red bull / energy drinks


 I currently run 4 miles twice a week.  I'm training at the moment for a 4 mile fun run which is in a couple of weeks.  On my last 2 runs i drank a can of red bull before my run, i was just wondering if this is good and healthy to do so or if not what else could i take to give me an extra boost?




  • you shouldnt need a boost at 4 mile, your body should have enough stored energy to complete this, at an average of 100kcal a mile you wont starve
  • hi amber i think you know your self redbull is not healthy its full of caffeine which is a drug a stimulant, its very easy to become a addict, tipe in caffeine see what you get, train on your own steam its the best way your get there and feel much better in the longrunimage//////////////////////////////////?

  • I always have a coffee before a run. I'd ditch the redbull though, bubbles can't be good.
  • Not good or healthy.  You dont need any boost for the amount of running you're doing.

    You'd be far better off getting another run in in the week - and if the race distance is 4 miles - you dont need to run 4 miles all the time.  A shorter faster session once a week would give you a bit more speed and a slower longer one would help with endurance.  Twice a week gives you pretty slow progress.

  • yeah, I wouldnt drink anything fizzy, especially before/after a run! secondly, you should be ok to run 4 miles by just SIPPING water slowly for a while before you go, you shouldnt even need to take any drinks with you while you are out.

    Not to undermine what you are doing, but really I would say if it was 10k then maybe a few sips of water after 5k, anything above 15k you then could start looking into sports drinks/gels to help give you a kick if you need it!

    Like I said, for 4 miles, just drink plenty (but slowly) before you go, if its really hot, take a small amount of water in a bottle if you need it, then have some water after you run to keep hydrated.

  • Thanks for your replies, i went for a 4 mile run this morning and didn't have any red bull, i think it's more mind over matter as in my head i think drinking red bull will make me run better but i ran just over 30 mins which is the same as when i had the red bull last time.  Also it's so gasey i thought it can't be good having all that air inside me.  My husband is a body builder but also runs with me to tone up and he takes protein shakes and creatine but for running he takes a powder drink called red mist it's meant to be the equivalent energy boost of 3 cans of red bull so i might try that on my next run as it's not gasey so won't bloat me out.  Has anyone heard of this before?


  • mowzermowzer ✭✭✭

    amber - didn't you read the above posts? image

    You DON'T need anything other than water to run four miles and certainly NOT the non-fizzy equivalent to the caffeine in 3 red bulls.

  • I think you'd only need anything other than water if you were running higher distances than 4 miles, and even then you'd just want a simple sports drink like Lucozade, Powerade, etc. As everyone else said - don't worry about energy boosting, just have confidence in yourself and know that you'll improve under your own steam as you keep getting fitter. image
  • yeah supplements are not all there built up to be, unless your running 13miles plus, a natural healthy diet will give you everything you need, water gives you enough boost and electrolite drinks are not nessecarry.........
  • Taking high simulant drinks for running can deliver a boost in a long distance run especially
    with caffene. But a 4 mile. Nope. Don't forget, these drinks are not all that great. Drinking these
    only triggers your brain and does increase your heart rate. Taking caffene is ok. But these
    drinks can be too much. That's why you see so many hyperactive teenagers looking like this image
  • NamNam ✭✭✭
    Body builders take all kinds of rubbish (from creatine to steroids) for which there is either barely any evidence base or it's plain dangerous, to make up for lack of luck with the genepool or lack of training or lack of patience regarding size.  That's the culture.  They THINK they need all that.  The supplements business in body building is massive.  For a 4 mile run neither you (nor he) should need anything other than a decent level of hydration (from nothing other more magic than water) when you leave the door.  Progress will come from nothing other than training and Cougie's suggestion of running at least 3x a week and varying your runs is spot on.
  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    I drink redbull before an evening track session. More because I've already been up 14hrs, cycled 15 miles and swam 4k. I did a 5k parkrun this am on nothing more than a glass of apple juice and a good nights sleep.

    As you can see the use of caffeine in sport or otherwise is very controversial. I don't consume much at all. I do notice that when I'm feeling lacklustre a can of redbull keeps me going

    Caffeine and sport

  • my own rule of thumb is only hydrate before and after the run if its under 1hr. Take something with me if its longer than that depending on the weather. But if water isnt enough, why consider redbull when there are some good sports drinks available which are much better at hydrating?
  • NamNam ✭✭✭

    I now see women buying protein shakes from the machine to "refluel" after their aqua fit or leg, bums and tums class...  FFS... image

    John I agree with you, at least get a proper sports drink that replaces electrolytes etc rather than just pumps you full or sugar and taurine, but I think the problem here is a feeling that RB is needed to provide the running energy in the first place, not for hydration afterwards...  It seems that when you say decent nutrition and water, and maybe the odd Powerade is all you need,  people think "it can't be as easy as that".  LOL

  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    Problem with a lot of sports drinks are the artificial chemicals that they contain. Very few are 'clean'. IE no caffeine / taurine / artificial chemicals.

    I usually avoid caffeine like the plague as I am intolerant of it. I usually avoid anything with aspartame in it. Though Wikipedia makes interesting reading on phenylalanine

    Red Bull is not some nasty hi cal macho drink.
    Red Bull Cola is in my mind one of the better cola drinks.

    I don't see why anyone should need any sports drink. I'd hardly call that proper nutrition. Really it's a matter of personal choice and taste preference.

