Grocery Shrink Ray Squeezes Energy Out Of Red Bull

Looks like the power of taurine, caffeine and glucuronolactone is no match for the Grocery Shrink Ray. Alert reader Denis sent us this side-by-side comparison of the new “large” Red Bull (left) and the old one. Original: 16.9 ounces. New, taller, thinner version: 16 ounces. We’re not sure when the Bull’s wings flew off with the remaining 0.9 ounces, but we already miss them. When it comes to caffeine (and glucuronolactone, of course), that bit can just make the difference between crashing on the couch, or sprinting into the office (or at least that’s our excuse, and we’re sticking with it).


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  1. 49USBPorts_GitEmSteveDave says:

    Is the new design more “shotgun-able”?

  2. pythonkid says:

    its .9oz… maybe its a step towards a healthier america?

    • Lincolnsbeard33 says:

      @pythonkid: isn’t red bull a Thai drink?

      • trujunglist says:


        Nope, made in Austria.

        I only know this because I had an Austrian roommate who was very proud of all things Austrian. You should’ve seen him go on and on about the Governator…

      • korin43 says:

        @Lincolnsbeard33: Red Bull was “inspired by” a Thai drink called Krating Daeng. Red Bull is similar but it’s actually sold by an Austrian company. I heard that the original wasn’t carbonated or as sweet, but I can’t find any sources..

  3. XTC46 says:

    I just bought a large this morning and got my full 16.9…

  4. WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:

    Who can possibly drink a large Red Bull?

  5. SanDiegoDude says:

    Red Bull is already ridiculously overpriced (along with other energy drinks).

    This moves it from the realm of ridiculous to the realm of ridonculous.

  6. RandaPanda says:

    (I know I’m probably going to be flamed by the whole of the internet, but I want to state my opinion)

    I’ve never understood how people can drink that stuff. I’ve tried it once, and I felt like my heart was going to jump out of my chest…and I only had a few sips. Also, what’s with the flavor? I don’t think I’ve ever tasted something so nasty (in my opinion).

    • Preyfar says:

      @RandaPanda: It’s an acquired taste. I hated my first Red Bull, loooved the second one. Red bull doesn’t give me an energy boost as much as it does lift my mood. Seriously, if I’m in a bad mood and crack open a Red Bull… it makes me happy.

      Maybe I’m addicted or something, I dunno.

    • floraposte says:

      @RandaPanda: A lot of people feel the same way about coffee, but plenty of people drink the stuff. There are always people who don’t care for a popular beverage. There are probably even Scots who don’t like Irn-Bru.

      • nakedscience says:

        @floraposte: Yeah, but coffee is different from Red Bull sludge–it’s got all these weird ingrediants, fake sugar (or real sugar) and it tastes like fucking cough syrup.

        • edwardso says:

          @nakedscience: And coffee is very high in antioxidants, which is why I drink it. Not to ward off the crippling headaches…

        • floraposte says:

          @nakedscience: And coffee tastes like extract of tannic acid. If you don’t like it, it’s a moot point how fondly people who do like it describe the stuff, and nobody sane drinks either beverage for their health.

          People dislike stuff other people like, and vice versa, and there’s no different degrees of validity in tastes. Didn’t we settle this all back with “de gustibus non est disputandum”?

      • GearheadGeek says:

        @floraposte: Real Scotsmen drink whisky anyway. ;)

    • calquist says:

      @RandaPanda: I agree. I wish the bf wouldn’t drink them. I see Red Bull (and especially those 5 Hour Energy Shots) in the same light that I see Hydroxycut and all those diet pill scams… They really can’t be good for you.

      /takes bite of probably equally hazardous, chemical-filled Lean Cuisine

    • edwardso says:

      @RandaPanda: it tastes like cough syrup

    • VeryFancyBunny says:

      @RandaPanda: I made the dumb mistake of drinking a *Diet* Red Bull (it was all my friend had in her fridge) and I had the same reaction — heart rate went crazy, and I had a terrible aftertaste in my mouth. It also messed up my stomach.

