Our lawyers are reviewing potential lawsuits for people who were injured by Red Bull, a popular energy drink that has been linked to heart attacks, seizures and other serious side effects.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one suffered a heart attack or other serious side effect after drinking Red Bull, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer and our lawyers can help.
Update: Energy Drinks Worse for your Heart than Caffeine Alone, Study Finds
April 27, 2017 – A new study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association (AHA) has linked the side effects of energy drinks to an increased risk for heart problems beyond those seen with caffeine alone. The researchers suspect that the “proprietary blend” of ingredients in commercial energy drinks may prolong caffeine’s activity in the body, prevent it from being excreted, or that these substances “may have activity of their own above and beyond caffeine.”
What’s the Problem?
In today’s fast-paced society, people eat poorly, don’t drink enough water, and don’t get enough sleep. That’s a perfect recipe for fatigue and sluggishness. To combat these symptoms of modern life, more and more people have been turning to energy drinks like Red Bull. However, did you know that Red Bull can actually increase your risk of heart attack, stroke and other serious side effects?
How the Body Reacts to Energy Drinks
After drinking Red Bull, your blood is similar to that of a person with cardiovascular disease. A common misconception is that drinking an energy drink is the same as drinking coffee or soda, since it gives you the same kind of caffeinated jolt. However, the difference is that no one really knows what all the ingredients in a Red Bull are. We also don’t fully understand what those ingredients do to the body.
Red Bull Ingredients
Red Bull’s active ingredients include:
- Glucose / Sucrose (commonly known as table sugar) – Red Bull has 27 grams of sugar per can, which results in a quick energy rush followed by a crash. Sugar-free Red Bull contains aspartame, acesulfame K and sucrolose, sugar substitutes that have been linked to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
- Caffeine – An 8.3 oz. can of Red Bull contains 80mg of caffeine, about the same as a cup of coffee. Caffeine promotes mental and physical alertness by blocking adenosine, a sleep-promoting chemical in the brain, which in turn forces the body to release adrenaline. Caffeine is the world’s most widely-used psychoactive substance, and over-consumption can cause diarrhea, jitters, racing heartbeat (arrhythmias) and nervousness.
- Taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid) – Amino acid naturally found in the lower intestine that helps move minerals through the system and generate nerve impulses. A can of Red Bull contains 1000mg of taurine, and although Red Bull containing this ingredient was banned in France for a short time, the ban was reversed and taurine is now generally considered safe.
- Glucuronolactone – Naturally-occurring stimulant found in connective tissues and plant gums which boasts mild antidepressant properties that help improve memory and concentration. Glucuronolactone also has detoxifying effects and can aid in the removal of wastes from the body.
- Inositol – Mood booster that helps the brain use serotonin. Inositol is found in many foods including oranges, cantaloupes, nuts and beans.
- D-Pantothenol – Essential nutrient that improves mood, boosts metabolism and helps convert fat into energy.
- Pyridoxine HCL (Vitamin B6) – Helps the body form red blood cells and use oxygen, which improves mood and energy levels.
What are the Trade-Offs?
Just glancing at its active ingredients, it’s easy to see why “Red Bull gives you wings;” however, the feeling of energy created by the drink has an equally powerful counter effect that takes you in the opposite direction.
Ironically, the most dangerous ingredients in Red Bull are the ones consumers crave most – caffeine and sugar. All the other active ingredients come in small doses that are unlikely to hurt your system.
Energy Drink Studies
A February 2011 study published in the journal Pediatrics found that energy drinks have no therapeutic benefit, and that many of their ingredients are unregulated and understudied.
“The known and unknown pharmacology of agents included in such drinks, combined with reports of toxicity, raises concern for potentially serious adverse effects in association with energy-drink use,” the researchers wrote. “In the short-term, pediatricians need to be aware of the possible effects of energy drinks in vulnerable populations and screen for consumption to educate families.”
The study’s authors recommended that additional research needs to be conducted into the long-term side effects of energy drinks, and that the sale and regulation of such products should be based upon comprehensive analysis.
Red Bull Side Effects
According to the Pediatrics study, energy drinks like Red Bull are consumed by up to half of all adolescents and young adults. Side effects of these beverages may include:
- Allergic reactions
- Severe fatigue from withdrawal
- Breast shrinkage in females
Side effects of energy drinks may be increased in people with the following risk factors:
- Cardiac abnormalities
- Mood / behavioral disorders
- Prescription drug use
Army Warns of Energy Drink Side Effects
January 5, 2017 – The U.S. military is warning troops not to consume too many energy drinks, saying it could do “some serious harm to your body.” A post on the pentagon’s official science blog last week details the health risks of energy drinks, citing a study which found that soldiers were more likely to fall asleep on duty if they consumed multiple beverages a day.
Man Develops Acute Hepatitis After Binging on Energy Drinks
November 4, 2016 – A 50-year-old construction worker who consumed 4 to 5 energy drinks a day for 3 weeks has been diagnosed with acute hepatitis, a condition characterized by liver inflammation. The incident points to the largely ignored dangers of excess niacin consumption, according to the study, which was published this week in BMJ Case Reports.
Study Shows Just 1 Energy Drink Per Day May Boost Heart Disease Risk
November 8, 2015 – Drinking a single 16-ounce energy drink per day boosts blood pressure and stress hormone responses in healthy adults, according to a study presented today at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015. These changes could conceivably trigger new cardiovascular events. Click here to learn more.
Canadian Study Links TBI and Energy Drink Consumption by Teens
Teens who drink lots of energy drinks are more likely to get head injuries than those who don’t consume the beverages, a new Canadian study suggests. Students were asked about their energy drink consumption, as well as whether they had experienced a traumatic brain injury (TBI), meaning they had sustained a blow to the head that left them unconscious for at least 5 minutes, or resulted in an overnight hospital stay. Click here to learn more.
The Dangers of Mixing Energy Drinks and Alcohol
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), when alcoholic beverages are mixed with energy drinks, the caffeine in the drinks can mask the depressant effects of alcohol.
“Drinkers who consume alcohol mixed with energy drinks are 3 times more likely to binge drink (based on breath alcohol levels) than drinkers who do not report mixing alcohol with energy drinks,” CDC said.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit
33-year-old Cory Terry suffered a fatal heart attack during a 2011 basketball game after drinking Red Bull, according to the Huffington Post. An $85 million lawsuit filed on behalf of Terry alleges that Red Bull contains “extra stimulants that make it different than a cup of coffee,” and that those additives “are more dangerous than what Red Bull lets on.”
Although genetics or pre-existing health factors may have contributed to Terry’s premature death, his family contends that he was a non-smoker who led an active lifestyle.
Red Bull to Pay $13 to Settle False Advertising Lawsuit
In October 2014, Red Bull agreed to pay more than $13 million to resolve a lawsuit seeking class action status to settle claims of false advertising. According to the Telegraph, plaintiff Benjamin Careathers sued the company, arguing that after a decade of drinking Red Bull he neither had wings, as the slogan promised, nor enhanced athletic or intellectual performance of any kind.
Fearful of a costly and time-consuming trial, the Austria-based energy drink maker was forced to settle out of court, agreeing to amend future advertising and refund $10 to any U.S. customer who bought the drink since 2002.
Do I Have a Red Bull Lawsuit?
The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Red Bull Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one was injured after consuming Red Bull energy drink, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.