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The Glories of Red Bull

Hemos posted more than 13 years ago | from the combination-bad dept.

News 248

EnnaH writes "An article on the Times web-site stated that the popular energy drink Red Bull is under investigation in Sweden, after three people died shortly after consuming the drink. I thought that this may interest the Slashdot community, as I'm sure many of us drink a lot of these hyper-caffinated products and Red Bull is available on the ThinkGeek site." From the article itself, it appears that the problem isn't so much the Red Bull as people overdrinking with it and such. Ah, the wonders of nanny states.Update: 07/14 11:36 PM by H :So, for those of you who didn't pick it out - my comment about nanny states isn't one about Sweden - it's about system that try too hard to protect people from themselves. By all accounts, Sweden's a very nice place. *grin*

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Re:"Nanny states?!" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#84941)

People die from using X? Sounds like FUD from M$.

Foodstuffs and opensource (1)

euroderf (47) | more than 13 years ago | (#84942)

Red Bull isn't the only thing that is controversial.

Opensource propogandist ESR has also entered the world of dangerous consumables.

Controversial discussion website adequacy.org [adequacy.org] had an interesting article [adequacy.org] talking about ESR's penchant for the endangered bird, the Puffin.

Now an endangered species, ESR tasted its flesh and said:

My entree was a "wild game feast" -- medallions of reindeer, wild goose (Cathy had a wild-goose entree), and puffin. The puffin was the interesting bit; strong-flavored, not unpleasant, but oily.

The puffin is very closely related to the penguin. Could this Open Source advocate one day be seen chowing down on roast penguin in the wastes of Antarctica? With ESR, you never know.

I bet he would even drink 'Red Bull'.
--

Um, history? (1)

Eric S. Smith (162) | more than 13 years ago | (#84945)

A drink that kills people

You must mean booze. Yeah, who would sell that? Or any form of tobacco.

is very counter productive to what most people care about, the profit margin.

Clearly, then, nobody would ever sell an unsafe product. The examples that I can think of, from cars lacking safety features to pharmaceuticals with serious side-effects (and let's not forget, from long ago, lead plumbing and even radium inhalers) must be misinformation planted by The Wicked Nanny State.

Time to ban rhubarb (2)

Helmholtz (2715) | more than 13 years ago | (#84951)

Oh no, my buddy just ate 10 pounds of Rhubarb Pie, and promptly fell over dead!

That Rhubarb is mighty bad stuff. I know because I've seen it kill people. Let's Blame Canada and get it outlawed for the safety of the children!

What? I'm being silly? Okay mister, perhaps you could explain to everyone why you don't want to help the children.

And on, and on, and on .... *sigh*

If you like school, You'll Love Work. (5)

Ryandav (5475) | more than 13 years ago | (#84955)

"Rejoice Friends! Big Government Is Over.
...
A national law, establishing childrens bedtime.
Betime Patrol! will check up on you,
(Make sure your bracelets on,)
The Nanny State, to reach down your pants
to check and see if you've been moistening yourselves with any unauthorized substance without permission.

Tag Them! Curfew Them! Keep them down. Keep them at home, to school, to rent a video on the way home, and stay home, just like at work,
Do not gather after dark. Curfew! It's such a family oriented word. A much more acceptable, smiling, soft word. A much more palatable concept than "Martial Law". Put your bracelets on, you're safer when you're watched...

Don't go outside, youll set the alarms off..."

With apologies to Jello Biafra, lead singer of the Dead Kennedies and much more, whose spoken word was set to techno backbeat by Coldcut. Find the MP3 by Coldcut, "Every Home A Prison". (not the toned-down version by Keoki) It ranks about my favorite song ever.

Re:"Nanny states?!" (2)

FFFish (7567) | more than 13 years ago | (#84957)

The wonders of nanny states, eh?

Like ones that make possession of marijuana a *criminal offense*?

What about states that suckhole to corporations, providing obscene tax breaks or environment law loopholes?

American citizens should be the *last* citizens on the face of the planet to mutter comments about "nanny states."


--

I almost Died from RedBull & Smirnoff (1)

Llama Keeper (7984) | more than 13 years ago | (#84958)

YUM, Redbull and Vodka is the alcohol of Kings. The best stuff ever if you are a supe lightweight like me. You don't feel the booze until it sneaks up and kicks yer arse. Yes children if you too would like a serious case of alcohol poisoning then try my favorite elixer of Redbull and Vodka

Re:Right, blame the popular caffienated drink. (2)

zyklone (8959) | more than 13 years ago | (#84960)

Yes, We have some fools running this place.
The monopoly is pretty good for the people though, the problem is the taxes.

Having one huge company selling all alcohol can be very useful.
They have just about everything you could ever want at reasonable prices (if the taxes were lower) due
to their huge volumes. If the obscene taxes were lowered this would ideal for the consumer.

Caffeine is probably not a good thing to mix with alcohol or workout. And Red Bull is 320mg/kg ..

Re:Right, blame the popular caffienated drink. (2)

zyklone (8959) | more than 13 years ago | (#84961)

The difference is that Microsoft is not state owned.

Re:Red Bull = Dangerous (for my brother anyway) (1)

Splat (9175) | more than 13 years ago | (#84962)

I've never had Red Bull, but I encountered a very similar situation you describe after chugging a 20 oz bottle of Jolt way too fast. I was really dehydrated after riding my bike to a 7-11, and promptly bought the bottle and drank it in under 2 minutes probably. Dizziness/blurred vision resulted. My unofficial diagnose .. don't drink any stimulants when your body doesn't have the proper amounts of water in it.

