Saturday, December 20, 2008

Running on empty


Red BULL contains: caffeine, ginseng and guarana (all legal stimulants) sugars, artificial sweeteners, taurine (an amino acid said to lower blood pressure).
Red BULL promises: increased energy, better concentration, sharper cognitive performance, greater endurance, higher metabolism, faster reaction time.
Red BULL delivers: increased heart rate, heightened blood pressure, anxiety, jitters, hyperactivity, insomnia, hypoglycemia, dehydration.

A single can of Red Bull or any other "energy drink" increases your risk of heart attack or stroke. The caffeine-jacked soda pop causes blood to become sticky which is a pre-cursor to cardiovascular problems. One hour after drinking Red Bull, the blood system becomes abnormal, functioning as it would in a patient with heart disease. This effect is seen even in young people.

Take a look at Red Bull's website. The company has aligned itself -- through high-dollar sponsorships, which are nothing more than manipulative ad campaigns -- with the sporting crowd. It started with rodeo; the Red Bull logo is tailor-made for a swaggering cowboy. The company's tentacles have reached into the racing circuit, BMX cycling, extreme skiing, even soapbox derby. You'll find athlete superstars wearing the Red Bull logo in arenas and venues across the globe.

It would be one thing if Red Bull was marketing its product to coke heads and junkies, providing them with a legal daytime buzz. But to suggest that athletes will benefit from the "energy" Red Bull offers is wildly irresponsible and evil. Unlike the electrolyte-balanced rehydration found in Gatorade, Red Bull is chock full of stimulants which cause rapid DE-hydration, making energy drinks exceptionally dangerous when used in rigorous physical activity. Fainting, loss of consciousness, kidney failure, and death are a few of the more troubling outcomes of serious dehydration.

Threatening the health and well-being of rednecks and jocks the world over wasn't quite enough for these bastards. Red Bull expanded its reach into the late night crowd. Barfare like "Vodka Bulls" and "Jaeger Bombs" combine Red Bull's powerful stimulants with a heavy depressant which can lead to heart failure and other health crises. Norway, France, Denmark, and even Uruguay have banned sales of Red Bull completely.

History has shown us that we can't expect responsible behavior from corporations. They have an apparent duty to shareholders to make money, unfettered by ethical considerations. That's why the Food and Drug Administration has been appointed our trusty watchdog. As soon as they've finished banning every natural supplement found in any organic health food store, I know they'll muster the energy to take on Red Bull.

That day can't come soon enough. Many of us are tired of running on empty promises.

1 comment:

b said...

Marie, I always find your sense of outrage so on the spot. If we could only protect people from themselves.

b

I see you visited my blog. It is so funny because I was thinking about you today. Take care. Have a wonderful holiday.