VPX Redline energy drinks contain a wide range of chemicals, some commonly known and some less widely used. However, many of them can be dangerous in large amounts. Bad effects have been reported by a number of users, and a few hospitalizations have been linked to it.
Redline energy drinks contain caffeine, 5-HTP and a blend of amino acids and herbs, such as vinpocetine, cAMP, n-acetyl-tyrosine, yohimbine, evodiamine, green tea and yerba mate. Bodybuilders and people trying to lose weight use a number of these chemicals. Some elevate heart rate, while some have effects on neurotransmitters. Others have less well-known effects and have not been tested extensively as human supplements.
Redline energy drinks have 250 mg of caffeine, a level equivalent to two-and-a-half cups of coffee. In addition, they contain yerba mate and green tea extract, which add to the caffeine content. Because VPX has not labeled the amounts of these herbal extracts in their blend, the full caffeine total is not known. While caffeine may seem commonplace, it remains a serious drug and a narrow margin separates safe and unsafe doses.
According to a February 2007 article in the Sacramento Bee, multiple people have ingested a single can of Redline energy drinks and ended up in the hospital with a caffeine overdose, which can cause dizziness, trembling and such cardiovascular effects as increased heart rate and blood pressure, and even chest pain.
5-HTP and Serotonin Syndrome
5-HTP transforms into serotonin in the body and brain. Users are advised to be cautious with it because an overdose of 5-HTP, or the dangerous combination of 5-HTP and antidepressants, can cause serotonin syndrome, basically a toxic overload of this vital neurotransmitter. Researchers at Florida Atlantic University performed a study in which they induced this syndrome by giving 5-HTP to rats, and published it in the European Journal of Pharmacology in 2008. These researchers observed tremors and changes in body temperature.
In an incident reported by BevNet News in 2008, adolescents experienced sweating as a side effect of Redline energy drinks. This could indicate either caffeine overdose or serotonin syndrome.
Cyclic adenosine monophosphate, or cAMP, is a cellular messenger. It has not been tested extensively as a human supplement, and neither have evodiamine or vinpocetine.
Tyrosine, an amino acid, occurs naturally in many foods.
Because yohimbine, another ingredient in Redline energy drinks, acts on the same receptor cells as 5-HTP, the combination may increase the likelihood of serotonin syndrome. Yohimbine also acts as a stimulant and can increase heart rate as much as caffeine can.
Hospitalizations and fatalities have been linked to Redline energy drinks, and the VPX company has advised retailers not to sell these beverages to people under the age of 18, according to an article from BevNet News. Most of the hospitalizations, such as those reported by the Sacramento Bee, have been caused by caffeine overdose. Because of the poorly understood combination of ingredients and the high caffeine content, approach these drinks with great caution.