• If You Are Having Trouble Logging In with Your Old Username and Password, Please use this Forgot Your Password link to get re-established.
  • Hey! Be sure to login or register!

Red Bull - Is it worse than coffee?

sj

Staff member
Northwest Arkansas
Occasionally, like this weekend, I go to a fly in and like a good boy I go to bed at 10pm but am kept awake by the party that rages on until 5am. Having had very little sleep I then leap into my plane and fly 600 miles or so.

After about the first 32 seconds of flight I already feel tired, and have come to occasionally drinking a Red Bull in such a situation, in fact, I did it yesterday. For me it is way more effective than a cup of coffee. I usually get about an extra three hours of alertness from the littlest can (I usually drink sugar free, but both do the same). Coffee never works like that for me.

I understand Red Bull has about the same caffeine as coffee, but if so, how come it works so much better?

Ok AME's, tear me apart, am I killing myself softly with this drink?

sj

P.S. I can quit anytime.
 
I'm the same way. I don't know what the turine ingredient is but I'm wondering if that's what makes the difference. I have noticed if I drink more than one a day for a week or two I start to break out like a teenager.
 
if I drink more than one a day for a week or two I start to break out like a teenager.


Uh.. would that be a bad thing...... ?

depends I guess if it's breaking out of one's britches,
or like zits breaking out on one's face...
 
That was a long article to just say "we think it does something in the brain, maybe, but not for sure." :D

It makes me break out on the face. I've heard too much caffeine does that.
 
Wirsig,

I think the other important note in that is that there may be a crash like symptom afterward which may not be desirable or beneficial in the long run.

Just a thought.

cafi
 
I never really get the crash. If I'm up to 2 or 3 a day along w/ a pot of coffee then stop I do get some brutal migraines. I've learned to only drink the stuff if I want a little extra kick now and again. Late nights before a bid, etc.
 
steve said:
After about the first 32 seconds of flight I already feel tired, and have come to occasionally drinking a Red Bull in such a situation, in fact, I did it yesterday. For me it is way more effective than a cup of coffee. I usually get about an extra three hours of alertness from the littlest can (I usually drink sugar free, but both do the same). Coffee never works like that for me.


I wonder what the difference in your quality of decision making is when your body is powered by red-bull vs. sleep....??
 
I've noticed my cognitive skills increase when I'm running a little slow. Exe. comprehending what I just read rather than it floating out of my head. Might just be a placebo effect though.
 
That Stuff makes me paranoid.... I have had one red bull in my life and I'll never drink another...
 
That stuff is messin' with your heart.... be careful.

If you extract the pure caffiene from one large strong coffee and inject it directly into your bloodstream, it can kill you.

That stuff all effects your adrenal gland... which can wreck havoc with your heart.
 
I guess I don't have any side effects from it, I've never had the "crash", but then I use it only now and again - maybe once a month. I do drink coffee everyday I can get my hands on it :)

I got some nice responses from AME's and docs, I had hoped they would post them. In a nutshell, I think "everything in moderation" was their general response.

Sometimes, flying across long stretches of the midwest looking at cornfields, ponds, cows, and the occasional personal salvage yard, I'm not necessarily so tired as I am bored. This seems to help that as well somehow... that and XM of course.

sj
 
steve said:
Sometimes, flying across long stretches of the midwest looking at cornfields, ponds, cows, and the occasional personal salvage yard, I'm not necessarily so tired as I am bored. This seems to help that as well somehow... that and XM of course.

sj

Steve-

You should just get an autopilot in that thing. That way you could just take a nap or watch a movie.
 
I weaned myself off of the go-juice and the alcohol nearly 2 years ago, both at the same time. The caffeine withdrawal was rough for a couple of days, wicked headache. After that, no big deal. Don't miss either one.

gb
 
Steve just needs to sleep a little heavier. Funny how Mark Englerth and I having a quite conversation over Super Cubs while sitting by the fire can keep him up. :cry:
 
Funny how Mark Englerth and I having a quite conversation over Super Cubs while sitting by the fire can keep him up
.

Didn't I fall asleep once with you and Mark's conversation at the New Holstein campfire? As I recall we were talking about STC Process when I fell asleep. Then the conversation moved on to something else, but when I woke up I finished my thoughts on the previous conversation and Mark about fell out of his chair.
 
Red Bull has a good shot of caffeine which increases alertness for a period of time as well as other physiologic affects--like vasoconstriction (causing the smooth muscle that line arteries/arterioles to constrict) the immediate result of which is an increase in blood pressure. The maufacturers of red Bull have also loaded up their beverage with Niacin ( a vasodilator amond other things) which causes the smooth muscle to relax thus causing a reduction in BP. I guess the net result is that the niacin has a mediating effect ofn the caffeine.

