Red Bull Energy Drink – The Original Energy Drink

Think energy drinks and you think Red Bull Energy Drink right? The simple logo of the two red bull's is one of the most recognised brands in the world. The now iconic energy drink was the first of its kind to rock the mainstream consumer market. Red Bull Drink's distinct taste took the world by storm.

Who reading this article hasn’t tried Red Bull at some point in their lives? Whether it was an all nighter; trying to get an assignment done, in some dingy nightclub that was charging a ridiculous fee for a simple vodka-Red Bull or stopping at a service station looking for a pick me up. In fact, whether you’re a regular energy drink drinker or have just tried energy drinks a handful of times, it’s highly likely that you would have tried the sweet energy boosting elixir at some point in your life. 

Even if you haven't, Red Bull's reputation makes sure you have heard of it. For those unfamiliar with the the sweet sweet berry taste itself, you've probably come across the brand. Wherever you turn in the media, Red Bull Energy Drink is there. With the sponsorship of major sporting events, it's likely you've seen the all too familiar logo plastered on the front of your favourite race car driver. Red Bull is the ultimate powerhouse. 

The market leader has paved the way for all other energy drink and here at REIZE, we think you should appreciate pioneers! So why not find out a little more about the original, Red Bull Energy Drink. 

Red Bull Energy Drink's History

The energy drink giant has always maintained it's presence in the world market. Whether it be it's infamous slogan “Red Bull gives you wings,’ which had great marketing campaigns to support it (until one man successfully sued Red Bull for false advertising back in 2014). Or whether you've heard the myth that Red Bull Drink uses bull sperm in it’s drink (yes...can confirm this is myth). You might have seen all those amazing YouTube extreme sports and stunts often sponsored by Red Bull Energy Drink. Where did it all begin? 

Red Bull Drink has come a long way from its humble beginnings in 1976. Back then, Chaleo Yoovidhya first introduced  a drink called Krating Daeng in Thailand (meaning red gaur in English). The drink gained popularity amongst blue collar workers and remains popular and available as a low-cost drink available in many countries.

In 1982 Chaleo partnered up with Dietrich Mateschitz which led to the creation and distribution of the Red Bull we know and love today. Dietrich launched the higher priced Red Bull drink and targeted it to a affluent market, slowly expanding internationally.

Despite both Krating Daeng and Red Bull being completely different in taste and packaging, the two drinks are still confused. Both drinks maintain the name Red Bull and thus have created confusion. In China, for example, both the Krating Daeng from Thailand and the Red Bull from Austria are both available under the Red Bull name.

Red Bull and Krating Daeng are both owned by the same company but are different drinks..

Red Bull Drink Ingredients

The famed energy drink does not really distinguish itself much when it comes to unique ingredients for an energy drink. The drink has maintained it's original formula since conception. It's unique flavour is what distinguishes the drink from it's competitors, but apart from that the makeup is quite similar to most energy drinks.

So what is this 'basic' energy drink formula? 


Caffeine works by stimulating the central nervous system (CNS), heart, and muscles. It works on the body in similar ways to the hormone Adrenaline.  Once we consume caffeine our breathing and heart rate increase, meaning we experience a short burst of physical energy. This can lead to the feeling of being more awake and can sometimes suppress hunger.

Caffeine consumption remains a debated topic in health spheres. The latest consensus from the US Food and Drug Administration seems to agree that 400 mg is the daily limit. In comparison a 250ml can of Red Bull Energy Drink contains 80mg of caffeine.

In fact, Red Bull Energy was the first energy drink company to list caffeine content on their cans. It paved the way for other companies to follow suit. The energy drink also set the standard by introducing a voluntary warning label on their products. It states that Red Bull is “not recommended for children, pregnant or nursing women, and persons sensitive to caffeine.” 

Despite the energy drink market receiving ongoing criticism for being excessive in it's caffeine content, Red Bull Energy has continued to remain 100% transparent with it's customer on this front. 

Red Bull comes with a warning label regarding caffeine consumption.


Taurine is a type of amino acid that is a required building block of protein. It is found in foods, such as meat fish and dairy, and is also found in large amounts in our brain, retina, heart and blood. And no, contrary to popular belief, it is not derived from bull sperm.

The rumour of bull sperm may come from the fact that the word Latin word 'taurine' which means ox or bull. So rest assured - no additional extras are included in your Red Bull Energy Drink!

There are many health benefits associated with taurine, such as being a good aid in helping keep the heart healthy. Taurine also works as an antioxidant, which works to protect our body from damage caused by harmful molecules. The amino acid also helps stimulate muscles which offers a potential of better performance for athletes. Some studies suggest that taurine combined with caffeine improves mental performance, although this has been debated by health professionals.

B-Group Vitamins

Vitamins fall into two categories: fat soluble and water soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins include A, D, E, and K - they dissolve in fat and can be stored in your body. Water-soluble vitamins including C and B-complex vitamins need to dissolve in water before your body can absorb them. Because of this, your body can't store these vitamins and whatever is not used is passed through your system. Water soluble vitamins need to be replenished on a daily basis.