      Possibly non-Diet Red Bull is better, but I’ll never know, ’cause I have no intention of getting that stuff near my body again.

    • SeattleTed is proud to like U2 says:

      @RandaPanda: You’re doing it wrong. You need to add the second part of the recipe -jagermeister. Somehow like Voltron but with horrific tasting parts, when unified they form a powerful concoction for happy hour heroes.

      • RandaPanda says:

        @SeattleTed is proud to like U2: Yeah, I’ve had one of those…luckily the jager covered the red bull taste, but still had the same effect on my heart rate, plus an added bonus of a bit of a buzz…still, wouldn’t drink the normal stuff under standard circumstances.

        @calquist: Agreed, I won’t go near the stuff either. I tried one of those 5 hour shots that claims there’s “no crash afterwards.” Yeah, I crashed HARD. Of course, while it was in my system, I was running around like a meth-head, but that’s probably beside the point.

        @cc82: Oh, I have one cup of coffee a day when I work, and that’s usually enough for me.

    • t0ph says:

      @RandaPanda: I can drink alot of it bc I used to do alot of drugs and it takes high amounts of anything to affect me…jk, kinda

      But really, I can only drink 1 cup of coffee a day and require much more caffine – besides, it tastes like melted skittles lol. And made with real sugar to boot.

      • alexcassidy says:

        @t0ph: I’m in the same boat- I can drink Red Bulls all day like they’re water, and even the more hard-core energy drinks like Red Line and Spike, I can handle 2 or 3 when the label explicitly warns you not to drink more than half a can or one can.

    • CubeRat says:


      I can drink a large Red Bull and not feel too bad. I tried a 6.4fl oz (or whatever the small is) of this [] and it felt like I was having heart palpitations.

      Spike Shooter will knock your socks off.

    • c_c says:

      Seriously what happened to coffee?? Plenty of buzz without all the nasty chemicals. Plus the added benefit of tasting good.

      • trujunglist says:


        People that think coffee tastes good are fuckin’ kidding themselves. Just because you got used to it doesn’t mean it tastes good. I bet you could get used to dog shit if you ate it long enough.

    • 49USBPorts_GitEmSteveDave says:

      @RandaPanda: Get a prescription for Adderrall/Ritalin. After that, NOTHING short of actual narcotics phases you much.

    • Ratty says:

      @RandaPanda: Personally I adore Diet Rockstar, but won’t drink them because then i’m up all night. If only they could de-energize it.

      • carline711 says:

        @Ratty: I drink only Diet Rockstar and it by far is the hardest hitting for me. I think the blend of ingredients between drinks has a different effect for each person. I can drink three redbulls and only have to pee. I can drink 1 diet rockstar and i’ll be up all night and like a junkie waitin for my next fix..

    • thelushie says:

      @RandaPanda: Can’t stand the stuff either and I am convinced that is it very bad for you. Hilariously, I know people who rail against soda as bad for you but will slurp this stuff down like the world is ending tomorrow and they need the energy to help end it.

      • babyruthless says:

        @thelushie: I had a roommate in college who quit drinking soda, but kept up her red bull-a-day (sometimes more) habit. I told her that that was like quitting marijuana but taking up heroin.

  7. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Red Bull: It gives you (smaller) wings!

  8. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I hate the taste of most energy drinks, but the sugar free Red Bull has a tollerable taste.

  9. nakedscience says:

    Red Bull is SO NASTY! It tastes like freakin’ cough medicine. *shiver*

  10. JonThomasDesigns says:

    Forget redbull .. SPARKS+ Whoaaaaa

  11. u1itn0w2day says:

    Those missing caffeine molecules might have been replaced by cocaine – just kidding . I think was somewhere in Europe where they have been finding traces of cocaine in some energy drinks and they pulled them off the shelves .

    Just shows how far they go to ‘ trick ‘ you into thinking it’s more : creepy .

  12. TerribleDecade says:

    Had a Red Bull once, tasted like piss. If it really does work, shrink it!

