A long-standing rumor claims that Red Bull (and other energy drinks) contain bull semen. Is this true or false?
This claim has circulated for many years and likely relates to a key ingredient of many energy drinks known as taurine.
Taurine is found in animal tissue, including humans. Its name relates to the bull because it was first isolated from ox bile in the 1820’s. The type of taurine used in Red Bull, however, is synthetic.
Some have suggested that the rumor arose because the word, when broken down, could imply bull urine. Visually, the word “taurine” contains the root “taur” (meaning “bull”, as in the Taurus zodiac sign) and even the word “urine” can be found within the word taurine.
Why Red Bull has been singled out above other energy drinks could be due to the fact that it has the word “bull” in its name. This reference, however, is likely tied to the ingredient taurine, and not bull semen.
Red Bull Response
Red Bull has responded this rumor directly in their Q&A section:
Is Taurine made from bull’s testicles?
Many people bet it comes from some delicate parts of the strongest and most potent bulls in the world, but the fact is that the taurine in Red Bull is produced synthetically to the highest quality standards.
Their older FAQ answered it in a slightly different manner:
Is taurine made from bulls’ testicles? Is taurine a derivative of bulls’ testicles or semen?
The taurine in Red Bull® Energy Drink is a purely synthetic substance produced by pharmaceutical companies and is not derived from animals or animal materials.
All ingredients for Red Bull® Energy Drink are synthetically produced by pharmaceutical companies. This guarantees the highest quality.
Red Bull does not contain bull semen, or any animal products. The drink is considered vegetarian-friendly.