The B-group vitamins consist of eight water soluble vitamins essential for various metabolic processes. B vitamins are essential aids in converting nutrients such as carbohydrates, fat and protein into fuel for our bodies. Without them our body lacks energy. The good news is that we're generally able to consume these essential vitamins on a daily basis through the consumption of leafy greens and other foods like beans and well as energy drinks!

Red Bull Energy Drink contains Niacin (B3), Pantothenic Acid (B5), vitamin B6 and B12.

B3 - Also knows as Niacin, is crucial in metabolising foods and producing energy. It can also lower cardiovascular risks.

B5 - Also knows as Choline or Pantothenic Acid, possesses properties that prevent the excessive accumulation of fat in the liver.

B6 -  Is necessary for proper brain development and function. It also produces the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which can improve your mood.

B12 - Also known as Cobalamin, is required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function and DNA synthesis.


Sugar contains no essential nutrients and it's bad for you teeth (cliché, but true). Added sugar or processed sugars can overload your liver and can cause fatty liver disease. Increased consumption of sugar can make you insulin resistant which can lead to the dreaded D word. Diabetes

Trying to give the drink an advertising edge, Red Bull Drink brands their sugar as being from sugar beets. Sounds health-ier? Right? Wrong. The white sugar you use at home is sourced from sugar beets or sugar cane. The energy drink still has two forms of sugars present. Sucrose and glucose. Glucose being a simple sugar is easier for the body to breakdown. Sucrose however, is a complex sugar (combination of half glucose and half fructose) making it harder for the body to break down.

So essentially, the sugar is really for that sweet sweet taste we’ve all come to know and love. Can’t say it’ll do you any good though!

Alpine Water

Manufactured in Austria and Switzerland, Red Bull took the route of using the renowned water supply in the region. We all know water is important for many reasons ranging from flushing out toxins, giving us energy, keeping us functioning and so on. Crucially though it’s also an essential part of making a liquid substance.

Could there be a better option? Utilising the freshest water that nature has to offer, Red Bull sure knows how to leverage on it's 'basic' formula. 

Red Bull Drink uses alpine water from Austria and the Swiss alps.

Red Bull Energy Drink Today

For the past 10 years, Red Bull has sustained a rather simple product offering line. The original Red Bull Energy Drink has not changed it’s formula (which can’t be said for other newer energy drinks eg V Energy Drink). That is, until recently, when the energy drink heavyweight and market leader worldwide took a dip in sales in the US market just this year.

Monster has taken out the top spot in the US energy drink market, according to Morgan Stanley, controlling 43% of the industry. Red Bull Drink has taken a backseat coming in second with a 42% market share and Rockstar comes in at third place.

This slump in the US market comes as a surprise considering that it was only in 2016 when, according to Astrachan, Red Bull Drink more than doubled Monster's sales. Let’s not get it twisted, Red Bull is still by far the global leader when it comes to energy drinks, but if the US is any indication, then Monster could minimise that gap in years to come.

Product Range

Regardless of the slight slump Red Bull is experiencing in the US market, the drink and brand remains the leading energy drink in the world. This slump, and lack of adapting to the market, could be why Red Bull recently released flavoured Editions (Red, Silver, Blue Yellow).

ed bull energy drink flavours - REIZE
Red Bull new editions available in the US market.

Red Bull Drink also offers Sugarfree and Zero Calorie versions to cater to ongoing criticism of its high sugar content and to the health conscious consumer. For the Sugarfree version Red Bull substitutes sugars for artificial sweeteners; A
cesulfame K and Aspartame. Artificial sweeteners have been under scrutiny by the health industry over the last few years, which Red Bull counter on their website. They state “Both, Aspartame and Acesulfame K, have an excellent safety profile. Numerous scientific studies demonstrate that these substances are safe for use as sweetening ingredients.”

Red Bull’s Zero Calorie drink, is almost identical to it’s sugar free alternative, with the addition of Sucralose, another artificial sweetener. The drink is quite similar in it's make-up, but as stated contains less calories than the sugar free alternative. 

The two 'health conscious' versions are confusing as they are so similar. Which, when marketing to a competitive market can prove to be detrimental if other brands have a simplified or single option. I mean, if you're looking for a sugar free alternative to a drink it's likely you're looking for something that has low calories, right? 

Red Bull Energy Drink: A Fan Favourite

The original energy drink. How can it not hold a soft spot in your heart? 

Red Bull Drink has not been as innovative as competitors have been with their energy boosting properties like REIZE, Shine+ or Food Matters. The energy drink giant's ingredients don't really differentiate it from the pack. Like every other product or brand, Red Bull is not immune from its competition. It must continue to adhere to trends and the market to sustain it's successful position.

Red Bull Energy Drink is a legacy in its own right. The energy drink's long history in the market, distinctive taste, recognisable branding and alternative/low calorie offerings secure the original heavyweight as the number one energy drink in the market. We for one  can't go past a classic Red Bull! 


Written by Nina Prica