There has been increasing demand, production, and consumption of energy drinks in many countries worldwide. The energy drink industry has been able to produce a sophisticated variety of products to suit the ever-changing consumer demands. This has resultedin the creation of various brands, such as Red Bull, Monster, Shark, Mountain Dew, Lucozade, Mother, and LiquidX among others. This paper will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Red Bull, and find out whether it is recommended or its consumption may affect the consumer.
Red Bull was invented by Dietrich Mateschitz in the year 1987 after partnering with Chaleo Yoovidhya in Thailand. Dietrich drew the inspiration to create this product from an energy drink that already existed in Thailand known as Krating Daeng. He wanted to create such a drink for the Western countries.Dietrichmade some modification of the ingredients used to manufacture Krating Daeng and finally came up with Red Bull as a new product. Today, the product is being sold by Red Bull GmbH, an Australian company, packed in a tall slim blue-silver can, and it has penetrated the industry market to become the highest-selling energy drink globally. Red Bull has maintained its visibility in the world market through adverts, celebrity endorsements, sports team ownership, and Red Bull-sponsored events (Alford &Wescott, 2001).
There have been continuous claims associating energy drinks with health-related risks. Some claims are that repeatedly consuming, or excessively consuming it could lead to psychiatric and cardiac conditions. Others say that there could be intoxication if such energy drinks are taken with alcohol. Red Bull, however, is meant to provide the body some extra vital nutrients and energy, especially to those who engage in physical activities requiring a high level of energy, such as outdoor sports. Its ingredients are taurine, sucrose, glucose, caffeine and B vitamins (B3, B5, B6, and B12). Even with such claims of health risks, EFSA (European Food and Safety Authority) indicates that the amount of caffeine contained in Red Bull cans is not likely to interact adversely with alcohol or other constituents of energy drinks.
Therefore, this topic was chosen to critically research and examine the advantages of consuming such drinks, in this case, Red Bull, the disadvantages of using it, and find out if it is recommended or if its consumption may affect the consumer or benefit them health wise. This is a detailed study ranging from the ingredient analysis, analysis of provisions of authorities responsible for health products regulation, the parties that have benefited or have been negatively affected by consuming the product, and the media influence among many other variables.
Arguments in Support of Red Bull Consumption
Since Red Bull is a product that touches on the health of individuals, it has received mixed reactions from its market, some in support for, and some against it. However, why is it still very popular in the global market? It is clear that anything of no good, or any product that puts lives at risk can never receive the attention of such a large number of consumers, especially when there are many other competitor products in the same market. Hence, since in 2013, Red Bull saw a massive sale of 5.387 billion cans.There have to be positive reasons behind such love for the product.
Firstly, as indicated before, Red Bull contains a lot of important nutrients in form of ingredients. Such nutrients are needed not only by physically active persons, but also everyone uses them. The combination of all these ingredients make up the energy drink.
Caffeine has been proved through scientific studies to improve human performance in endurance sports and activities by as much as 19 per cent. The United States Department of Health and Human Services conducted a study with the United States Department of Agriculture to reveal that consuming the amount of caffeine contained in 3 to 5 coffee cups on a day-to-day basis is safe and can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes in adults. Evidence from the research also showed the ability of caffeine to protect the body against Parkinson’s disease (Candow & Grenier, 2009). The caffeine contained in the energy drinks like Red Bull is the main reason behind the increased attention, increased reaction to speed, and overall improved cognitive performance in the people who take the drinks.
Athletic and performance have also been proved to be increased by some percentage after taking the Red Bull. In prolonged driving, for instance, such energy drinks have been seen to improve the performance, and that is why energy drinks are used by most sports drivers, Red Bull and Formula 1 being the most accurate example. Other tests indicated that the Red Bull drink increased power and endurance on those who took the energy drink. Repeated Red Bull tests were conducted on young adults in Wingate and found out that it increased the endurance of the upper body muscles significantly in young adults, which is a very positive effect of the taking the drink (Ragsdale & Batool, 2010). The amount of caffeine and the sugar level in Red Bull energy drink is almost the same as those contained in coffee and fruit juices. Therefore, there is no cause for alarm when taking Red Bull, as long as a person does not consume it repeatedly and frequently.
Additionally, Taurine is among the constituents used in making different energy drinks. Despite the fact that taurine is efficiently available in healthy humans, some may lack the adequate amount due to issues, such as kidney problems, liver problems, and heart failure among others. Certain diets may also inhibit its availability in enough quantity, such as the vegetarian diet. Taurine helps the body to improve hearing functions, electrolyte balance, insulin sensitivity immune modulation and cardiovascular health if it is in adequate amounts in the body. Red Bull uses taurine as an ingredient, hence, ensures such important functions of taurine to the body are taken care of.
Sucrose and glucose used in the manufacture of Red Bull is the main reason it is known as ‘energy drink’. Consuming adequate amounts of sucrose and glucose ensures the availability of optimal amount of energy needed by the body. Only excess consumption of these essential elements may lead to sugar-related diseases.Therefore, Red Bull has taken into consideration this fact, and the drink is made using the recommended amount for each can.The drink does not put the life of the consumer at risk (Astorino & Evans, 2012). This means that consuming a few cans of the drink a day may not disturb the general well-being of the body system, but it may have a positive impact on the energy and performance levels.
Red Bull’s Positive Representation in the Media
Red Bull has a very visible media image all over the world. It mainly targets young adults and those who engage in extreme sports ranging from snowboarding, windsurfing, cliff-diving, motocross, rally, Formula one and many others. It also uses video games like PlayStation 3 and Worms 3D, music and even celebrity endorsements (e.g. the Red Bull EmSee Battle Rap Championship sponsored by Eminem). Red Bull hosts various events including Red Bull Flugtag and other art shows, aside from its ownership of football teams in different countries like Germany, Austria, Brazil and the United States of America. Red Bull has so far established a market for well over 150 related kinds of merchandise.
Arguments Against Red Bull Consumption
As Red Bull celebrates its success regarding broad market acceptance and superior competitive advantage in its industry, there have been various concerns related to health impacts of the same product. However, it has come from a slight percentage of the consumers, and the company has continually reviewed the issues and produced safer products (Forbes & Chilibeck, 2007). There was a taurine concern raised by a French food safety agency since some people did not recommend the addition of the element to their body systems since it is right that a healthy body already has an adequate amount of the same. It was, however, easy for the Red Bull company as it introduced Red Bull without taurine. Regarding caffeine, glucose and sucrose in the product, there is no concern unless too much Red Bull is taken.
Therefore, it is clear that the positive impacts of taking Red Bull drink outweigh the adverse effects, which are very minimal and they only depend on excessive consumption of the product. The body needs extra energy at some point in time, for instance, when undertaking activities that require the addition of caffeine, taurine, glucose and sucrose as components of Red Bull. This is the cause of overwhelming demand and consumption of Red Bull by celebrities, sports stars, and the general population. I highly recommend the usage of Red Bull to an average young adult.
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