Red Bull Cola Will Make You Want To Factcheck New Yorker Pieces

By Spencer Ackerman
nosebleedI keep an irregular sleep schedule — three to four hours at a time, another hour awake, another asleep, etc. — and so I require a fair amount of artificial stimulation. Sometime around last year coffee stopped doing it for me. In a panic, I took more drastic measures: my morning routine typically involves two Red Bulls and then a cup of coffee. To take the edge off.

I consider myself a RB connaisseur. Regular is kind of a gamble, in both taste and intensity. Sugarless is the best — easiest to drink, far less cloying, milder in flavor. The heart palpitations are the biggest problem. Sometimes you can feel an additional… push, you might say, in your chest. That’s what I like to call the Horns of the Bull. Often the Bull bucks when you’ve consumed two cans in under an hour. I don’t recommend doing that, but if you do, you just have to ride out the effects.

Today I discovered at the 7-Eleven something I’d only heard about in rumors: Red Bull Simply Cola. Strong & Natural goes the tagline on the 12 oz red-silver-and-blue can. That’s about half-right. Right now I have drunk about half the can and the Horns are pretty sharp. I just felt a throb in a vein of my forearm. I’m not going to lie: I’m a little alarmed. But if I have an ironclad belief in one thing, it’s that hospitals are for pussies, so I’m going to ride this out, like I advised above. But maybe you shouldn’t buy this product.


11 responses to “Red Bull Cola Will Make You Want To Factcheck New Yorker Pieces

  1. also recently tried this. I was lured in by the very attractive can. It tastes all herbal-y and rooty and bleck. I was hoping to kick a hangover and it worked for that, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get this stuff.

  2. spencerackerman

    I couldn’t actually taste it. It just hurt.

  3. three to four hours at a time, another hour awake, another asleep, etc.

    Not to be a total nag about this, but a single cup of coffee in the morning can be shown to affect sleep patterns the following night. Just sayin’.

    My own caffeine consumption follows a sawtooth pattern: it gradually escalates until I find myself fighting insomnia or waking up in the middle of the night. I go cold turkey, the stuff regains its efficacy, and then we repeat.

    Oh, and an extra vote for coffee: it seems to fight cirrhosis. The effect is coffee-specific and doesn’t seem to hold for caffeine in general.

  4. Bah — that MSN writeup implies that the caffeine may be the hepatoprotective at work. More recent work signals that this isn’t the case.

  5. spencerackerman

    This is truly a vicious circle you describe.

  6. Charles George

    When I was in Highschool I worked at KFC. I took a week off one summer to go snowboarding on the glacier on Mount Hood (awesome).

    The Day i came back, I’m totally wiped from hiking up and riding down all day (lifts are for wusses), combined with hanging out till the wee hours, getting up at 7:30 and doing it again.

    of course, an hour after I get in I get a call, somone didn’t show, they need me to work. I’m a fucking sucker so I go in.

    I can barely stand at this point, I grab a redbull, doesn’t do shit. so I go to the gas station across the street and grab some of those trucker caffiene pills called yellow jackets.

    What followed could be described as awesome, or a fucking nightmare depending on your aversion to uncontrollable shaking.

    I took the pills with soda, 30 minutes later I nearly threw up in the deep fryer. After 2 gags the nausia passed, and the energy kicked in. at that point I got about an hours worth of cleaning and serving done in 20 minutes.

    Then the shakes started. For the rest of the night I couldn’t hold my hand steady. By 9:30 I could barely use the registers, thankfully we closed at 10.

    morale of the story, truckers who take these are goddamn lunatics.

  7. Look at the caffeine amounts. Eight ounces of coffee has more than Red Bull, especially if its drip.

  8. This really explains a tremendous amount.

  9. I accidently took three of those caffeine pills once. (long story) Not really what I’d been hoping for, especially when the paranoia hit.

    But anyway.. not to put too fine a point on it, but we’ve kind of improved on all this. Can you say Modafinil? mmm. Modafinil.

  10. Yeah, I’ll second the modafinil, otherwise known as Provigil. Mental alertness without heart palpitations! Also, instead of this incessant ratcheting up of your stimulant regimen, you might try working on the sleep portion of your sleep-wake cycle. Ambien is quite nice (on my first deployment to Iraq, I found that 20 mg plus earplugs enabled me to sleep quite well with a band saw operating all night just ten feet from my cot–but quit writing on your laptop BEFORE you take the Ambien). And for a cheap over-the-counter sleep aid, there’s diphenhydramine, AKA Benadryl, AKA Unisom, whose cheapest OTC incarnation seems to be generic “Pain Relief PM.”

  11. When writing my undergrad thesis, I was knee deep in Heidegger and really into Unreal Tournament as a premium procrastination tool on my fancy new laptop. Combined with staying up until near dawn on lots of coffee I would have the weirdest half-asleep dreams (maybe nightmares), combining Heidegger exegesis with explosive headshots from Unreal’s sniper rifle or missile launcher. I decided I need to drop either coffee, video games, or philosophy. Since I couldn’t live without coffee or get a job playing video games, the games had to go.

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