Bah, Red Bull rocks! (2)

grub (11606) | more than 13 years ago | (#84964)

I'm just finishing a glass of Red Bull and vodka now

No problems here, mind you the kat wanssingrtg...f

.sd grfpdsf

grfd fg

lkadsk;/ ,

s . o. . i

Right, blame the popular caffienated drink. (2)

RAruler (11862) | more than 13 years ago | (#84965)

"Two of the victims, whose identities have not been released by the Swedish authorities, died after mixing the drink with vodka. The third died after taking several cans after a hard gym session."

So two morons die because they drank too much alcohol, and the third died probably from over exhaustion. They ingredients from one Hyper-Energy-Super-Mega-Caffiene-Drink to another don't change, they are all packaged in the same strange little can too. Somone else is probably gonna die because the commercials too literally "Red Bull Gives You Wings!" and pancakes himself into a busy intersection. There are over 6 billion people in the world, and as the Darwin Awards have shown, people die from incredibly stupid things everyday. But the drink is a convient scape goat, just like Ectasy gets blamed for everything ever gone wrong at a rave. A drink that kills people is very counter productive to what most people care about, the profit margin. But the media latches on to one thing and makes the entire populace scared to death of something. Energy Transmission Lines? Obviously the work of the devil. Radiation from Cellphones? Again must be the devil. People tend to believe everything they read in print of on a 'respected' website.

---

red bull and alcohol (1)

willhelm (12091) | more than 13 years ago | (#84967)

A few months ago, there was a Fox News report on Red Bull and alcohol. All day long they were hyping it up... "Tonight at 11... Red Bull and alcohol and how it's endangering your life!"

Because I occasionally drink Red Bull and vodka (which is trippy because you don't feel tired at all), I made sure to watch the segment which was well placed at the end of the 11 news hour. The startling discovery was that Red Bull and alcohol drunk in large quantities is not good for your heart.

Course, alcohol alone drunk in large quantities isn't good for your heart--so I chalk most of this up to needless sensationalistic journalism.

However, anything abused is almost certainly bad (if not fatal) to you.

"Nanny states?!" (5)

Pope (17780) | more than 13 years ago | (#84973)

Wow, if that phrase isn't flamebait, I don't know what is.

People died from a specific, related cause. I'd DAMN WELL expect an investigation, which will most likely exonerate Red Bull, and maybe, just MAYBE, give the public some education about when not to drink energy drinks.

Heck, some kid here in Toronto died after a rave, and the front cover of the paper the next day had a picture of him with his mother's tag line "Please no more deaths!!" You know, because so many people die from using X and going to raves, as apart from the alcohol-related traffic stats.

I finally got to try out Red Bull on a trip to Chicago 2 weeks ago, and quite frankly can't see what the big deal is other than it being the new trendy thing to do. It tastes like Sweet Tarts candy and has less caffeine per volume than coffee. Honestly, I wish more people would turn on their bullshit detector instead of just following trends.

Re:Baysian reasoning anyone? (1)

dillon_rinker (17944) | more than 13 years ago | (#84975)

That's right! Red Bull promotes longer life spans! Of all the Red Bull drinkers, only three have been reported dead in national media! Turn to page E-7 and look at all the obituaries of NON-Red Bull drinkers!

Re:A bit more background information (3)

austad (22163) | more than 13 years ago | (#84982)

As a reader from the country in which Red Bull was invented I would like to toffer some background information.

You mentioned later in the post you are from Austria. I hate to tell you this, but red bull was not invented in Austria, it was invented in Thailand many years before it ever came to austria. You can still get it in Thailand and many asian markets here in the US. You can get it in 200ml gold cans, 250ml gold cans, and 150ml tinted glass bottles. It's sold under the name Theoplex-L. Go to your nearest asian market and pick some up. The Thai version is not carbonated, but it's less than half the price of the Austrian version.

Taurine (4)

krakan (23581) | more than 13 years ago | (#84983)

Actually the caffeine content is not was is suspected for the deaths. The culprit is instead thought to be taurine which is a substance that regulates the salt levels of the body. That seems to me as a plausible explanation. It is a bit odd that the Times article completely fails to mention it, but maybe it was deemed to be too technical.

Huh? (5)

chamont (25273) | more than 13 years ago | (#84985)

the energy drink that has become popular among the over-worked and the over-partied

Over-partied? Certainly this article ended up on the wrong site.

Re:Right, blame the popular caffienated drink. (1)

mat.h (25728) | more than 13 years ago | (#84986)

just like Ectasy gets blamed for everything ever gone wrong at a rave


Nobody ever blamed E for the overflowing toilets at the January 8, 1995 Boom Rave in Leipzig, Germany. That was just incredibly bad organization.

Re:A bit more background information (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 13 years ago | (#84987)

Except that sometimes only the dexo-rotary appears naturally, and only the levo-rotary (hope those two terms are right. It's been nine years since organic) can be made. Or vice-versa.

Sweden... (1)

ThomasW (32227) | more than 13 years ago | (#84992)

It's a nanny state alright...
But we sure have a great hockeyteam :)

// Tre Kronor

Sweet! Where can I get it in Canada? (4)

tbo (35008) | more than 13 years ago | (#84994)

And I thought that Red Bull was, well, bull. It sounded like just another "energy drink" with a little caffeine and some hippie herbs (ginseng, bat guano, etc). Looks like it really does pack a punch.

