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Effect of Sugar-Free Red Bull Energy Drink on High-Intensity Run Time-to-Exhaustion in Young Adults

Candow, Darren G1; Kleisinger, Amanda K1; Grenier, Stephanie2; Dorsch, Kim D1

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: July 2009 - Volume 23 - Issue 4 - p 1271-1275
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181a026c2
Original Research

Candow, DG, Kleisinger, AK, Grenier, S, and Dorsch, KD. Effect of sugar-free Red Bull energy drink on high-intensity run time-to-exhaustion in young adults. J Strength Cond Res 23(4): 1271-1275, 2009-Consuming sugar-free Red Bull energy drink before exercise has become increasingly popular among exercising individuals. The main purported active ingredient in sugar-free Red Bull is caffeine, which has been shown to increase aerobic exercise performance. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of sugar-free Red Bull energy drink on high-intensity run time-to-exhaustion in young adults. Physically active university students (n = 17, 9 men, 8 woman; 21 ± 4 years, 73.4 ± 3.1 kg, 175.1 ± 3.2 cm) participated in a double-blind, crossover, repeated-measures study where they were randomized to supplement with sugar-free Red Bull (2 mg·kg−1 body mass caffeine or ∼147 mg caffeine; 4 kcal/250 mL) and noncaffeinated, sugar-free placebo (lemon-lime flavored soft drink, tonic water, lime juice; 4 kcal/250 mL) separated by 7 days. Exercise capacity was assessed by a run time-to-exhaustion test at 80% o2max, perceived exertion was assessed immediately after exercise, and blood lactate was measured before and after exercise. There were no differences in run time-to-exhaustion (Red Bull: 12.6 ± 3.8 minutes, placebo: 11.8 ± 3.4 minutes), perceived exertion (Red Bull: 17.1 ± 2.0, placebo: 16.6 ± 1.8), or blood lactate between groups. In conclusion, sugar-free Red Bull energy drink did not influence high-intensity run time-to-exhaustion in young adults.

1Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada; and 2School of Human Kinetics, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Address correspondence to Darren G. Candow,

© 2009 National Strength and Conditioning Association