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Red Bull

Red Bull is the brand name of a carbonated soft drink. Sold as an energy drink and to combat mental tiredness it is very high in sugar and also contains taurine, glucuronolactone, B-complex vitamins and caffeine. Since the beginning of 2003 a sugar-free version is available. It is popular as a mixer, notably with vodka. Red Bull is exclusively produced in Austria and exported worldwide. The drink is available in over 50 countries and almost 1,000 million of the slim 250ml cans were sold in 2000, 260 million of them in the UK.

The drink was created by the Austrian Dieterich Mateschitz. He adapted it from the Thai beverage Krating Daeng (กระทิงแดง) in 1984 and approached the local firm TC Pharmaceuticals to manufacture it, they agreed and took a 51% stake in his firm, Red Bull GmbH. It was lauched in 1987, supported by sleek advertising and with a highly priced small blue-and-silver can it was targetted at young urban professionals. The advertising slogan of Red Bull in the United States and the United Kingdom is Red Bull Gives You Wings and focuses on the stimulant properties of the drink.

Despite its rapid success having quickly attracted imitators, Red Bull is still dominant in the energy drink market.

In 2001 the drink was investigated by the Swedish National Food Administration after being linked to the deaths of three consumers. It has been subject to a number of other health scares regarding glucuronolactone, the origin of the taurine and its potential addictiveness. None of these scares have been proven.

Doctors and nutritionists have warned of the dangers of mixing caffeine and alcohol in excessive quantities.

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