I carry a four pak of Red Bull in the plane for cross countries for that last three hour leg if it is needed. I also carry a bottle of Pedi-Lyte. Pedi-Lyte is a beverage for children who suffer from electrolyte depletion (diarrhea)
Pedi-Lyte contains the essential electrolytes that you may deplete on hot days through sweating---urination. Gator Aid is almost all sodium (not good if you have a BP problem) Pedi-Lyte has smaller quantities of sodium and potassium per unit volume and is significantly more efficacious
( ultimatley better for you).

I've never had a "crash" from Red Bull---but I use it only a few times per month. I have been told that folks with sleep apnea derive significant benefit from Red Bull and similar products. I would think that they may experience a significant "crash" when the caffeine wears off as their "sleep deficit" has now increased---but in the short term the Red Bull serves it's purpose.

I have the same problem as Steve. Too many silos, pastures, and straight roads to nowhere, and the boredom factor becomes a problem.

I was told by a military pilot that the XXXXX is issuing "stimulants" to fighter pilots on extraordinarily long missions in Afghanistan.

Tom Constantine RN
 
Is it worse than coffee? YES!

Tastes awful, what I imagine licking an ashtray might taste like.

A good shot of good espresso made from good beans; maybe hard to acquire from the cockpit of a small airplane, but sure tastes better and feels better.
 
With all the smoking bans, it has been difficult to find enough dirty ashtrays to take along to lick, although there are plenty of butts thrown out the window and laying around the ground everywhere you go.

sj
 
Taurine is added to cat food, because cats will go blind without it. I used to be afraid of falling asleep in my 182, because the dang thing could go 1000 miles and then wham into a mountain. Falling asleep in the cub is no problem; the screaming of the wind wakes me up after only a 45-90 degree course change...but one trip back from Idaho was really annoying, towards the end I was falling asleep repeatedly. So, nowadays I keep some caffeine pills on board in case I get to that point. I figured the SL ATC people were wondering why I kept turning 90 degrees and descending rapidly out there over the lake... :-?
 
I was taking a tour of the USS Mesa Verde down in Norfolk last year. They have a room the size of a bedroom full of that stuff!! They go through a LOT of it, I was told. It's good enough for our service folk!

When I worked midnights, I got hooked (2-3 a day) on it for about 6 months. I decided enough was enough and I needed to get healthy again, and quit cold turkey. 6 hours later, I caught a migrain so bad I thought my head was going to open up and spew lava!! :crazyeyes: I am no coffee or soda drinker, so I was a caffiene virgin of the worst kind.

Folks, if you can handle it, go for it. I prefer a good run in the morning and good hydration with nitricious food during the day - go 24 hours pretty well like that. Of course, my days don't always include those elements..............
 
Brad I agree. Sunflower seeds work great. I also use them when studying.

"Giant" brand is the best.

Bill
 
OK Steve, Here is my AME reply to your Red Bull question:

The final answer for Red Bull is not in yet. There have been multiple allegations regarding its safety because of the ingredients: taurine (common in energy drinks), caffeine (I haven't yet found the total amount or how it compares to a "usual" cup of coffee), and cocaine (yes there have been allegations!)

The company is not explicit on health concerns. This is not suprising though. It is the cardiovascular effect that is of the most potential concern. It offers a jolt to both the nervous system as well as the cardiovascular system. Jazzing up your alertness is one issue, but jazzing up your heart rate and blood pressure is also part of the cost:


Cardiovascular effects
The results of a study conducted in 2008 showed that the ingestion of one, 250mL can of sugar-free Red Bull, in a sample of 30 healthy young adults, had an immediate detrimental effect on both endothelial function, and normal blood coagulation. This temporarily raised the cardiovascular risk in these individuals to a level comparable to that of an individual with established coronary artery disease.[12]
Based on their results, researchers involved with the study cautioned against the consumption of Red Bull in individuals under stress, in those with high blood pressure, or in anyone with established atherosclerotic disease.[13]


So... Like most things in life, it probably pays to take the middle road in this case. Use moderation and don't depend on energy drinks to jazz up your alertness.
 
Widebody said:
Bag of Sunflower Seeds works for me, when having to stay awake.

Brad

Can honestly say that sunflower seeds probably have saved my life... at least saved me from an auto crash or two. An old trucker clued me in to them about 40 yrs ago. They work great for the post-eating drop you get about an hour after a meal. Amazingly, even the sleep/fatigue study professionals haven't studied them... although I've had a couple admit they have "heard" of the effect they have on keeping oneself alert, especially while driving. Could it have anything to do with being unable to patent them as a drug..??

I have an all-nighter again next week..... maybe I'll do a random experiment of their effect. Or maybe I'll just watch a couple of movies on the EFB. :eek:

.
 
Do the sunflower seeds have to be in the shell, or can they be already shelled?

sj
 
Back
Top