Saturday, July 28, 2007


We'll throw anything down our throats if it's marketed well. Take Red Bull for example. This sugar water loaded with caffeine is supposed to "Give You Wings." This sleek can and tons of advertising using cartoons is one part synthetic bull bile. Taurine; one of the main ingredients (also known as 2-aminoethane-sulfonic acid) is supposed to assist your enthusiasm for extreme behavior. This inhibitory neurotransmitter (a mild sedative for some) is a man-made antioxidant. Eat blueberries instead! Our next ingredient is Glucuronolactone. The debate goes on about what this is or does. Most information regarding Glucuronolactone is rumor. It's supposed to increase well-being and fight fatigue. Getting a life and 8 hours of sleep can do that. Next is Inositol. A carbohydrate found in animal muscle. Also known as "Meat Sugar." Early studies are showing that Inositol can help people suffering with depression, panic attacks, agoraphobia and obsessive compulsive disorder. Sounds like liquid therapy in a can. Too bad you'll need 360 cans of the stuff for any benefit. Niacin (vitamin B-3) is in here to increase good cholesterol (HDL) and help with energy, but alas there's not enough to do anything. Lastly there's some Sodium Citrate (a preservative for soda and spreadable cheeses) which helps convert glucose into lactic acid during exercise. Yup, when I'm looking for improved performance, I like to get it from a preservative that helps me spread my cheese.


9_Reps said...

Great article Tony,

Tried Red Bull once and it made my heart hurt...

Here's an excerpt from wikipedia for "cutting agent"...

"Although cutting is much rarer than it used to be in some places, street drugs are still commonly cut with substances such as mannitol, inositol..."


Brian I said...

Couldn't be more true, it appears to be the current trend for companies to flood the market with as many energy drinks as they can no matter if they are actually any good or not....yesterday I was at Walgreens and the amount of energy drinks they had in one section was absurd, even Coco Cola have their own Full Throttle energy drinks which are loaded with sugar. It's greed that drives big companies like this to produce vile sugar drinks and brand them as healthy...

Shamrock1 said...

"Goes to show that eating a clean healthy diet and engaging in a healthy lifetstyle is still the best way to maintain health and well being."

nick said...

"It's one of our most popular drinks," says Ryan Thomas, publicist for the New York City club TWILO, one of the first to sell Red Bull in mixed drinks. "With alcohol, it gives the strange feeling of bringing you up and slowing you down at the same time."

You see, Tony, this is the typical "do-what-feels-good and anything-goes" mindset that rules many social situations in our big cities today. I mean, you have top advertising and industry CEOs sanctioning the use of this crap in a can--what's Joe Q. Public to do? Well, I guess he'll just drink it when a guy making seven figures and living in a pleasure palace up in Greenwich says it's good for you?!?
It turns out taurine is a naturally occurring compound found in bull testicles. But the same compound can also be found in the blood of fish, cows, and humans, among other creatures. Wow, what a great idea! Let's package and market bull balls in a can. The chics will love you for it!
I hear the company recently moved from Austria to Santa Monica. Tony, you should definitely go down there and show 'em you don't need no bull sh*t to get in shape!

More durable, less vulnerable!


jennifer said...

Hi Tony,
My name is Jenn and I have been working out with you for years. I am a nutrition coach and the Director of a not for profit Wellness Center focused on plant based nutrition in East Hampton NY. I spend much of my time educating people, particularly kids about what is really in the products they consume. I can't agree more with what you have written here. When I recently spoke at a local school I brought samples of all the junk food kids eat/drink and I also had a display of healthy whole foods. Of course the kids gravitated to the junk, one of the big attractions was the red bull. Then I teach kids how to read labels and what things really mean. When we finished one of the young boys declared "Red bull should come with a warning label." Out of the mouths of babes. I am always inspired by your blogs and love reading them. Thanks for the inspiration and helping me transform my body from the Standard American Body to a ripped Xtreme life loving machine. We are blessed to have you on this planet.


Anonymous said...


I know it is bad for you, but I have had one a few times to get me going. I really wish Beachbody would come out with a "pre-workout" drink, for those days you need a little kick in the pants to get going.

K.C. Farmer said...

Unless it's an FDA approved medication it's let the buyer beware. Then again, better be careful with those too.

Sad to see that the FDA places crap like Red Bull in the same category as the P90X Recovery Drink. What this means is that consumers, particularly kids, are put into a position where marketing hype has more influence than scientific evidence. Then again, even if you have all of the scientific evidence to prove your product has legitimate health benefits, the FDA won't allow you to advertise that fact. It makes separating the good from the bad just that much harder.

