Amino Acids

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 471–476 | Cite as

A combination of caffeine and taurine has no effect on short term memory but induces changes in heart rate and mean arterial blood pressure

  • A. Bichler
  • A. Swenson
  • M. A. Harris


Red Bull energy drink has become extraordinarily popular amongst college students for use as a study aid. We investigated the combined effects of Red Bull’s two active ingredients, caffeine and taurine, on short term memory. Studies on the effects of these two neuromodulators on memory have yielded mixed results, and their combined actions have not yet been investigated. In this double-blind study, college student subjects consumed either caffeine and taurine pills or a placebo and then completed a memory assessment. Heart rate and blood pressure were monitored throughout the testing period. The combination of caffeine and taurine had no effect on short term memory, but did cause a significant decline in heart rate and an increase in mean arterial blood pressure. The heart rate decline may have been caused by pressure-induced bradycardia that was triggered by caffeine ingestion and perhaps enhanced by the actions of taurine.

Keywords: Caffeine – Taurine – Red Bull – Short term memory – Pressure-induced bradycardia 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Bichler
    • 1
  • A. Swenson
    • 1
  • M. A. Harris
    • 1
  1. 1.Biology Core Curriculum, University of WisconsinMadisonU.S.A.

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