  13. t0ph says:

    Has anyone read that they just took Red Bull cola off the shelves in Germany due to traces of cocaine in it?

  14. chauncy that billups says:

    @floraposte: Lol, Irn-Bru! that stuff is awesome!

  15. silver-bolt says:

    What about a label comparison? They might have shrunk the can, but did the caffeine and sugar and whateverelse stay the same, go down more than proportional to the .9 oz decrease, or go up to compensate?

  16. mbz32190 says:

    I noticed this in my supermarket the other day…I didn’t buy, but they had both sizes on the self, for the same price. I don’t buy Red Bull anyway…too expensive and doesn’t taste that good, IMO.

  17. nybiker says:

    But what about the soccer players? Now they’ll have to open a second can during the game.

  18. usa_gatekeeper says:

    Speaking of caffeine, anyone notice they’re shrinking the contents of 39 oz coffee to ~33-34oz, keeping or raising the price, and making NO mention of the reduction in contents except for the small contents number on the side of the container.

    • nybiker says:

      @usa_gatekeeper: Yep. I switched to Chock Full O’ Nuts (48 oz can) from Maxwell House (42.5 oz) after leaving Folgers (27.8 oz). And of course with the recent news of coffee price hikes, I expect the containers to get smaller still and / or their price to go up. See []

  19. masterasia says:

    Anyone ever drank the original Red Bull? I’m talking about the Asian drink that came in a gold can. It also came in small brown glass bottles. It was like 8 oz of pure concentrate sugar. Soon after, another Asian energy drink called M-150 hit the market, which also comes in the gold cans and brown glass bottles. It is the same as the original Red Bull.

    Anyways, nothting beats the original. I once drank a whole six pack by myself after partying till 6am in the morning and had to be at work by 7am. I was higher than a muthaf…..

    • alexcassidy says:

      @masterasia: Oh yeah, the Thai version. It was extremely popular with truckers… they say it had nicotine in it, but don’t quote me on that.

  20. GearheadGeek says:

    They just Americanized the packaging… going from half a liter to half a quart (a US pint).

  21. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Can someone explain to me the effects of drinking Red Bull and vodka? I understand it’s a pretty popular drink, but it seems to me that since Red Bull is an energy drink with tons of caffeine, and vodka by definition, is alcohol and alcohol is a depressant, wouldn’t the combination do all sorts of crazy, wonky things to your body that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy?

  22. morlo says:

    More deflation! Everything small and shrunken. Government must cut interest rates and print money

  23. djkatscan says:

    My hubby would drink it and pour it out in a glass. It not only tastes like piss but it looks like piss too.

    Personally I think it isnt sweet enough. My additction is Full Throttle Orange.

  24. takes_so_little says:

    @RandaPanda: There’s a time and place, I guess. I’ve never had any, but I purchased two when my wife was in her third trimester, the first time, so I could stay awake for however many hours of labor, and coffee is like water to me I drink so much.

    Anyhow, as you could probably guess if you’ve been through it, stress and anxiety were all the stimulant I needed to stay awake. I think I still have those redbulls somewhere.

    But I would drink one if I had a dire need to stay awake on very little sleep.

  25. Jessica Haas says:

    *sigh* I love Red Bull.

    When I was in school, they made an announcement over the loudspeaker that those kind of drinks weren’t allowed anymore since apparently they’re horrible for teenagers.

  26. Possinator says:

    Personally I enjoy slamming a 24 oz Monster (with the twist top) in front of college freshman. They have the look of awe on their faces but I explain they’ll be able to do the same before they graduate.

  27. FuryOfFirestorm says:

    When Red Bull is ice cold, it tastes like green apple lollipops…when warm, like cough syrup with bubbles, IMHO.

  28. Digitizer says:

    I tried it once and got hot and sweaty [in a 30 degree night] and was seeing double….then i had to visit the men’s room

  29. Hadouken says:

    Is it just me, or is the 16.9oz can smaller than the 16oz?