Red Bull cans on table. Popular energy drink with caffeine.

What Does Red Bull Taste Like?

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With a saturated energy-drink market, it can be difficult to try every offering. But if you want to start with Red Bull, then you are at the right place! 

What does Red Bull taste like? The original Red Bull has a distinct slightly sour yet sweet flavor. It tastes almost like a medicinal carbonated beverage that has very subtle bitter notes due to the added caffeine. Red Bull offers several other fruit-flavored and diet energy-drink varieties, too!

Read below to learn more about Red Bull, its original flavor, how it works, and what other Red Bull flavors taste like! 

What Is Red Bull?

Red Bull is a very popular energy drink that was launched in 1987. Since its inception, the beverage has sold over 100 billion cans worldwide, with 9.8 billion being sold alone in 2021

The drink’s formula was initially based on another similar energy drink that is popular in Thailand, particularly among truck drivers and the labor class. 

Red Bull was introduced internationally by Chaleo Yoovidhya (who owned the Thailand energy-drink brand) and Dietrich Mateschitz, who took the idea to the next level. 

These two savvy businessmen joined forces in an attempt to capture the still-growing market of energy drinks in North America.

Plasy, Czech Republic - April 27, 2013: Peter Besenyei from Hungary on the Airshow "The Day on Air". His aircraft is painted in the colors of Red Bull energy drink for sponsorship reasons.

Unlike its Thailand counterpart, Red Bull launched with a higher price tag and an association with sports and general activity

The founders wished to redefine the energy drinks market and wanted to target a larger audience that included young professionals, students, fitness enthusiasts, and anyone who was looking for a quick boost of energy.

Soon after its initial success, the brand started to associate itself more with extreme sports and started a new marketing campaign that would forever cement the company as an iconic leader in the energy drink market space.

The campaign slogan “Red Bull Gives You Wings” is still one of the most memorable and popular slogans in the United States. 

How Does Red Bull Work?

Red Bull contains caffeine: a natural stimulant that increases alertness, improves cognition, and boosts focus. 

The beverage also contains other organic compounds that help amplify the effects of caffeine. The reason why caffeine needs to be amplified is that most people already have built a tolerance for it. 

Energy drinks available for purchase in drink fridge at store. Red Bull is primary focus.

See, the more caffeine you consume, the more your body adapts and becomes used to it. This is why a regular user of energy drinks may not get the same level of effects as someone who just started to consume them. 

To beat this tolerance, energy drink brands, including Red Bull, add taurine and B-vitamins to enhance the absorption of caffeine, thereby increasing its intensity and shortening the delay for the onset of the effects of the compound. 

Red Bull also contains a lot of sugar!

Sugar itself isn’t a sustainable source of energy because the body can quickly process it, which results in a short-term boost of energy followed by a “crash.” However, the added caffeine and other additives help prolong these effects. 

Luckily, Red Bull also offers a range of sugar-free options and other flavored beverages that are based on the same formula. 

How Much Caffeine Is In Red Bull?

The caffeine content in Red Bull varies according to the serving size. 

Here is a quick chart showing the various serving sizes and their corresponding caffeine content:

Serving SizeCaffeine
8.4 Fl oz (258g)77 mg
12 Fl oz (369g)111 mg
16 Fl oz (492g)148 mg

The caffeine content usually differs from country to country, but in most cases, the averages shown in the chart above are what you can expect in each corresponding can of Red Bull. 

You may notice that the caffeine content maxes out at nearly 150 milligrams, even though other caffeinated beverages can contain up to 250+ milligrams caffeine

One reason for this ceiling is regulation: most health agencies put restrictions on how much caffeine energy drinks can contain because you may be more likely to repeatedly consume a sweet and addicting energy drink over a hot coffee. 

But before we dive into the many flavor offerings by the brand, let’s talk about the original beverage.

What Does Original Red Bull Taste Like?

The original flavor of Red Bull has a unique slightly sour, yet sweet flavor. Many people crudely compare it to carbonated cough syrup

Its medicinal flavor is by design because energy drinks were once associated with herbal drinks that would work like elixirs with medicinal benefits.