Does anybody know where I can buy this stuff in Canada? ThinkGeek won't ship it out of the US. I promise I won't combine it with alcohol, hard exercise, or viagra.

Just imagine 30 million angry Canadians hopped up on Red Bull, with hockey sticks and no teeth, bearing down on California to collect the few hundred million dollars they owe us for electricity. Maybe that's why they won't sell Red Bull to us.

Re:red bull and alcohol (1)

Zurk (37028) | more than 13 years ago | (#84995)

dont do it. taurine and alcohol certainly react together in ways that are really bad for your liver -- even in moderate quantities.
if you dont follow the instructions clearly labelled on the can youre setting yourself up for a world of hurt. its the same as mixing prescription drugs and alcohol.

Re:Pheew... Great that im Danish!! (1)

Craig Davison (37723) | more than 13 years ago | (#84996)

The aluminum in pop cans will not oxidize unless the can is open and exposed to air. So that argument is bullshit.

IMO, Coke/sprite/etc taste better in a can, but beer is better in a bottle. (Extra old stock being the exception).

Re:Sweet! Where can I get it in Canada? (1)

Craig Davison (37723) | more than 13 years ago | (#84997)

You can get in Calgary.

Fuck Red bull. Tastes like Flintstones vitamins n' ass. Drink Sobe[tm] instead.

Thinkgeek ?! (2)

chrysalis (50680) | more than 13 years ago | (#85005)

And what about Thinkgeek, also selling over-cafeinated mints and drinks ?

-- Pure FTP server [pureftpd.org] - Upgrade your FTP server to something simple and secure.

Re:Get your gov't out of my dying! (2)

eric17 (53263) | more than 13 years ago | (#85008)

Yes, but they don't just investigate and make the results available. They create regulations, mandate tests and send inspectors, increasing your taxes AND the cost of the product. In other words, they assume that the manufacturer is up to no good, and that the consumer is an idiot. I don't believe this, but most do. Hence the nanny state.

Re:A bit more background information (2)

Velox_SwiftFox (57902) | more than 13 years ago | (#85009)

Natural substances cannot be reproduced

With all respect, boy does this show you to be full of shit.

Wussies... (1)

quartz (64169) | more than 13 years ago | (#85014)

Overdrinking? Hmpf. Back in Europe, a year or so ago, I went to a "Night of the ad eaters" show. Middle of the summer, very hot weather, and the only cold drink to be found was Red Bull. I must have drunk 6 or 7 cans during the night, then went home at 6:30 AM and slept like a log. Can't imagine how can one die from drinking such a lousy "energy drink".

Re:Right, blame the popular caffienated drink. (1)

quartz (64169) | more than 13 years ago | (#85015)

Well, what do you expect from a country where alcohol retail is a state monopoly [ias.org.uk] ?

In other news... (2)

Silicon_Knight (66140) | more than 13 years ago | (#85017)

90 year old men with heart problems can die from heart attack after an overdose of viagra...

(Come on, use some common sense, people - just because a chemical can push your body to do mor, doens't mean it can handle it. It's like setting that overclock setting on your motherboard without adequate cooling...)

-=- SiKnight

Re:Caffine is a Drug. (5)

Speare (84249) | more than 13 years ago | (#85030)

Caffeine is dependency-forming. This is the major reason for adding it to cola drinks: it increases consumer loyalty.

Caffeine is a diuretic: it removes water and urea from cells and increases urine output.

Caffeine is a stimulant, only to a point. Once the body has become saturated, caffeine actually acts as a depressant.

Caffeine, like other stimulants, can help people with ADD, by enhancing the person's ability to focus on a goal instead of being distracted by everything else.

Normalized Comparisons (USA distributions):

Drip Coffee (7oz cup): 197-300mg/12oz

Brewed Coffee (7oz cup): 137-231mg/12oz

Red Bull (8.3oz can): 115.5mg/12oz

Espresso (1.5~2oz shot): 100-135mg/shot

Jolt Cola (12oz can): 72mg/12oz

Coca-Cola (12oz can): 46.5mg/12oz

Pepsi Cola (12oz can): 38.4mg/12oz

wrong kind of party? (3)

isaac_akira (88220) | more than 13 years ago | (#85031)

maybe they meant LAN parties... Then this is the right site.

Re:A bit more background information (1)

MissNachos (89129) | more than 13 years ago | (#85033)

So how many languages do you speak flawlessly?

Do tell.

Absinthe & Red Bull (5)

gimbo (91234) | more than 13 years ago | (#85035)

Great... Absinthe was only just recently made legal again in Britain. Now I have to worry about not being able to drink it with Red Bull? Gaah!

(Btw absinthe + red bull glows flourescent green under ultraviolet light - nice!)
--

Anything can kill, given big enough dose. (2)

Bostik (92589) | more than 13 years ago | (#85036)

As has been noted, the effective substance in Red Bull can cause death, if someone was fool enough to consume insane amounts of it. Somehow, I have the hunch that not everything has been told in this case. I wouldn't be that surprised if ecstacy was involved.

But this piece of news did remind me of a science-fiction story I read. The power of statistics should never be underestimated when doing research on reason -> result field :) This [drexel.edu] is a story any statistician should read :)

Re:A bit more background information (5)

Argy (95352) | more than 13 years ago | (#85038)

> Bullshit! Taurin does nothing besides tasting strange. The rumours are wrong.

