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Jul. 16 2010 - 10:36 pm | 3,078 views | 0 recommendations | 3 comments

How Many Red Bulls Would Kill You?

It is a picture of a fridge full of energy dri...

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The folks at Energy Fiend have developed an online calculator called “Death by Caffeine” that tells you roughly how many Red Bulls, Monsters, Rock Stars, etc you’d have to drink to keel over.  The number of drinks you can choose from on the killer-drink drop down menu is staggering, but upon closer inspection it looks like they include regular sodas like Pepsi, Coke and the like along with the amped up drinks (and even energy mints and coffee ice cream).

I’m going to enter my information, choosing Red Bull as my initial poison. Here’s the result:

It would take 204.75 cans of Red Bull to put you down.

Comparatively:

Gulp down 474.78 cans of Coca-Cola Classic and you’re history.

You could drink 297.82 cans of Mountain Dew before croaking.

It would take 109.20 cups of Starbucks Tall Caffe Americano to put you down.

If you eat 341.25 Cups of Haagen-Dazs Coffee Ice Cream, you’ll be pushing up daisies.

By the way (and I say this as a die-hard coffee drinker), imbibing caffeine to stay awake is one of the silliest things we humans do.  The reason is this: in the brain, caffeine acts as an antagonist (a blocker) of adenosine–the neurotransmitter that pushes us closer and closer to sleep until we nod off–and it’s very good at accomplishing this. The problem is that with less exposure to adenosine, we become even more sensitive to the neurotransmitter’s effects. If we reduce our intake of caffeine, or simply become more tolerant of it, we actually find ourselves becoming more tired. So then we jack up the caffeine to counteract the withdrawal, but that just increases our tolerance.

Takeaway: you can only fool your brain into not sleeping for so long before succumbing to the inevitable crash.

HT: MindHacks


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  1. collapse expand

    If only we could do this for the heyday of energy drinks when they contained ephedrine. Red Bull didn’t become popular because of marketing, it became popular because it was the canned soda version of crystal meth.
    *sigh*
    Those were the good old days.

    It has you at 204.75 cans for Red Bull, and 511.88 for Red Bull Cola…but Red Bull Cola also contains cocaine, so that’s one result I definitely wouldn’t want to test.

    P.S. You do realize we can all calculate your weight from this post, right?

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    I’m a freelance writer, blogger and research wonk who writes about science, technology and the cultural ripples of both. Along my winding career route I've been a public outreach specialist, editor, research analyst, proposal writer and part-time journo. When I’m not writing for True/Slant, I’m blogging about neuroscience and a medley of ‘ologies’ at Neuronarrative.com, and writing freelance for Scientific American Mind.

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