Plus, people weren’t used to the idea of fruity or predominately sweet flavors which were usually attributed to colas or other soft drinks.

Red Bull carefully formulated its original beverage to taste both pleasant and refreshing – but also different from regular cola or carbonated sugar-based drinks in the market. 

This helped build “brand association” and people started to psychologically link its distinct flavor as something that would boost energy. 

After years of success, the brand started to notice that some of its customers disliked the original flavor of the beverage – this was around the time when other flavors of energy drinks had entered the market.

Even though the sour and sweet flavor was initially pivotal in attracting a lot of people, the brand realized that if they were to expand into different markets, it needed to adapt to the flavor palette of its customers. 

This is why Red Bull started to diversify its product line by introducing new variants and exciting new flavors. 

Red Bull Editions

Red Bull started to offer new flavors, or “editions,” in 2013. The company started with a basic lineup of cranberry, lime, and blueberry

The new editions were seen as a much-needed change in the company’s portfolio and helped attract new segments of customers; particularly the young generation. 

These new flavors were targeted toward regular and new users who wanted more fruity flavors. Red Bull was once again able to increase its market share with the help of its new offerings. 

After the release of its three new flavors in 2013, the brand saw this as an opportunity to grow and kept introducing new flavors to the market. 

Today, Red Bull has seven flavor editions:

  • Red Bull Red Edition – Watermelon Flavor
  • Red Bull Yellow Edition – Tropical Flavor
  • Red Bull Blue Edition – Blueberry Flavor
  • Red Bull Green Edition – Dragon Fruit Flavor
  • Red Bull Peach Edition – Peach-Nectarine Flavor
  • Red Bull Coconut Edition – Coconut Berry Flavor
  • Red Bull Summer Edition – Strawberry Apricot Flavor

Red Bull also introduced two new variants for its original beverage:

  • Red Bull Sugar-Free
  • Red Bull Zero

Red Edition – Watermelon Flavor

The red edition introduced a refreshing new flavor that contains the sweetness and natural flavor notes of watermelon. 

Although this drink is artificially flavored, it does a great job of offering a high-quality and authentic flavor of watermelon, which was marketed to taste like you are drinking real watermelon juice.

This drink contains all of the same energy-boosting ingredients and proportions as a regular can of Red Bull, so you get the same effects but with a delicious boost of flavor! 

Yellow Edition – Tropical Flavor

The yellow edition offers a delicious tropical flavor with mixed fruits. It’s the perfect drink to beat the heat and revitalize your body.

The yellow edition contains sugar, taurine, caffeine, and B-vitamins. 

The only drawback of the new line of flavors offered by Red Bull is that there are only best served chilled. These flavors lack the oomph when they are at room temperature! 

Blue Edition – Blueberry Flavor

Blueberry is a classic flavor that is offered by almost every brand.

Red Bull wanted to bring a new twist to this flavor by increasing its intensity! 

You can expect the blue edition to be particularly flavorful.

It is best used as a pre- or post-workout beverage and can help you get the most out of your workouts or daily activities. 

Green Edition – Dragon Fruit Flavor

The flavor of dragon fruit is often described as being a cross between kiwi and pears.

This exotic flavor adds sweet and fresh notes to the beverage, making the green edition an excellent choice for people who want something that tastes familiar, but also new. 

You can expect the same subtle flavor notes here too – the difference is that Red Bull does an amazing job at providing a high-quality flavor instead of an artificial or industrial flavor!

Peach Edition – Peach-Nectarine Flavor

Peaches and nectarines are almost genetically identical, except for one important trait that sets them apart: peaches tend to have a fuzzy exterior while nectarines are smooth. 

With the addition of these two types of fruit, you can expect the peach edition to be extremely refreshing and delicious. 

Who doesn’t like a classic peach flavor? This drink is perfect for people who are looking for energy and electrolyte-boosting beverages that they can consume after long runs or strenuous activities.  

Coconut Edition – Coconut Berry Flavor

If you don’t like flavors that taste too strong, then we recommend the coconut edition. 

We love the color profile of the can and the combination of coconut and berries is truly a genius mix of fruity flavors.

