Day 3: Quitting Red Bull

I gave up my wings three weeks ago.

That’s right – I stopped drinking Red Bull, my breakfast of choice for 6 years. It was also my lunch and dinner of choice. In reality, it was a crutch. Need a boost before going out at night? Red Bull! Going to a social function where you don’t know/like anyone? Red Bull! Having a great day? Red Bull!

My ambivalence to my  addiction, despite the high cost and the disapproval of those closest to me. I liked the cool feeling of that skinny can of lightly carbonated sugar free in my hand. My coworkers associated morning grumpiness with lack of energy drink. The pineapple smell could instantly lift my mood.

I had long suspected that my taurine and caffeine intake were correlated with my difficulty losing weight. Though I never expressed this idea to Hubs, he brought it up one night. It took less than 5 minutes to reach a consensus- no more soda or energy drinks. The moral support from my husband was all I needed to get going.

One week in, my coworker bought me a can to brighten a day that just wasn’t going right. I was ecstatic! My work friend had brought my drink friend to me! But my drink friend made me nauseated and since I’m not into friends that make me sick, that was it.

Until a few weeks ago, the thought of quitting Red Bull was too much. Now, I don’t think about it at all. Three weeks after my last can, I have no physical withdrawal. My dependence was purely emotional. Once again, I was eating my feelings. This time it was dangerous.

Even though Red Bull has been around since the 80s, the popularity of energy drinks isrelatively recent. The FDA can approve whatever they want, but I really believe that we don’t know enough about energy drinks to determine their effects on health.  I haven’t admitted this until now, but 3 Red Bulls in 1 day would make my head would spin, my heart pound, and attention span inexistent.

So it’s not surprising that Monster, a Red Bull competitor is facing the PR nightmare of 5 drink-related deaths in 3 years. For the record, I have nothing against Red Bull the company. They sponsor some of the fastest, most endurance defying athletes and their marketing is amazing! What other company would sponsor Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking 24 mile free fall?

All in all, drinking 2 Red Bulls a day for 6 years at an average of $2 per can, I’ve spent over $8,700 on Red Bull alone. I’d like to think I paid for a little but of that skydive.

 

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