Verdict: The original Red Bull is vegan by most standards.
- There are no animal products in Red Bull (even the taurine is synthetic).
- There are artificial colors in Red Bull, which some vegans don’t consider vegan (a grey area).
At first glance, a few ingredients in Red Bull seem like they might not be vegan.
Same goes for Monster Energy drinks.
If you’d like to know if you can consider Red Bull to be vegan, read on.
Ingredients in Red Bull
The Red Bull website isn’t the easiest to navigate, but the ingredient information is all there if you dig around.
There are 5 main variations of Red Bull:
- Red Bull Energy Drink (the original one)
- Red Bull Sugarfree
- Red Bull Total Zero
- Red Bull Editions
- Organics by Red Bull
Other than “organics”, these all have almost the same ingredients:
Carbonated Water, Sugar, Glucose, Citric Acid, Taurine, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), Magnesium Carbonate, Artificial colors (e.g. Red 40), Caffeine, Niacinamide, Pyridoxine HCl (Vitamin B6), Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12
Most of those are obviously vegan.
Taurine might give you some pause because it technically isn’t always vegan, and in the distant past came from animal sources. However, the vast majority of modern taurine is vegan.
The other potential issue are the artificial colors, which we’ll look at below.
Do You Consider Artificial Colors to Be Vegan?
The neon pink color of Red Bull isn’t natural, who could have guessed?
I’ve written a detailed post about why artificial colors might not be vegan. Artificial colors most commonly include ingredients like Red 40, Yellow 5, etc.
Long story short: Artificial colors like these are tested on animals because the safety of their consumption is controversial.
This is why many vegans won’t consume them.
Most vegans are okay with artificial colors, but stricter ones are not. You’ll have to make your own choice on where you stand.
According to Red Bull Themselves, It’s Vegan
On the Red Bull website, it clearly states for the original version that:
Red Bull Energy Drink is gluten free, vegan…
The only differences between it and the other products is that they use some sort of sweetener like aspartame, which are all vegan.
If you’re okay with artificial colors, then you’ll consider all Red Bull energy drinks to be vegan-friendly.
So, Is Red Bull Vegan?
The “Organics by Red Bull” are all clearly vegan, as they don’t have any artificial colors.
But for all the other versions of Red Bull, it comes down to the artificial colors. If you’re okay with them, you’ll consider all other varieties of Red Bull vegan as well.
Some vegans don’t consume them, some do, I can’t make that choice for you. Make a decision you’re happy with and you’ll have your answer about whether or not most flavors of Red Bull are vegan.