Friday, January 13, 2012

Red Bull, Does it Give You Wings?

I was driving to work the other day, enjoying my obligatory glass of morning stimulant. This morning it was a can of Red Bull, I didn't have time to stop at Starbucks, and I noticed that the primary ingredient in Red Bull is Taurine. After hearing their commercial on the radio, I got to thinking. How exactly does Red Bull work, and does it really give you wings? Does it give you more energy? Does it make you more alert?
Well, upon inspecting the ingredients and doing some research, which wasn't hard working as a bulk vitamin distributor, I found that the Red Bull wings reference may be more geared to mental well being than to actual body energy. At least this may be the case with Taurine. As it turns out, Taurine is an amino acid that is used in our body for a number of activities. A couple of which are to act as a neural regulator, and to protect heart function. Substantial amounts of Taurine are also found in our eyes and stomach bile. There is no doubt that Taurine is beneficial, but I could not find any data that indicated it would give you an energy boost.
After searching and searching, I realized that the "wings" reference may be geared more toward your mental state. As I indicated, Taurine acts as a neural regulator. In fact, it is one of those chemicals in our brain that is responsible for a calm positive mood. Perhaps the wings effect is referring to the fact that the Taurine in Red Bull will make you calm and clear-headed. There has certainly been data to demonstrate that Taurine is effective when dealing with stress. Another ingredient that would indicate that the "wings" tag line may refer more to your mental state is the ingredient Inositol. This is another compound that has been shown to have a positive, calming, effect on your mood.
What about an energy boost? In looking at the ingredients, Caffeine certainly jumps out as a major stimulant. Other than that, sugar is always effective at providing a good short-term energy boost. These are probably the main ingredients that will make you more "vitalized."
So does Red Bull give you "Wings?" Well, the Taurine and Inositol in it will certainly make you feel good. It has caffeine, so there should be a small energy boost, and the other compounds listed can help with your metabolism. Overall, it should have a positive effect on your body, and at least make you feel a little calmer and more energized. As for wings, well, what would we do with them if we had them anyway?