Even according to Red Bull, you're wrong. From their FAQ: [redbull.com]

"What exactly is taurine?

Taurine is a conditionally essential amino acid, which naturally occurs in the body. At times of extreme physical exertion, the body no longer produces the required amounts of taurine, and a relative deficiency results. Taurine acts as a metabolic transmitter and additionally has a detoxifying effect and strengthens cardiac contractility."

Re:Caffine is a Drug. (1)

sparcy (98419) | more than 13 years ago | (#85045)

I still remember a study I saw done where they injected spiders with various drugs to see what it did to their web making ability. Here is a link [cling.gu.se] that has some information on the study. I could not find a "official" link to the study. But you can see get a idea of the effect of caffine on their ability to spin webs. Pretty amazing what caffine did to their abilities. Just got to wonder what it does to a human.

Re:Red Bull = Dangerous (for my brother anyway) (1)

Troed (102527) | more than 13 years ago | (#85049)

*waving hand*

Yep, recognize that. Still do RedBull-vodka when out dancing though. Maybe stupid - I'm a Swede, it seems we're the only ones affected :)

They were warned! (5)

aralin (107264) | more than 13 years ago | (#85052)

Well, what can you say! They were warned! Red Bull says in every advertisements that it gives you wings and displays the figures who drink it as Angels. What more they need to say, damn it?

Re:Pheew... Great that im Danish!! (1)

Tarpan (114764) | more than 13 years ago | (#85055)

Isn't it since that the aluminum (*spelling*) in cans are not so good, it mixes with the beverage and leaves traces of not so healty minerals in it. I could be wrong about this though, but one thing i do know, sodas taste different if they are in a can or bottle.

Re:Caffine is a Drug. (1)

mz001b (122709) | more than 13 years ago | (#85058)

Exactly. It would probably be illegal. But it's not, and so, it's I think the only stimulant drug that can be sold in supermarkets and to children, and advertised without limits or warnings.

Actually, caffine was covered in a previous /. article [slashdot.org] . There is even a link to the caffine vault [erowid.org] which has a FAQ on doseage.

Re:A bit more background information (2)

jbarnett (127033) | more than 13 years ago | (#85059)


Thus heart racing appears, rapid breath, swetaing and simialr symptoms ...

so basically it is like talking to a member of the opsite sex?


Nanny states? (5)

legLess (127550) | more than 13 years ago | (#85060)

"Ah, the wonders of nanny states."

Questions:

  1. If several people die after internalizing Substance X, would you or would you not want some competent authority to investigate?
  2. Is it possible for a psychopath to taint food and/or medicinal products with the express goal or killing random people?
  3. Is it possible for a manufacturing error to produce tainted products (e.g. have 10x the indicated caffeine)?
Also, it's not like Sweden has banned the stuff. What did the Swedish government actually have to say about this? From the 2nd paragraph of the article, which most people (including Hemos) have apparently not read:
A public warning advising people not to take Red Bull mixed with alcohol nor to drink it after exercise has been issued by Sweden's National Food Administration.
Most people wouldn't drink Red Bull any differently than they drink Coke or Gatorade. Like it or not, most folks don't know enough biochemistry to determine whether Substance X is safe to internalize under Condition Y. Thus, many countries have government organizations to make this information publicly available.
Mr Glynn said: "What we have is the suggestion that three people have died after drinking this substance, although there is no hard scientific evidence available on this yet. We will be looking at the death certificates and going through the autopspy reports to identify whether or not there is a link."
Another quote:
Red Bull cannot be sold in stores in Norway, Denmark or France because it is classified as medicinal because of its high caffeine content. It could, however, be sold in pharmacies in those countries.
Nanny states again? There are plenty of substances in this country which are only obtainable at a pharmacy. Why? So that the pharmacist (i.e. someone who's spent years studying the effects of chemicals on the human body) can give you sensible advice: "Don't chug a case of this after a marathon."

I fail to see anything wrong here. If you really want to talk about nanny states, let's start with China and Afganistan, eh?

"We all say so, so it must be true!"

Re:Wussies... (1)

Digitalia (127982) | more than 13 years ago | (#85061)

That's not true at all. The ingredients of Red Bull do not change in any of the nations it is sold in. That is a rumor which Red Bull debunks at their website.

Not so much caffeine as propagated (1)

idot (130605) | more than 13 years ago | (#85064)

A 8.3-ounce can has just 80 milligrams of the stimulant, about the same amount in a mug of coffee.

Re:Could be any reason though (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 13 years ago | (#85066)

You're right on the money. I used to be able to down caffeine like it was going out of style. Back in the early 90's when working 17 hour shifts (2pm-9am) I used to have cups of coffee with a tablespoon, yes, TABLEspoon of coffee in it just to keep going.

Then in 1993 I contracted flu, and the virus attacked my heart. Since then I can't touch anything with caffeine in it. My heart goes berzerk, my body goes mental. It feels like a cross between a panic attack and heart failure, so if caffeine can effect me like that, I'm honestly not surprised that otherwise "healthy" people died.

Mixing alcohol and caffeine just seems retarded anyway if you ask me. Mixing two brain altering chemicals is pretty stupid. Makes about as much sense as dropping acid and E at the same time.

---

Re:A bit more background information (1)

cosmicaug (150534) | more than 13 years ago | (#85072)

Except that sometimes only the dexo-rotary appears naturally, and only the levo-rotary (hope those two terms are right. It's been nine years since organic) can be made. Or vice-versa.

