Why Was Red Bull Banned In France?

Red Bull is an energy drink globally recognized to “give you wings” when you need an energy boost. It is a gigantic name in the energy drink industry and it has been involved in several endorsements with many well-known celebrities and athletes.

The company owns the highest share in the energy drink market with its humungous sales globally.

Despite the popularity of the energy drink, the French government banned the sale and consumption of Red Bull in the country raising a lot of eyebrows and questions.

Why Did Red Bull Get Banned?

The main reason for banning the energy drink in France was due to the concerns regarding the health issues arising due to its consumption. It was often consumed with alcoholic drinks in clubs.

This led to an adrenaline rush along with a state of intoxication. This condition was commonly observed in the youth and young adults leading to consequences such as drunk driving and physical assaults.

A single serving of the drink contains a handsome amount of caffeine and taurine. The active amounts of taurine concerned the French health experts.

They concluded that this could lead to a harmful increase in the heart rate of an individual. The presence of caffeine in the drink was linked with miscarriages amongst women and fertility issues in men. In many instances, Red Bull has been considered the cause of several casualties too. 

Which Countries Have Banned Red Bull?

Besides France, Red Bull was banned in Norway and Denmark as well. This was due to the same health concerns as raised by the French government over the ingredients of the energy drink.

Is Red Bull Still Banned In France?

After a long 12-year ban, Red Bull has now been officially legalized in France and is now being sold. The ban was uplifted in 2008. Before that time, only a “toned-down” version with a small amount of caffeine and no taurine, was sold in France.

The ban was uplifted due to the lack of evidence available against the drink. France, being a member of the European Union, had to follow its regulations which stated that a product could not be banned unless proven harmful.

Despite the uplifting of the ban, the French health minister, Roselyne Bachelot remained skeptical regarding the safety of the energy drinks’ consumption. Therefore, Red Bull was kept under very critical and strict observation.

Ingredients Of Red Bull:

A single serving of an 8.4 fl. oz can of red bull contains:

• 110 Calories
• 80mg Caffeine (fairly low compared to the world’s strongest energy drinks)
• 0 Fat
• 105mg Sodium
• 28g Total Carb
• Less than 1g Protein
• Niacin (100% of the daily recommended dosage)
• Vitamin B6 (250% of the daily recommended dosage)
• Vitamin B12 (80% of the daily recommended dosage)
• Pantothenic Acid (50% of the daily recommended dosage)
and small amounts of:
• Carbonated Water
• Sucrose
• Glucose
• Citric Acid
• Taurine
• Sodium Bicarbonate
• Magnesium Carbonate
• Caffeine
• Pyridoxine HCL
• Natural and Artificial Flavors and colors

Nutritional Facts

Here are the nutritional values found in a single serving of an 8.4 fl. oz can of Red Bull:

Daily ValuesAmount
(8.4 fl oz)
Energy110 calories
Caffeine80 mg
(Of which Saturated)
0 g
(0 g)
(Of which Sugars)
28 g
(27 g)
Sodium105 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)22 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)5 mg
Vitamin B65 mg
Vitamin B125.1 mcg
Nutritional Facts Of Red Bull
Nutritional Facts Of Red Bull
Nutritional Facts Of Red Bull

Is Red Bull Safe To Drink?

Despite all the articles and resources claiming that Red Bull is harmful, there is very little or no evidence to back up this claim. So, it is safe to drink Red Bull.

On the contrary, overconsumption of this drink can have negative effects on one’s health due to the high content of sugar and caffeine present in it. So, it is better to keep a track of the daily intake limit and to drink it within that limit.

Side Effects Of Drinking Red Bull:

Like other energy drinks, Red Bull gives you an energy boost before you embark on your evening jog or your gaming session. The company claims that the energy drink increases your mental focus too, along with the energy rush. Despite the claims, drinking Red Bull can have some side effects. Some of these include:

  • Insomnia (sleep deprivation)
  • Chronic conditions such as tooth decay and heart arrhythmia
  • Weight gain might lead to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and diabetes

What Is Better? – Coffee Or Red Bull?

Red Bull and coffee both contain caffeine responsible for the energy boost we get when we drink them. A cup of coffee contains 95 mg of caffeine as compared to Red Bull which contains 80 mg of caffeine.

The caffeine content of both the drinks is below the daily limit for an individual but the presence of taurine in Red Bull plays the main role in distinguishing it from coffee.

Apart from Taurine, a can of Red Bull has a bunch of vitamin Bs which a cup of coffee doesn’t have. Coffee sometimes comes with sugar and creamers. But without sugar, coffee can have considerable health benefits as compared to Red Bull.

What Is Taurine?

Taurine is an amino acid produced naturally by our body to boost our body’s metabolic processes.

It is actively present in parts of our brain, eyes, heart, and blood cells. It is found in many energy drinks and processed foods as it helps in enhancing our athletic performance and reduces the chances of certain illnesses.

On the can of Red Bull, it is labeled as a “conditional amino acid” which means that our body can produce it naturally. There has been a lot of hearsay, claiming that the taurine added in Red Bull comes from the sperm of a bull!

This is not entirely true. While taurine has been obtained from the sperm of a bull in older times, this practice has been discontinued now.

Like all the energy drinks, the taurine added in Red Bull is synthesized in modern pharmaceutical labs through a series of chemical reactions.

Is Taurine Safe For You?

There are several articles and researches that state that taurine is one of the safest amino acids to be consumed by the human body. Some of its notable benefits are:

  • Enhancing athletic performance.
  • Helping patients with periodontal disease.
  • Reducing Metabolic syndrome.
  • Reducing the chances of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Why Is Taurine Added In Energy Drinks?

Taurine, in energy drinks, works simultaneously with caffeine which helps in boosting your physical and mental energies. This is why your mental and physical performances are enhanced once you’ve consumed any energy drink.

Taurine enhances muscle strength and delays exhaustion. This makes it an essential ingredient in energy drinks that are focused on providing a physical boost of stamina to its consumers, along with enhanced mental performance.

How Much Taurine Can One Take?

A limit of 300-500 mg of taurine is said to be safe for daily consumption. However, there is little to no information regarding the levels of taurine which can be considered dangerous for consumption.

Where Can I Buy Red Bull?

Red Bull, being a global icon of the energy drinks market, is easily available around the globe.

You can grab it from your nearest gas station, Walmart, or target. For more convenience, you can purchase it online from Red Bull’s official store or other online retailers like Amazon.

What Are The Alternatives To Red Bull?

Almost like everything in this world, there are great alternatives to Red Bull available in the market. If Red Bull isn’t up to your liking, here are some great alternatives worth a try:

Final Thoughts

Red Bull has faced many criticisms over the years but it has always been the most popular brand of energy drink around the globe.

With increasing concerns, Red Bull has modified its formula and has come up with zero-sugar energy drinks. This is a great option for those who still want to enjoy the classic taste of Red Bull but without any sugar.

To ensure that Red Bull does not harm your health in the long run, make sure you stick to one or two cans per day. Exceeding this limit can result in unpleasant consequences.