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  1.  (8383.41)
    I would say caffeine definitely makes me more alert. It's certainly no replacement for sleep, but when tired it is much more effective than only juice and water. I have found however that drinking lots of water with my caffeine can improve its effect. Here's another good article arguing cognitive improvement.
  2.  (8383.42)
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/y414x83288221635/
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      CommentAuthorjohnjones
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2010
     (8383.43)
    Caffeine doesn't make me feel more alert, just jittery and more awake. I don't even both with Red Bull and it's ilk anymore (especially since the stuff taste like carbonated cough syrup). Instead, I use 5 Hour energy. It still tastes nasty, but there's a lot less of it to drink and it does seem to last longer than energy drinks.

    That said, when I want to be able to think and act with alertness, I prefer Amphetamine mix(basically generic Adderall). It clears my head, helps my concentrate and for some reason it lets my imagination flow a lot more freely.
  3.  (8383.44)
    Based on this article I've been experimenting for a couple of weeks now with caffeine right before bed to prevent morning withdrawal. As long as I get to sleep before it kicks in, it seems to result in more awake mornings even before my customary cup of coffee.

    ...so I've confirmed I'm an addict. But I can manage it now!
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      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2010 edited
     (8383.45)
    Thing is, Red Bull doesn't really have that much caffeine, comparatively. The thing that gives it the extra kick, and what 5-Hour Energy is based off of, is huge amounts of B-complex vitamins. I've been finding it much more effective and cheaper to just get a good full spectrum B-complex to take along with my other rather extensive daily maintenance stack.

    I don't necessarily believe I'll be any healthier or socially purer for the effort, I just find it cheaper and more trustworthy to assemble my own product.
    • CommentAuthorfunranium
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2010
     (8383.46)
    I can definitely testify to the ~4hr caffeine half life (which depending on dose can take quite a few half lives to drop down) and the tolerance than grow to be quite impressive. The more interesting part I've found in my experiments with coffee extractions is the wide pharmacopoeia of the coffee bean; there's a hell of a lot more in there than just caffeine and different extraction technique may select the components differently. The crash I'm accustomed to with energy drinks and sodas I think is more sugar based than caffeine, while the post-diner coffee crash may be theophylline instead of caffeine.

    Not to be guilty of too much shameless whorebaggery, but I give to you early experiments on the Black Blood of the Earth Test Subjects.
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      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2010 edited
     (8383.47)
    Interestingly, there's a close chemical relationship between niacin (B3), one of the main B complex ingredients in Red Bull, and nicotine:

    Niacin was first described by Hugo Weidel in 1873 in his studies of nicotine.[5] The original preparation remains useful: The oxidation of nicotine using nitric acid.[6] Niacin was extracted from livers by Conrad Elvehjem who later identified the active ingredient, then referred to as the "pellagra-preventing factor" and the "anti-blacktongue factor."[7] When the biological significance of nicotinic acid was realized, it was thought appropriate to choose a name to dissociate it from nicotine, to avoid the perception that vitamins or niacin-rich food contains nicotine, or that cigarettes contain vitamins. The resulting name 'niacin' was derived from nicotinic acid + vitamin.


    I had no idea of this, but it certainly goes a way towards explaining the synergy between Red Bull and smoking. Also, there needs to be a band named "Anti-Blacktongue Factor."
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      CommentAuthorcosta_k
    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2010
     (8383.48)
    Red Bull has always tasted like fucking piss to me and never understood why anyone would drink it. If you're gonna use amphetamine drinks to stay awake, just be a man and do meth or speed.

    Otherwise, I'll be all like "Fuck yeah, 'Murica!" and just stick to coffee.
  4.  (8383.49)
    Yeah, that's all fine and good to say, but Red Bull doesn't make you look like this afterwards.
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      CommentAuthorPhilip
    • CommentTimeAug 16th 2010
     (8383.50)
    I don't know if it makes me any more or less alert.. But I will say that there is no chance in hell, that I could have stayed awake for those (luckily rare) 17-20 hour shifts without it. (Red Bull) ..and that's entirely without a regular intake.