    I'm still with the concensus - for a short run, even up to 15 miles you shouldn't need something like redbull for the energy / stimulation.

  • NamNam ✭✭✭
    I've recently just trained with an effervescent VitC thrown into water.  Works fine. image
  • People drink RB just because its cool. Some don't know that what they drinking is
    a flipping drug. I think all high simulant drinks should carry a health warning or even banned
    to under 16s. Its not good and not safe neither.

    Using these for sports use is also not at all good. It might make you better in some form.
    But it can deliver side effects too. Then again Lucozade contains caffene. Not as much as RB.
    Most drink sports drinks basically because it gives them a benefit.
    Chances are 30,000 people are drinking Lucozade Sport as they will need it next Sunday.

  • Thanks for all your replies.  Think i will steer clear of the red bull from now on.  It was only because i've got a 4 mile race coming up that i thought if i take something 'extra' it will help me to do better and run faster.  i've worked it out i've got 6 more runs before the race which will mean me running 4 miles twice a week and also i'm going to do a cardio workout at the gym once a week inbetween so hopefully i will be ok and will get fit naturally.  I might try powerade like someone mentioned but only drink it on the morning of my race to give me a little help.


  • runnerman wrote (see)

    People drink RB just because its cool. Some don't know that what they drinking is
    a flipping drug. I think all high simulant drinks should carry a health warning or even banned
    to under 16s. Its not good and not safe neither.

    I agree with you there, and I think there WAS talk about them doing it! the other thing is, they get companies to do all these fancy promotions on them, which is always getting you to buy a second/third can etc, yet on the warning on the back it says not to consume more then a maximum of one a day, interestingly, on the double size can it also says not to drink more then one a day!

    Ive seen mothers give their kids it on the way to junior school......then in the next breath say, "your not having any sweets"......or complain that schools cook junk food all the time!

  • NamNam ✭✭✭

    I've seen kids just last week popping into the cornershop on their way to school (they are 8 or 9) and coming out with a breakfast of crisps and Red Bull.

    No wonder you can virtually peel them off the ceiling in school.

  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    I drink Red Bull. I certainly don't drink it because it is cool. Red Bull carries no more caffeine than an avarage cup of coffee. (80 milligrams/ 8oz can)

     Are you seriously proposing banning coffee / tea / chocolate / coke and a miriad of other beverages to under 16's?

    Caffeine is not the devil you make it out to be.

    You have your opinion of caffeine, others have theres. Plenty of things in this world that may or may not be good for us yet we still consume them.

  • I don`t drink redbull purely because its so overpriced. I love my my coffee though image
  • lets not turn this into a debate where I am going to sound more like an old man then a 25 year old! All Im saying is that red bull is quite harmfull, addictive, and no need for an 8/9 year old to be drinking it in the volumes they do! if kids are too tired, sort their sleep/social pattern out, too thirsty, give them a drink thats going to clentch their thirst...

    We're going off subject here anyway! and Im sounding like a miserable old grump! I still have the odd can of red bull if I work a night shift, Im not so against it I would divert adults away from it, same as a pint of guiness every now and then goes down a treat, but I wouldn't reccomend trying to run after one of them either! but the origional point was that for a 4 mile run, energy drinks such as red bull are not needed and may do more harm then good, and filling yourself up with gas is gonna make your run less comfortable!......and it may only contain the same amount of caffiene as a coffee....but its all the other stuff they put in it!

  • amber4321 wrote (see)

      I might try powerade like someone mentioned but only drink it on the morning of my race to give me a little help.


    But what help? What possible help can it give you for a 4 mile race?

    Carbohydrates? Nope - absolutely pointless, you've got stored glycogen in your muscles ready to power you for 18-20 miles, Powerade isnt ging to help.

    Hydration - Just make sure you've drunk normally in the 24 hours beforehand and you'll have plenty hydration. You certainly dont want liquid sloshing about in your stomach when doing a short race, thats just asking for stitches/stomach cramps.

  • Carbohydrates? Nope - absolutely pointless, you've got stored glycogen in your muscles ready to power you for 18-20 miles, Powerade isnt ging to help.

    Don't think the above statement is true or people would't hit the wall at 18 miles - I was advised that you should start taking gels 40 mins into a marathon and every 40 min after so that you don't run out of glycogen.

  • TL - The OP is running a 4 mile race - so theres really no need at all to take on the carbs.

    Certainly for the Marathon - you do need to.

  • Waves to Cougie - yep agree, I was responding to the poster above me. image
  • Curly45Curly45 ✭✭✭

    Tired legs - Prf has good experience of this having run Blackpool a few weeks ago in 3:08:54 on water alone...

    Not saying its the only way but some runners dont use any energy drinks/gels - I have recently become one of them. Its too early to say if it affects performance at all, but I have to say I certainly feel better on runs now as I dont get stitches anymore.


  • Fair enough,suppose you have to find what works for you - alas my marathons take a hell of a lot longer than 3hrs and I've just found out that the gels work for me. image

  • I know 4 miles isn't that far but I want to run it the fastest that i can that's why i was asking about the energy drinks but after reading your advices I definitely won't be drinking anything other than water before any run from now on as i now realise i don't need it and it isn't good for me.  Can someone tell me what gels are that have been mentioned a few times on here? 
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