Red Bull vs Coffee – Ingredients, Benefits, Side Effects, Differences

Red Bull

It is an energy drink designed to increase performance during mental and physical exertion. Currently, it has the highest market share of any energy drink in the world, with over 6 billion cans sold every year.


This energy drink contains – sucrose, carbonated water, citric acid, glucose, sodium bicarbonate, taurine, vitamin B12, caffeine, magnesium carbonate, calcium pantothenate, niacinamide, pyridoxine HCI, artificial natural, and flavors.

Side Effects

This energy drink has a high amount of caffeine. Also, there are growing bodies of evidence that indicate the association between caffeine with the onset of osteoporosis.

Moreover, due to the fact that caffeine triggers hydrochloric acid production in the stomach, people who have gastric ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease may be at an increased risk for digestive side effects when consuming caffeine.

In addition, according to a 2015 paper issued in the International Journal of Health Sciences, depending on how many energy drinks cans you consume, you may experience caffeine intoxication with symptoms including:

  • restlessness and periods of inexhaustibility;
  • muscle twitching;
  • gastrointestinal irritation;
  • insomnia;
  • anxiety.

This energy drink also contains taurine, a conditionally essential amino acid that is naturally created in the human body. The body produces taurine from metabolizing methionine, vitamin B-6, and cysteine. Despite common belief, taurine is not extracted from bull semen or bull urine.

In its natural form, this amino acid has positive effects on the nervous system, cardiovascular system, and immune system. The problem occurs when it is used in energy drinks because it can lead to trouble breathing, heart complications, restlessness, and insomnia.

Additionally, the high sugar levels in this energy drink can wear down tooth enamel and, ultimately, may lead to dental decay.

Note – combining alcohol with energy drinks is not recommended since caffeine keeps you awake, and it doesn’t let the alcohol to cause its natural sleepiness. This dangerous combination may lead to a state of awake drunkenness that may increase the risk of violence, impulsive behavior, and accidents.


With more than 425 billion cups of coffee thought to be consumed per year, coffee is one of the world’s most popular drinks.

It comes in many different caffeine doses, from the 40-80 mg of the average cup of black coffee to the 4 to 12 mg per cup of decaffeinated coffee.

Health Benefits

Free Radical Damage

The coffee bean is a powerhouse of polyphenol activity. These are natural compounds found in plants that have potent antioxidant activity. According to studies, polyphenols combat the damage caused by free radicals from the inside out.

Weight Loss

Caffeine helps the fat cells break down body fat, releasing the body’s fat cells into the blood as free fatty acids and making them ready to use as fuel.

In addition, other studies concluded that caffeine can increase the burning of fat by 30 percent in people with normal BMI and 10 percent in obese people.

Type 2 Diabetes

Drinking one cup of coffee every day can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus by about 15 percent, according to a recent study conducted in Singapore. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the human body doesn’t use insulin properly.

Reduces Pain

A single dose of 200 mg of ibuprofen plus 100 mg of caffeine was considerably more effective than a placebo at providing migraine and postoperative pain relief over six hours,  according to an analysis of 4 randomized, double-blind studies issued in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2015.

Cardiovascular Health

Two to six cups of coffee per day may reduce the risk of stroke – the 3rd highest cause of death worldwide and the leading cause of disability in the US, as per a 2011 systematic review of 14 stroke studies with a total of 479,689 participants.

Liver Health

After reviewing about 1,000 studies, the WHO concluded that a daily intake of coffee might reduce the risk of liver cancer substantially.

Physical Exercise

Athletes that drank a cup of coffee before the exercise session were able to do more reps of strength training exercises, as per a study that was conducted at the University of Rhode Island.

Also, a study done in the United Kingdom established that triathletes who drank a cup of coffee prior to their training had a 5 percent increased performance.

Side Effects

According to the data, women who consume 200 to 400 mg of caffeine a day tend to give birth to babies with a lower birth weight than women who do not drink caffeine from any source. Therefore, if you are pregnant or plan to get pregnant, it is recommended to reduce your caffeine intake.

Moreover, women who drink 4 cups of coffee per day have a 70 percent higher chance of developing leaky bladders and incontinence, according to the University of Alabama. Caffeine also stimulates hormones, like – adrenaline, causing the body to experience tremors and jitters.

Depending on the brand, your coffee may contain some food additives. However, you can reduce these food additives if you grind your own beans or if you buy organic coffee.

Caffeine Withdrawal

Caffeine withdrawal can occur about 24 hours after a regular coffee drinker last consumes caffeine. It is characterized by – depression, headaches, fatigue, sleep problems (insomnia), drowsiness, and anxiety.

Red Bull vs Coffee – Differences

The active ingredient in both these drinks is caffeine (one 250 ml can of Red Bull contains 80 mg of caffeine, which is about the same amount of caffeine as in a cup of coffee), a mild stimulant that can increase concentration, metabolism, energy, and reaction time.

Consuming more than 500mg of caffeine in a 24-hour period may lead to more side effects, including:

  • heart palpitations;
  • increased blood pressure;
  • painful withdrawal symptoms if not consumed;
  • breast shrinkage in females;
  • severe fatigue from withdrawal;
  • headaches;
  • dizziness;
  • trouble sleeping;
  • gastrointestinal disturbance;
  • swelling of the mouth, lips, face, or tongue;
  • nervousness;
  • irritability;
  • increase urination.

In conclusion, coffee is an all-natural beverage, while Red Bull commonly contains flavors, artificial preservatives, and dyes. However, even if coffee is a natural product, there is no nutritional need for intaking caffeine.

Image credit – Shutterstock & Getty

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