Certainly there's no reason to say that "Natural substances cannot be reproduced" as the original poster stated.

Of course, I wouldn't be surprised if the taurine were produced by some fermentation process using some taurine overproducing mutant of some bacterium or fungus (their web site states it is made synthetically for Red Bull, but whether the statement is meant to reassure the public that no bull testicles were harmed in the making of this drink or whether it is meant to inform the reader that no biosynthetic processes whatsoever were involved in the making of the taurine, I cannot tell). If that were the case (which is probably not that unlikely), then the taurine they are using is natural taurine (not that there would be any difference between the same isomers synthetically produced or produced by some living organism) so the original gentle poster's faulty point would be rendered moot.

By the way, though it is not easy, there are ways of separating racemic mixtures into the L for and the D form (I believe it is done enzymatically).

lesson learned... (1)

resonator (151559) | more than 13 years ago | (#85073)

this could have been avoided if Red Bull open sourced [thinkgeek.com] their formula.

Question (1)

magnetx11 (152596) | more than 13 years ago | (#85074)

I drink a can in the morning everyday, instead of coffee... am I at risk?

Thanks /. (1)

stu_coates (156061) | more than 13 years ago | (#85075)

Just finished my 5th can of Red Bull whilst trying to install Slak8.0 on my new machine... this story has made my day a whole lot better... NOT!

Re:If you like school, You'll Love Work. (1)

nycdewd (160297) | more than 13 years ago | (#85077)

hey thanks for the tip... damn straight, that is the skinny dope... Biafra speaks the truth...

Re:Absinthe & Red Bull (1)

IronChef (164482) | more than 13 years ago | (#85079)


OT:

Absinthe is NASTY. I ordered some from Spain. Did a lot of reading on it, and as expected, it's loathsome... tastes like black licorice. It's a very complex liqueur though... probably very enjoyable if you like the prominent anise taste.

Re:A bit more background information (2)

IronChef (164482) | more than 13 years ago | (#85081)

Natural substances cannot be reproduced, thus you would have to slay a human, suck the Taurine out and put it into a drink.

That is one of the top 3 crazy things I have ever heard. There are PLENTY of chemicals that occur in nature that can be PERFECTLY replicated by industry.

Here, buy some taurine [hungsun.com] .

Answer: (5)

PopeAlien (164869) | more than 13 years ago | (#85085)

I drink a can in the morning everyday, instead of coffee... am I at risk?

..That depends.. A can of what? A can of motor-oil? ..A can of Red-Bull?

As long as you drink it after you've woken up, and as long as your not mixing it with Methyl-Ethyl-Ketones, you're probably going to be OK, but just to be safe you should wait for the Governments approval. This goes for everything in life- Sex, Caffeine, loud music, exercise.. Whatever it is that you want to do, please ask you congress-person for permission first..

Scare story? (1)

perlyking (198166) | more than 13 years ago | (#85092)

The warnings are after three people died with heart trouble sometime after drinking it, equally many people die sometime after drinking water yet we still risk our lives drinking water :-)

I'm not saying that they are wrong just that it can be misleading to jump to conclusions.
As a regular drinker of red bull I shall watch with interest..

--

Tastes gross (2)

jchristopher (198929) | more than 13 years ago | (#85096)

Whoa, Red Bull is nasty anyway. Tastes like rotting apple cider if you ask me. At my office, we prefer the American programmer's standby, shiny red cans of Coca-Cola! [cocacola.com]

Re:Pheew... Great that im Danish!! (2)

jchristopher (198929) | more than 13 years ago | (#85097)

Are you really serious? How do you buy soda pop from the store - glass bottles?

Red Bull is nothing (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 13 years ago | (#85102)

Red Bull is nothing. You want to get jazzed, try drinking a Sky Rocket (availible from thinkgeek.com). 100 Mgs of caffeine per ounce, 25 ounces total. 2.5 grams of caffeine. That will get you up in the morning.

286 mg of cafine per liter, less than tea (2)

clarkie.mg (216696) | more than 13 years ago | (#85106)

This story about three dead in sweden is up in the news everywhere. I read here [lameuse.be] (french) that the red bull has less caféine than tea (in tea bags) but bouah it's far more disgusting. I drank one 2 years ago and I can still smell the awful breath it gave me. pouah never again even if I can fly.

Other caféine levels :

Red Bull 286 mg/l,
XTC en canette, 300 mg/l,
Smart, 338 mg/l,
Red Devil, 365 mg/l
recommended level in the US 200 mg/l
source : http://www.lameuse.be/ante/pages/wc202.htm#ancre02 88994

Red bull and booze (2)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | more than 13 years ago | (#85107)

The troble with Red Bull and booze is that caffeine works against the alcohol, so while a overdoze of alcohol will cause your brain to shutdown non-vital functions and put you to sleep :-), before you kil yourself, the caffeine zeros out the effect. The problems here is that the caffeine wears out faster than the alcohol so when the caffeine is gone, the alcohol is still there and your brain will not just shut down non-vital functions in your body but just about everything as well and thereby killing you.

