risk of blood clotting.
"If you have any predisposition to cardiovascular disease, I'd think twice about drinking it," he said.
(Editing by David Fogarty)
Marcus Guiliano comments:
I always tell people to put down the Red Bull and Gatorade along with all the other trendy energy drinks. These drinks are filled with false energy, energy that makes you crash and burn. Basically like sugar, borrow some energy now and feel it later. See our bodies get fueled by the raw living foods. The greener the foods, the more energy they provide. Our bodies run on food that is charged. Eating alkaline rich green foods will give you steady energy all day. I drink a shake with avocado, cucumber, spinach, mint, coconut water, sprouts (usually sunflower), lemon and any other greens I have around. It all goes into a high powered blender. After I drink this, I can feel an energy rush. In fact this drink will keep me going for hours upon hours. Talk about a pure jolt of energy. No stick blood here, I promise.
I realize that is not an option for most people, at most times. I drink mine first thing in the morning.
So after a sports game, or any other activity I choose water. But it can get complicated on water as well. When you buy bottled water, choose a water that has a high alkaline level and an electron charge. Here are the very few waters that I would ever buy in bottle:
I do advocate getting water machine that makes electron charged alkaline rich water. We have one at Aroma Thyme Bistro. It runs off our regular city water supply. It has a pre filter and will extract the highly acid waste water.
A simple rule to remember. Companies like Red Bull are a for profit business. They will tell you what is going to sell there product. And with the energy drink market growing by leaps and bounds you could very well get trapped into anyones sales pitch.