Is red bull vegan? : VegansCult Analysis
By most standards Original Red Bull is vegan. No animal products are used in the drink. However, some Vegans might not consider artificial colors and flavors as Vegan.
Official Stand of Red Bull
Before deciphering every aspect of the question “Is red bull vegan?” and diving into the answers let’s see what “Red Bull Company” says about itself
Is Red Bull Energy Drink Suitable for Vegetarians?
Now we know that “officially and Prima Facie” red bull is vegan. But the devil lies in the details. So is it actually Vegan? Let us dive deep into analysis and answer the question.
So what’s really inside a can of red bull?
This 21st-century elixir promises to turn a lazy dude into a wild one. So what could be inside it?
Ingredients are Carbonated water, Sucrose, glucose, Citric Acid, Taurine, Sodium Bicarbonate, Magnesium Carbonate, Caffeine, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine HCL, Vitamin B12, Natural and Artificial Flavours, Colors.
At first glance, a few ingredients in Red Bull seem like they might not be vegan, but let us try to explain the terms in detail.
1. Carbonated Water.
A fancy name for soda water, sparkling water, or seltzer water. It’s just normal water added with Carbon dioxide to make it fuzzy.
Yes! it is Vegan.
2. Sugars (I am talking about sucrose and glucose)
Sucrose and glucose are a type of sugar that gives the sweetened taste to red bull. As per the official claim “One 8.4 fl oz can of Red Bull Energy Drink contains 27 g of sugars. This total amount is in the same range of sugar level found in an equivalent amount of apple or orange juice.”
Red Bull Official Claim
So sugar in itself is vegan when it comes from the sugarcane plant (in this case from sugar beets) but the question and controversy come up with the processing of sugar to produce like the white table sugar that we’re so used to today.
Now the way that sugar refineries turn the brown sugar cane into sugar is by pushing those crystals through a really fine filter that’s made from bone char which is basically burnt up animal bones
It’s just the filter itself that’s made from burnt animal bones so with this in mind sugar does, for the most part, come into contact with animal bones in the filtering process even though it’s not in the final product.
Nasty!! I know but this is the filtering process and in the final product i.e. sugar, there are no animal products.
So is sugar vegan?
Well, since the company claims that they use sugar made from beets so we did our research and found out this:-
One of the biggest differences between beet and cane sugar is their processing and production method.
Beet sugar is made using a process that involves thinly slicing sugar beets to extract the natural sugar juice.
The juice is purified and heated to create a concentrated syrup, which is crystallized to form granulated sugar.(www.healthline.com)
Our verdict for Sugar used in Red bull:
Going according to the official claims of the company that they use beet sugar and now we know that the processing of beet sugar does not involve any animal, we can say that the sugar part of the energy drink is Vegan.
Get your Vegan Sugar here
3. Citric Acid
Citric Acid is used in Red bull as a preservative that enhances the flavor and shelf life of the energy drink. The manufactured citric acid is made from Vegetable, bacterial, fungal, or mold.
” Approximately 99% of the world’s production of MCA is carried out using the fungus Aspergillus niger since 1919″ – National Center for Biotechnology Information
Don’t lose your heart over “Fungi”, I mean they are not animals so the derivation of Citric acid is in my terms Vegan.
Taurine got its name back in the 1820s from the Latin Taurus, which means Ox or Bull, Probably because it was first isolated from Ox Bile ( The Fat-Digesting stuff secreted by the liver).
That might be how those rumors that Red Bull contains semen got started. By the way, it definitely doesn’t.
So What is Taurine and what it is made of?
Taurine is an amino acid (it isn’t actually a building block of proteins).
Our bodies can usually make Taurine, but it can also be found in meat, fish, or from supplements and is also found in human Breast Milk.
There are taurine molecules in your brain, heart, skeletal muscle tissue, and bile.
But today Taurine is produced synthetically without involving any animal slaughter.
This synthetic non-organic Taurine is cheap (and I can say it is used as a market gimmick as a lot of research is still needed to prove its so-called benefits. By the way, the International Society of Sports Nutrition also calls for more research to really figure out what Taurine actually does to our body)
This video will clear much of your doubts:-
We can conclude that the Taurine used in Red Bull is Vegan.
Sodium bicarbonate is also known as baking soda. It is an additive to regulate acidity. It is a type of salt and is formed by mixing carbon, sodium, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules.
So it’s just chemistry and nothing else.
It is Vegan.
It is used for color retention and is also used as an antacid in the food industry. Magnesium carbonate, MgCO3, occurs in nature as the mineral magnesite. It can be produced artificially by the action of carbon dioxide on a variety of magnesium compounds.
It is Vegan
Caffeine occurs naturally in coffee beans, tea leaves, cacao beans, and some tree nuts.
It’s 100% Vegan.
8. Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine HCL, Vitamin B12
These are different forms of Vitamin B.
Niacinamide is one form of vitamin B3 (niacin) and has an important role in energy metabolism and cell health
Pantothenic acid (V) plays an important role in the growth and normal function of body tissue.
Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) is used to prevent or treat low levels of vitamin B6 in people who
Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA.
They are synthetic and Vegan
9.Natural and Artificial Flavors
The first thing that comes to mind listening to the word “Natural” is that it is healthy and environmentally friendly while “Artificial” resembles the exact opposite.
So, think about it in this way:- which one is Vegan?
However, here is where you might be wrong thinking that “natural” means “Vegan”
While Artificial flavors are chemically manufactured without the involvement of any animal, natural flavors might be derived from
- Meat, poultry, or seafood
- Dairy products, including fermented products
- And even Eggs.
I have tried to contact the company but got no response and also it is hard to deep dive into this because of the secrecy of the flavors recipe that is maintained by the company (Since the recipe is the only selling point of all the food and Beverage Brands)
Going through the claims of Red Bull we can say that red bull is Vegan (If any response is received from the company, I will update this article accordingly)
This is a big bone of contention for the Vegan community.
However, the colors are made artificially in commercial labs from isolated chemicals, or derived from a byproduct of petroleum. But these colors are often tested on animals ranging from rats, mice to dogs.
These testings however are not done by the food manufacturers but is conducted by the researchers to prove their safety.
Given the above situation, you might think that artificial coloring is not Vegan.
Hardcore Vegan might think that as “not Vegan”
Well let me ask you this, most products that you find at the supermarket was grown in soil that contains ground-up animal bones and animal products, so even organically grown or homegrown fruits and veggies, for the most part, were grown in animal products.
I say it’s a grey area and advice you to not press hard on yourself.
Should you drink Red Bull?
Now in today’s world, it’s just not possible to be perfect in excluding animal products completely.
All we can do is the very best that we can.
Making a choice to drink red bull or not is totally upon you. Make a decision that you are happy about.
Organics by Red Bull is clearly Vegan, as they don’t contain artificial flavors or artificial colors.
Is red bull energy drink or any other energy drink bad for you?
This 4-minute video will explain the effects of drinking energy drinks:-
It is clear drinking energy drinks more often is not good for health.
The sugar content present in the drinks has its own side effects while intaking more and more caffeine may lead to caffeine intoxication.
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