--------

Not too hyper-caffeinated (1)

Mik!tAAt (217976) | more than 13 years ago | (#85109)

At least here in Finland, AFAIK, Red Bull, Battery, Jolt and others have less caffeine than their US counterparts. For example, 1 can of Jolt contains caffeine only equal to 1 cup of coffee, and if I am not completely mistaken, Red Bull and Battery are somewhere on the same levels. Of course, there's also taurine and other chemicals that might react with alcohol (I think those guys in Sweden were boozing at well at that moment)

Re:Red Bull = Dangerous (for my brother anyway) (1)

Vegeta99 (219501) | more than 13 years ago | (#85110)

I used to dump a tablespoon of caffiene into a 20oz bottle of Jolt. Stopped that when I chugged a bottle, i thoguht I was getting Parkinson's Disease!

Well, no kidding... (1)

dkoyanagi (222827) | more than 13 years ago | (#85112)

Caffeine is a diuretic. Drinking large quantities of it after a workout will do nothing for rehydration. In fact it will dehydrate you further. Mixing it with alchohol and engaging in physical activity (dancing at a club for instance) is just asking for trouble.

oh great... (1)

3-State Bit (225583) | more than 13 years ago | (#85113)

I can see the ThinkGeek adverts now: "(Not for swedes or other demi-programmers.)"

(Linus only speaks [tuxedo.org] Swedish, people. Here's [unitedstat...merica.com] where it's at.)
~

brilliant! (1)

3-State Bit (225583) | more than 13 years ago | (#85114)

Article:
Mr Glynn said: "What we have is the suggestion that three people have died after drinking this substance, although there is no hard scientific evidence available on this yet. We will be looking at the death certificates and going through the autopspy reports to identify whether or not there is a link."
Yeah! The death certificate always lists the cause of death, so this way, if it says "Died from drinking Red Bull", then we'll know that there's a link! Rock on, "hard scienctific evidence"!
~

Re:"Nanny states?!" (2)

Johnny Starrock (227040) | more than 13 years ago | (#85116)

But if the cool kids don't follow trends, how will they know if they're cool or not?

Originality is not smiled upon in Red Bull's core demographic.

Still not one Malt Liquor joke? (1)

MeowMeow Jones (233640) | more than 13 years ago | (#85118)

Shame on all of you.

Trolls throughout history:

Re:"Nanny states?!" (1)

kgutwin (243912) | more than 13 years ago | (#85120)

...
so many people die from using X...

Oh no! I never had any idea X could be so dangerous... I guess it's back to the console for me...

-Karl
------------
[root@kgutwin /dos]# file msdos.sys

I hate the word whilst (1)

metalhed77 (250273) | more than 13 years ago | (#85126)

I hate it, it's stupid

----------
www.shockthemonkey.org [shockthemonkey.org]

Re:A bit more background information (1)

LM741N (258038) | more than 13 years ago | (#85128)

Nonsense. Taurine (not Taurin) is an amino acid. If they were going to put in some potentially stimulating amino acid, DL-Phenylethylame would have been a better choice. If you want Taurine, eat some meat or cheese.

I tasted it (2)

imevil (260579) | more than 13 years ago | (#85129)

I was in middle school and at the local grocery store they were selling Red Bull at a test price (0.30$). My mom saw sodas for cheap and got some for me. I was 12 at that time. I tasted it. Here are my thoughts/words:
  • It looks like carbonated pee!
  • It tastes like carbonated pee!
  • Well, it really tastes like carbonated gummi-bear juice
  • Mom, that sucks, can you drink it please? and never buy test products again.


After some years I was in college and there I saw people drinking that stuff in various ways:
  • Fast: because they needed the caffeine and they hated the taste... same as I did with Mt Dew as I came to the US
  • With Vodka. You will be happy all night. And sick the day after.


3 espresso coffee concentrated in 2dl of carbonated pee... I still prefer coke

V

Re:Could be any reason though (2)

SomeoneYouDontKnow (267893) | more than 13 years ago | (#85131)

Too much caffiene can seriously mess with your heart. If you have underlying heart problems, this could be a bad thing. Other stimulants will do the same thing. Read the warning labels on workout enhancers like Ripped Fuel. They explicitly warn you that an overdose can cause a heart attack. Definitely something to be mindful of.

Re:A bit more background information (1)

scavpagan (301398) | more than 13 years ago | (#85132)

Many people also do not head the warning printed onto the cans, which explicitly states, that you should _not_ ever mix red bull with alcohol, due to the fact, that youw ould be mixing a strong stimulating neuro drug with it as well.

There are no warning labels on the Red Bull cans in Sweden (well, one, read below).. In fact, when interviewed, the PR responsible at Reb Bull Sweden insisted on that Red Bull inflicts no harm whatsoever when combined with alcohol or exercise!

Here's what the swedish can says (forgive my poor translation):
"Red Bull Energy Drink - a refreshing taruine- and caffeine-containing carbonated drink which is especially developed to increase the performance level acheived with physical straining."

"Red Bull Energy drink - Stimulates the metabolism - Improves well-being - Increases stamina, reaction- and concentration abilities."

And here's the only "warning" on the can:
"Children, pregnant women and other people sensitive to caffeine are discouraged to use this drink."

The PR woman at Red Bull Sweden actually said that she encouraged people to mix Red Bull with vodka at parties.. From the articles, I found her very ignorant.

Re:They were warned! (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 13 years ago | (#85139)

Those commercials are worth a second look.

They're much more fey than your usual American ad. And they're loaded with sexual imagery (get a load of Rapunzel's castle), some of it hetero, some of it homo.

The lip sync is bizarre, too. But I know why. They were made in Europe and dubbed into English. The Euro versions could be saying almost anything, but probably they're just translations of the naff script.

