The Healthy Alternative to Red Bull: For Geeks, Hackers and DiCaprio

The healthy “Red Bull” drink, also known as Club-Mate (Mah-tay), was created by Loscher Brewery in Munchsteinach, Germany, and has taken the world by storm.  Most people spend their lives chasing caffeine high after caffeine high, seeking an adrenaline rush or desperately trying to find enough energy to make it through another busy work week; which is evident in the amount of coffee consumed around the world on a daily basis.

It is estimated that 400 million cups of coffee are consumed daily in America alone (E-Imports, 2016).  No wonder this “healthy” energy drink is gaining popularity at a rapid rate.   

Club-Mate is a Vegan drink which was nominated for “Best Vegan Drink” in last year’s VegFestUK awards.  It is boasted as being a healthy carbonated soft drink which contains caffeine and yerba-mate extract which gives the drink its esteemed kick.  This drink has been described as “not too sweet” and, with the slogan “You’ll Get Used to It”, I am not reassured that it is an addictively delicious beverage. 

Perhaps it is addictive in the same manner that artificial tasting MSG loaded crisps, which keep you reaching for more, are addictive. 

This new energy drink is being compared with, and acclaimed as the better alternative to, the already largely popular Red Bull energy drink.  It has many of the same effects on the body, but boasts a mere 30 calories with only 5 grams of sugar and 5 grams of carbohydrates per 100ml. Red Bull has 45 calories but contains more than double the amount of sugar and carbohydrates at 11 grams each per 100ml.

Red Bull’s target market is active individuals and sports teams and its famous logo of a bull with wings can be seen plastered around almost any sports game.  In contrast, Club-Mate is targeted towards geeks, nerds and hackers around the world. 

It was first introduced to the American Hacker community at the seventh Hackers on Planet Earth conference in 2008 by Deutschland’s Chaos Computer Club; who rate themselves as the largest group of hackers in Europe.  Hackers in Germany have been drinking Club-Mate for many years prior to the conference.

club-mate red bull health alternativeThe raw material which is used to create Club-Mate is known as the yerba-mate-tea plant which is native to South America.  Yerba-tea is esteemed as having incredible health benefits- ranging from weight-loss to cancer prevention- which is why it has been used by South American natives for centuries.  When combined with caffeine, this extract makes people feel super-human allowing faster recovery after a day of hard labour and the ability to stay up to work all night long.  This makes Club Mate ideal for anyone with long hour office jobs or hackers.    

According to a receipt on Club Mate’s Facebook page, even celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio cannot resist cracking open a Club-Mate or two.  The authenticity of this receipt has not been verified; however, who wouldn’t want to chug back a cold one and reap the health benefits?

Being the ever-cautious person I am, I am hesitant to accept that this drink is as healthy as it is said to be.  People must exercise caution when consuming high doses of caffeine whether it is found in Red Bull or Club-Mate and addiction to any substance can have harmful side effects.  However, Club-Mate and its acclamations are very impressive making this drink a healthier alternative to Red Bull.

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