New Study Pits Redbull Against Coffee To See Which Is Better At Boosting Performance

redbull-coffeeAs a company, RedBull is pretty hard to bash.

I mean, how can you hate on a company that sponsors some of the most exciting and creative pieces of entertainment around?

Seriously, let’s take a moment to admire the laundry list of cool shit they’ve brought to the masses:

  • Crashed Ice (link)
  • Their amazing F1 Team
  • Air Races (link)
  • Felix Baumgartner’s freefall from space (link)
  • Base Jumping (link)
  • Rebull Rampage – prepare to crap your pants (link)
  • Extreme Sailing – it’s more fun that it sounds! (link)
  • Soapbox racing (link)
  • And so much more…

red-bull_officeThey also have one of the most amazing office spaces ever conceived by man.

Does your workplace come with a slide? Didn’t think so.

But all of this credit should go to their marketing department.

In fact, that’s pretty much what RedBull is — a marketing company that happens to sell some sugar water with a bit of caffeine.

My mistake, overpriced sugar water with caffeine.

Sure, it may have other ingredients like Taurine, and B Vitamins but that’s all for show, as a new study recently revealed.

Let’s dive into it and see what they found.

The Study Design

The researchers wanted to see whether RedBull — as a formulated drink, had any benefits over taking caffeine by itself to increase performance. I should point out that caffeine has already been proven as a stimulant that increases work output, so I was very curious about this head-to-head comparison.

The subjects were (thankfully) a group of trained cyclists with an average VO2 max of around 60 (this is a very good score, it shows they have some serious cardio).

The reason this excites me is because too many researchers conduct studies on an untrained population – on whom pretty much any protocol can show a favorable result.

For example: take a freshman high-school kid who’s never touched a weight in his life and teach him how to lift a few times a week, and he’ll put on like 10 pounds of muscle in the span of 60 days.

Or give someone who’s never been exposed to caffeine a cup of coffee, and they’ll be bouncing off the walls.

In short, the untrained population don’t make very good cases for the “real world.” So the fact that these researchers actually took the time to recruit real athletes shows they care.

The 3 Drinks Involved

The cyclists were divided up into 3 groups, and each were randomly given either RedBull, a placebo or a drink with the exact same amount of caffeine content, but nothing else.

As this was a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, it meant that no one really knew which group was taking what until the end.

This is a good thing, because it means no one could mess with the results or partake in any shenanigans. Another point goes to the researches for this.

The Study Results

Compared to placebo (which was probably just sugar water), RedBull increased performance by an average of 2.8%. This isn’t bad considering they were trained athletes and in cycling, even a second or two can make the difference between 1st and 2nd place. So a near 3 percent bump is legit.

However, the group that took straight caffeine showed an increase in performance by 3.1% compared to placebo.

Initially, This Might Not Seem Earth-Shattering. But Then You Look At The Cost…

A can of RedBull has about 80–90mg of caffeine and costs $2.99.

Well, a regular cup of coffee has 100–110mg of caffeine costs anywhere from 50 cents to $1 (ignoring your trips to Starbucks, of course).

In fact, the cost per gram of caffeine can be lowered even further if you buy in bulk, and brew a cup yourself. Not to mention that coffee is loaded with antioxidants and has shown to help burn fat, decrease risk of Parkinson’s disease and provide a whole host of benefits that would take me an entire article to cover.

Bottom Line?

Most of the performance/benefits that you experience from RedBull (or any energy drink for that matter) is usually related to its caffeine content.

Don’t be fooled into thinking you’re getting something magical. Most of the time the trace amounts of extra ingredients listed are merely a marketing tactic.

Are There Supplements Out There That Stack Well With Caffeine?

Most definitely! We’re not called Hardcore Training Solutions for nothing.

After years of testing, we’ve put together an incredible pre-workout stack which we recommend to our elite clients such as powerlifters, bodybuilders and competitive athletes.

If you’d like to get your hands on this formula, enter your info below for instant FREE access.

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Proven Stack?

While pre-mixed formulas are convenient, we recommend you buy the individual supplements and put it together yourself (called a “stack”) for the following reasons:

  • It’s Cheaper – You’ll get more servings per dollar compared to a tub of the latest preworkout
  • Higher Quality – The one thing we can’t stand are “proprietary” blends because you never know how much of an ingredient you’re getting. To us, that’s a huge red flag. With stacks, you control what ingredient you buy and from where. On a further note, Reviews.com did a pretty good job of finding the best pre-workout supplement, and avoiding ones with proprietary blends was high on their priority list. I applaud them for that.
  • Customizeable – Sure you can use half a scoop of your current pre-workout powder, but you’ll also get half of everything else. With stacks, you can pick and choose how much of each ingredient to use based on your specific needs.
  • It’s Fun – This might be subjective, but at HTS we love testing out new stacks and pushing the boundaries of what works best. If you respond well to a certain supplement, you can use it more often (while keeping an eye on safety, of course).

Final Thoughts: Don’t Forget To Keep An Eye On The Bigger Picture

While working out creates a stimulus for your body to grow stronger and supplements can give you that extra edge, if you don’t have a meal plan in place that is specially designed to help you recover and repair your body, then you can expect results to take up to 3x as long.

Depending on which expert you want to ask, the minimum amount of impact a proper nutrition plan can make towards helping you reach your goals is 50%. Realistically in our experience (both from training clients and consulting with other high-level coaches) the impact is more like 60 to 70%!

We think you’ll agree that’s quite a significant piece of the puzzle that shouldn’t be ignored. So for a limited time, we’re offering a special 30% discount on custom meal plans to our readers. Just click the button below for more details – and remember, you don’t pay unless you see results!

Get Your Custom Meal Plan Today

About The Author

Coach Sahil is the founder of HTS, a National Deadlift record setter and author of a multitude of books. Click Here to learn more about him.

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