Could cocaine be the secret behind Red Bull’s success?
Six German states have banned Red Bull after
the food safety agency in North Rhine-Westphalia (LIGA) state found 0.4 micrograms per litre in the drink.
While Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection both said the level did not pose a threat to public safety, it was thought more states may join the ban.
What you need to know:
We wouldn’t fret about the use of a decocainised coca leaf extract in Red Bull. Coca leaves have been used in South America for centuries. The tiny amounts of extract used in energy drink should be the least of your worries.
The real ingredients to worry about in Red Bull and other energy drinks are caffeine and sugar. Highly popular with teens and students, these products provide a buzz that supposedly improve alertness and help students cram for tests.
However, there is a risk in over consumption of caffeine. Caffeine intoxication can cause nervousness, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, tremors and rapid heart rate.
An 8 oz. can of Red Bull contains 27 grams of sugar, which is almost 6 teaspoons. Do you really need that much?
What to do at the supermarket:
Water is always a better choice for hydration, and a cup of espresso certainly has ample caffeine.
But if you really must drink some energy juice, choose something low in sugar and with a rational caffeine count. Since caffeine amounts do not appear on most product labels, check in advance if there is a particular brand you or your teen is interested in. Here is a helpful list from energyfiend.
Help us test our new food comparison tool: alpha.fooducate.com