--Blair

Taurin research (2)

sjofi (307114) | more than 13 years ago | (#85140)

A group of Finnish researchers have studied taurine effects in brains(http://www.uta.fi/laitokset/bio/research/ph ysiology2_roletaurinebrainregulaglutrec.html [www.uta.fi] ).

One of the researchers commented their findings on TV when this was first reported earlier this week: "we've injected substansial amounts of taurine to test animals and we've been dissappointed because of the lack of effect".

In her opionion coffein is much more effective ingredient in Red Bull (no matter what the producer tries to tell you).

Re:A bit more background information (1)

dmalloc (307912) | more than 13 years ago | (#85141)

I hate to prove you wrong.
Taurin is the synthetically produced counterpart to the naturally occuring Taurine. Natural substances cannot be reproduced, thus you would have to slay a human, suck the Taurine out and put it into a drink. Taurine is the equivalent produced by synthetic means.
Red BUlls Website simply explains the natural Taurine. No one ever said it was _no amino_ acid, re read my comment

Re:A bit more background information (1)

dmalloc (307912) | more than 13 years ago | (#85142)

I hate to prove you wrong.
Taurin is the synthetically produced counterpart to the naturally occuring Taurine. Natural substances cannot be reproduced, thus you would have to slay a human, suck the Taurine out and put it into a drink. Taurine is the equivalent produced by synthetic means.
Red Bulls Website simply explains the natural Taurine.
There is no distinct difference between synthetically produced and natural substances in most cases.

A bit more background information (5)

dmalloc (307912) | more than 13 years ago | (#85143)

As a reader from the country in which Red Bull was invented I would like to toffer some background information.
The main "active" ingredient of Red Bull is Taurin.
Taurin is a drug, about 30 times stronger than caffeine together with a combination of Vitamines it is able to fill you body with new "Energy", whereas the Taurin actually only is a helper substance to quicker spread the active ingredients of the Vitamines and aid in the production of sugar. Originally Taurin has been found as an effective drug for encephalitic syndrome, cataract and glaucoma. It is also useful as a neuro-modulator and neuro-inhibitor of the central nervous system. As such it could be effectively used as an anti-convulsion drug.

However, if you consume too much of The substance you will get the opposit of the desired effect, being such a strong stimulator it can stimulate the body to fall into a shock like state. Thus heart racing appears, rapid breath, swetaing and simialr symptoms whihc _can_ lead up to death.
Taurin levels in red Bull are limited to the countries maximum allowed amount, which is limited in the country itself where Red Bull is manufactured. For example in Germany the original recepee may not be sold, it would fall under the narcotics law in germany.

Many people also do not head the warning printed onto the cans, which explicitly states, that you should _not_ ever mix red bull with alcohol, due to the fact, that youw ould be mixing a strong stimulating neuro drug with it as well.
Mixing the two can cause bad damage to the liver, due to some reaction between the active ingredients of the Taurin or better its Glycin Bile acids with the alcohol.

I do not work for Red Bull, nor do I wish to promote their product, but since it has been sold here in austria no issues with it have been reported by the media and when you are consuming a drink, which explicitly states, thaty ou should consume it in a sane way and you do not heed the warning, then something is wrong with you in the first place.

Re:Right, blame the popular caffienated drink. (1)

SpeelingChekka (314128) | more than 13 years ago | (#85145)

Calm down .. nobody as far as I can tell is blaming the drink. Did you read the article or did you just take a guess that the content might be sensationalist? I read the article, and I'm afraid I can't find the paragraph where they blame the drink. They mention some stuff about mixing the drink with alcohol being bad .. and that one of the victims had already had heart problems as a child .. nope, sorry, I can't see the part where the drink gets blamed at all. I'm guessing the people who modded you up didn't read the article either.

Re:A bit more background information (1)

SpeelingChekka (314128) | more than 13 years ago | (#85146)

Many people also do not head the warning printed onto the cans, which explicitly states, that you should _not_ ever mix red bull with alcohol, due to the fact, that youw ould be mixing a strong stimulating neuro drug with it as well

I don't know about other countries but where I live RedBull is often marketed in places where you can be sure people will be drinking alcohol, e.g. large neon advertisements inside bars. How stupid is that? Sounds like 'asking for trouble' ..

Could be any reason though (2)

BIGJIMSLATE (314762) | more than 13 years ago | (#85147)

Those people could've already had problems anyways. Maybe for some, caffine was NOT the thing to be having (i.e. HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE).

It's like when those people are shocked that some 92-year old man drops dead from overexertion from using Viagra. It wasn't the viagra that killed him, just the built-up horniness that has been brewing for 45 years, all being released in a week.

Besides, sh!t happens, and without caffine I'd probably...

fall asleep right here.

Look At The Spelling.... (1)

robbyjo (315601) | more than 13 years ago | (#85149)

Thus heart racing appears, rapid breath, swetaing and simialr symptoms whihc _can_ lead up to death.

Wow, you sure did show us the example of how bad the overdose is... Look at the spelling. Does it mean that you're showing us a mild-overdose effect?

Get your gov't out of my dying! (5)

SumDeusExMachina (318037) | more than 13 years ago | (#85156)

Ah, the wonders of nanny states.

Yeah, those damn nanny states, always butting into our lives! Why can't they leave me and my company alone so that we don't have to spend money on fixing the gas tanks on our products so that it stops killing customers?

It is an outrage that the government would investigate a potentially defective product that could be lethal!