Given that we live in a free society (to a point, but more so than most other countries), the responsibility to protect one's health falls on the individual. The best we can do is get the word out that products like Red Bull may give you a boost, but there is a price you'll pay in the long run.

Tony Horton said...


Thanks so much for your desire to seek the truth. We all need to continue fighting the good fight in all areas of our lives, so we can avoid going the way of the Roman empire.

Press On!

T Horton

AlfaSunshine said...

Hi Tony! I guess I'm having Tony withdrawals. I'm back on the wagon workout wise (finally).

My plan: Sunday: one hour treadmill;Monday: 1/2hr treadmill, p90 sculpt 3/4;Tuesday: yoga class;Wednesday: 1hr treadmill;Thursday: yoga class and 1/2 hour treadmill;Friday 1/2hr treadmill p90 Sculpt; Saturday: rest and or see if I can get my sister out on the tennis court. This is on my calendar for all of August. (btw yoga class was cancelled today so I did phh stretch and the hawaii yoga thang and it was pretty equivalent to the parks and recs class I'm in this Summer with my sister)

My eating is getting cleaner and cleaner. Way over 50% anyway lol. I never really liked red bull but I hear it's good with vodka....hehehehe

Feeling sore in a good way and falling in love with you again in those little blue shorts man!

Lauren, AKA AlfaSunshine, AKA NubianQueen

Daisy said...

I <3 Tony!

PS. Rockstar is total crap too.

Fran said...

Tony, Just had to let you know I went with a group of teens on a church retreat and one of the girls - 12 yrs old at the time - wanted a Red Bull. I refused to let her have it because her Mom was not there. She said her Mom lets her have it. When we got home her Mom said yes, she did let her kid have one after sports when they were really tired to give them energy. I have to say I was SHOCKED! I don't think people have any idea what they are consuming. These are growing kids and their bodies take a beating and they aren't even fully developed. We really need some education out there.

Shannon Horn said...

I'm involved with the company, Vemma, and love the product. They are coming out with a healthy energy drink called Verve. It's not available until September so I'll have to review the contents but it is supposed to be the world's first healthy energy drink.

Anyhow, to reinforce your point, check out this article about a poor guy who's heart stopped after overdosing on Red Bull:

Anonymous said...'s one for daughter's 17 year friend went to the doctor and thru a urine test they could determine that she drinks lots of Go Girl! Energy drink....because of the large dose of two chemicals found!!! Yuck.... Great marketing...cute pink can ....About a year back I was traveling and thought I would tried one of these "energy drink"....oh,my god...about a half an hour later I felt like I was having a out of body experiend and it was not a good one...just the weirdest feeling fingers started going numb.....Never, ever again....Thanks for all that you do Tony!!
aka marathongirl MDB

ace said...

I seem to recall Red Bull was originally a primary sponsor often seen on the bodies and bikes of professional triathletes. I remember watching Natasha Badman and Jurgen Zack race through the lava fields in Kona wearing Red Bull logos. But none of the athletes I train with even go near the stuff largely because of the things you point out in your blog. Want to watch your training, a race, or even your performance at work implode before your eyes? Drink this stuff. So now it has found new life marketed as a "pick me up" for the masses. Miracles never cease.

phill said...

what about the vit. water?

Anonymous said...

I hate Red Bull. It tastes like crap.

Anonymous said...

Red Bull gave me sores on my tongue and cheeks. I wonder what it did to my intestines.

Steve in CT said...

Take a look at anybody who drinks this garbage and you will notice that they don't just drink one in the AM to get them going, they drink it ALL DAY LONG, one can after another. Once the quick artificial high from all of the sugar and chemicals wears off, they crash and usually feel worse than before. So to fight off the crash they drink another. And the whole cycle starts again and again and again. There is no way these people can get a good 8 hours of restfull sleep, not with all of the sugar and chemicals in their system, so they likely wake up tired and down a Redbull, and the cycle starts all over again. No wonder it is often called "liquid crack".

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Anonymous said...

It's so easy to get addicted to this stuff. It got to the point where I was in a Red Bull induced depression. I was constantly having one at work. Probably had 3 cans a day 5 days a week. My hands would always shake and I always craved it no matter what. I finally decided to help myself and to take a creak from Red Bull and presto! No more depression, I don't have jitters, and I actually feel alot more energetic without it! This stuff is dangerous.

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