Densities of Red Bull Beverages: How Much Table Sugar and Artificial Sweetener Are Present?

Amount of Sugar in a Red Bull

The comparison of the density and buoyancy of a diet soda vs a regular soda in water has been thoroughly demonstrated and discussed among science faculty and students. But I noticed that what is seldom discussed or fully illustrated is the amount of sugar present in a soda. This post with embedded video below shows the amount of sugar in a Red Bull beverage. Also, the differences in densities of a Red Bull and Sugar Free Red Bull beverage are shown in the video. Reading a numerical value of sugar from a label is different from actually seeing how much that numerical value is equivalent to. The video below shows the amount (mass) of sugar in a typical Red Bull beverage compared to the mass of artificial sweetener in a Sugar Free Red Bull. And as a teacher who sees an increase in the number of students with energy drinks in the classroom, I feel it is also necessary to discuss the amount of sugar in a Red Bull beverage in relation to the recommended daily intake of sugar.

As stated on the label there are 39 grams of table sugar (sucrose) in a single 12fl.oz. can of Red Bull. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that Americans keep their intake of added sugars to less than 10% of their total daily Calories as part of a healthy diet1. For example, in a 2,000 daily Calorie diet no more than 200 Calories should come from added sugars. The American Heart Association (AHA) suggestion for sugar intake is less. For most American women, the AHA suggests no more than 100 Calories per day, or about 6 teaspoons of sugar2. For men, the AHA recommendation is 150 Calories per day, or about 9 teaspoons.

And assuming that the energy content in each gram of sugar equals 4 Calories, then 39 grams of sugar results in over 150 Calories alone from a single 12fl.oz. can of Red Bull. The significant amount of sugar in this comparatively small can allows me as the teacher to not only relate to my students while introducing density concepts, but also allows me to hopefully help curb their poor dietary habits.

Sources Cited:

1 (accessed March 8, 2021)

2 (Accessed March 8, 2021)


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Demonstration videos presented here are not meant as tools to teach chemical demonstration techniques. They are meant as a tool for classroom use. The demonstrations may present safety hazards or show phenomena that are difficult for an entire class to observe in a live demonstration.

Those performing the demonstrations shown in this video have been trained and adhere to best safety practices.

Anyone thinking about performing a chemistry demonstration should first read and then adhere to the ACS Safety Guidelines for Chemical Demonstrations (2016) These guidelines are also available at ChemEd X.