Re:Caffine is a Drug. (3)

Marcus Brody (320463) | more than 13 years ago | (#85157)

If caffine was just recently discovered it would likely have laws regulating it...

And if alcohol was just recently discovered it would undeniably be a Class A drug.

It's funny that the Thai drink red-bull is under investigation, when Alcohol causes thousands of deaths world-wide every year but is still perfectly legal in most non-islamic countries.

Right. I'm off for a pint...

Pheew... Great that im Danish!! (1)

dmouritsendk (321667) | more than 13 years ago | (#85159)

Cause we are not even allowed to drink it here, since it comes in a can and have bubbles. For some strange reason canned sodas are forbidden in denmark, only juice can be sold in a can.
Im actually being serius!! :O)

Re:Caffine is a Drug. (2)

OpenSourced (323149) | more than 13 years ago | (#85162)

Exactly. It would probably be illegal. But it's not, and so, it's I think the only stimulant drug that can be sold in supermarkets and to children, and advertised without limits or warnings. Wait a bit and we'll see drinks with still higher concentrations of caffine. After all, stimulants are always in strong demand.

--

Re:Get your gov't out of my dying! (1)

deaddrunk (443038) | more than 13 years ago | (#85164)

they assume that the manufacturer is up to no good, and that the consumer is an idiot

Which sums up the cigarette industry and its customers beautifully (note I am a smoker and know I am an idiot - no flames necessary), and yet bizarrely there's a lot of legislation involving cigarettes. How many of you disagree with them?

Re:oh great... (1)

deaddrunk (443038) | more than 13 years ago | (#85165)

Although he has been known to speak the odd word of English every now and again......

Is it just Red Bull? (1)

the_brat_king (443955) | more than 13 years ago | (#85166)

Does this mean that I should quit drinking Jolt and 151 ?

I will not stop... (1)

patrickoehlinger (445411) | more than 13 years ago | (#85168)

I drink Red Bull since years, I also drink coffee. But it's hard to find good coffee in America, so I just drink Red Bull and I will not stop. If I would die some day, I wouldn't wonder if I had a Red Bull that day (because I drink it almost every day).

Red Bull blurs reality (1)

6EQUJ5 (446008) | more than 13 years ago | (#85169)

I thought Red Bull was a fictional product when I saw their ad in Wipe-Out XL for Sony PlayStation. Then when I saw it in stores I thought they had made the drink AFTER the game, you know.. to take advantage of the name-recognition.

Vote for me in 2004.

Ad (2)

Francis Frisina (447570) | more than 13 years ago | (#85171)

The funny thing is, when I refreshed to read this story, the "Red Bull" ad was up in the banner slot, telling me to drink! :)
---

Baysian reasoning anyone? (4)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 13 years ago | (#85172)

<rhetorical>
Why can't the press learn a little baysian reasoning [berkeley.edu] ?
</rhetorical>

It isn't that hard to figure the expected death rate among red bull drinkers (expected death rate w/o Red Bull times % of population drinking Red Bull), and ask yourself, is what we are seeing higher than we'd expect? I'll bet it's not.

It would be very odd if no one who drank Red Bull ever died. But for some reason our culture always treats death as an annomoly, which must therefore have a proximate cause.

In the longterm, the per capita death toll is exactly 1.

-- MarkusQ

Red Bull = Dangerous (for my brother anyway) (5)

Boba001 (458898) | more than 13 years ago | (#85176)

My brother and I used to drink a can or two each day, normally in the morning because it gives you a quick sugar-like rush and would help wake you up. I even drank a few bulldozers (the red bull/vodka mixed drink) and it never seems to effect me anymore than normal alchohol.

Anyway, soon after my brother started drinking red bulls he began getting periods of dizziness/blurred vision while driving his car! It happened at least 4 times before we figured out it was the red bulls (He/I figured he was stressed, sick or else).

On the way back from a long 4 hour drive he drank a red bull in the car and maybe 30 mins later he had another blur/dizzy spell (NOT good while driving in heavy traffic on the freeway). I had to basically steer the car for a minute or two while he was immobilized.

I commented maybe it was the red bull, so he stopped drinking them... it's been 6+ months and he's never had another dizzy spell.

Caffine is a Drug. (1)

A Commentor (459578) | more than 13 years ago | (#85177)

If caffine was just recently discovered it would likely have laws regulating it... It gives a burst of energy, but it your body is too tired and you have too much caffine, you are putting you self at risk...

Ad for Caffine items on same page. (5)

A Commentor (459578) | more than 13 years ago | (#85178)

How ironic that Think Geek's Caffine ad showed up on the same page as this article..

Red Bull (1)

CmdrDangerMouse (463901) | more than 13 years ago | (#85182)

Yeah I just drank one and I don't feel a d...

No way! I'm a total wreck (2)

RumbaFlex (465472) | more than 13 years ago | (#85184)

Well, i'm a techie and i get completely fuckfaced on the weekend, and not seldom on weekdays.. As a matter of fact i'm drunk right now!
Not on battery though..
Here in norway we had some silly-bitch-can't-take-his-drink-and-almost-died-g uy on the front of the newspaper, just because he drank battery and vodka, that's news?

Damn, no wonder i'm shying more and more away from tv and papers..

Red Bull no good anyway [veggie note] (1)

wohoo_gnu_is_great (467298) | more than 13 years ago | (#85185)

Fellow veggies, don't drink it! It contains taurine
which is made from meat.
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