This beverage is specially formulated for people who want a new and bold taste. It has hints of berry and a predominant coconut flavor.

Just like coconut water contains important nutrients for aiding body recovery, this beverage can be consumed for the same effects! 

Summer Edition – Strawberry Apricot Flavor

The summer edition cans have an attractive orange color. This variant combines the collective goodness of fresh strawberries and ripe apricots. 

The result is an extremely balanced and delicious beverage that contains sweet fruity flavors that will get you instantly hooked! 

This flavor is a classic and we think that everyone will enjoy it.

The other great thing about it is that it can also be mixed with other ingredients to make an entirely new revitalizing drink! Keep reading for some fun Red Bull drink recipes.

Red Bull Sugar-Free

Red Bull sugar-free was created for one purpose: to attract diet-conscious customers and help reduce the sugar intake of existing customers. 

The sugar-free version contains sugar alternatives like acesulfame K and aspartame or sucralose and comes in at 10 calories, which is way less than a regular can of Red Bull that can contain anywhere from 117 to 220 calories

The use of artificial sweeteners allowed Red Bull to maintain the same great original flavor of the beverage without adding extra calories. 

This version entered at a time when sugar-free drinks were on the rise, which is partly why this variation was so successful. 

Nowadays, the demand for sugar-free energy drinks is at an all-time high and has become an important purchase decision for many people. 

Red Bull Zero

Red Bull Zero has one goal: to give all of the flavors and benefits of the original variant of Red Bull – without calories. 

Remember how we mentioned that the sugar-free version of this beverage contains 10 calories? Well, Red Bull Zero contains 0 calories

The company initially sold the beverage as Total Zero, but in 2018, it released the Red Bull Zero variant which was based on a different formulation. 

The all-new Red Bull Zero was an improvement over the previous iteration as it tasted like the original variant and yet contained 0 calories

Red Bull achieved this feat by opting for artificial sweeteners and alternate flavoring agents that contained no additional calories. 

This variation along with the sugar-free variant are two very important products in Red Bull’s lineup that cater to more customers and help make the brand more competitive! 

Red Bull Recipes

Red Bull is also famously used as an ingredient in many cocktail and non-alcoholic beverages as well. 

Since the original Red Bull offers a sour and sweet flavor, it can be used to flavor lemonade-based beverages and other fruity drinks too. 

The Red Bull Editions can also be used to make delicious and seasonal beverages. For example, you can use the Summer Edition Strawberry Apricot to make a “Sunset Float” that is made with a combination of freshly squeezed orange juice, condensed milk, and a can of Summer Edition Red Bull.

This opens up new ways to introduce people to the brand. You can experiment with any flavor to make your very own Red Bull-based beverages at home! 

Related Questions 

Red Bull is available in multiple exciting flavors and several healthier variations. Now that you know all about the offerings and what they taste like, its time to look at a few related questions.

Does Red Bull contain more sugar than other energy-drink brands?

Depending on the serving size, the original Red Bull contains 26-49 grams of sugar, while many other energy drinks on the market can contain even more!

Monster, a similar energy drink, can contain up to 55g of sugar — this is way more than Red Bull. 

Luckily, most reputable energy drink brands also offer sugar-free alternatives too, but you should always check the back of the can for detailed nutritional information. 

Can you mix Red Bull and alcohol to make beverages?

We do not recommend mixing alcohol with any Red Bull, or with any other energy drink. Red Bull contains a lot of caffeine: a compound that can efficiently counter the depressant effects of alcohol.

This means that you would be able to drink more alcohol without realizing its adverse effects, which would come on in full swing when the caffeine wears off. 

This may pose a risk to you and others around you. In some cases, the mixture can also be lethal.

Is Red Bull better than coffee?

If you want a caffeine boost in the middle of the day then you could opt for a can of regular, flavored, or sugar-free Red Bull for the same boosting effects. 

But we wouldn’t recommend drinking Red Bull in the morning, especially on an empty stomach since it can cause adverse gastric or systemic effects.

Please keep in mind that energy drinks are not a meal replacement and should always be consumed in moderation. 

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