If you’re a night owl or just in need of a quick pick me up, pop the top on a can of energy. Did you know that energy drinks like Red Bull, Tab, Rockstar, and Adrenaline Rush contain large doses of Caffeine and other stimulants like Taurine, Guarana, and Ephedrine? One drink can contain as much Caffeine as a cup of coffee! The ingredients in these drinks boost your heart rate and are supposed to invigorate and perk up the body.
Let’s take a closer look at two energy drinks, Red Bull and Tab, to see if they hold up to their true claims and colors.
Red Bull is by far the most popular energy drink on the market. According to redbull.com, this 110-calorie energy drink is supposed to increase performance, increase concentration and reaction speed, improve emotional status, and stimulate metabolism. It contains B Vitamins, 1000mg of Taurine as well as 80mg of Caffeine (that’s about three times more caffeine than a comparable amount of Coke).
This drink claims to “give you wings.” After drinking only a few sips of this berry-like tasting beverage, I do start feeling more mentally awake and alert. I am more focused and can concentrate on tasks at hand.
On the flip side, however, my body does not benefit from any noticeable increase in physical energy. I do not feel like jumping up and down or running up a flight or two of stairs after finishing off a can. There’s a list of things for me to do today, but I still don’t have the energy to leave the house to do them. I do not even see a difference in my reaction speed before and after the drink. I have been drinking Red Bull for a few days now and my metabolism is also no different.
Red Bull markets its product as increasing performance during times of increased stress or strain. When I was drinking Red Bull, again, I could definitely observe an increase and stability in my mental state, but none physically or endurance-wise.
Tab is a 5-calorie energy drink manufactured by Coca-Cola. You can find the pink-colored drink in a tall, bright pink can. Tab has a quite different taste than Red Bull. It’s a bit more tart. It tastes sort of like very sweet cotton candy or a watermelon Jolly Rancher. This energy drink does not make your mouth turn inside out like an ice cold Red Bull does at times.
Unlike Red Bull, this energy drink only has 785mg of Taurine and 95mg of Caffeine. It also has significantly less Niacin and Vitamin B percentages. For example, Red Bull packs 100% Niacin compared to Tab’s 25%.
When drinking Tab, I could easily finish the can because of its light taste, and sometimes, I even wanted more. I noticed an increase in concentration and a greater ability to focus, much like when drinking Red Bull, but not even a slight increase or kick in energy. At 3 in the afternoon, after having consumed a can of Tab, my body still wanted to take a nap.
Red Bull can be easily found almost anywhere, even at your local bar. Red Bull and Vodka as well as Red Bull and Jagermeister make a much tastier alcoholic drink than Tab and Vodka or Jager.
For $1.99, you can get a can of Red Bull or a Tab. Which would I recommend? Red Bull. Red Bull doesn’t have the sweeter taste of Tab, but it does a better job of keeping me alert and on-task for a longer amount of time.