Krating Daeng was introduced in Thailand in 1975 as a way to keep the laborers in the country rejuvenated.
It became an instant hit after being introduced to the public, gradually becoming the no. 1 energy drink in Thailand.
But it didn’t just stop there.
Krating Daeng went on the become the inspiration for the soon-to-be-born Red Bull, which is currently the most popular energy drink in the world.
In this review, I will be taking a look at what the original Red Bull has to offer and will be giving my honest opinions about the good, the bad, and the great of this energy drink.
If you’re asking me, I rate it a good 6.5 out of 10. If you want to learn more about it, read on.
So without further ado, let’s get into it…
Krating Daeng: Quick Overview
Before I get started, I thought it’d be good to give you guys a brief overview of what Krating Daeng has to offer:
Krating Daeng comes in 250ml or 8.4 fl.oz non-carbonated bottles, with 50mg of caffeine, 42 grams of sugar, and 160 calories in each serving.
It has a bunch of B-Vitamins in its blend, like the vitamins B3, B5, B6, and B12.
Other notable ingredients are Taurine, Inositol, and D-glucuronolactone.
Krating Daeng also comes in a 5 fl.oz version, but for this article, we will be considering the 8.4 fl.oz one.
We’ll get to the ingredients a bit later, but for now, it’s time for a short story.
Krating Daeng And Red Bull: Which is Which?
Krating Daeng translates to “Red Gaur” or “Red Bull”.
It is the namesake for the ultra-popular energy drink Red Bull.
The two brands even share the same logo, which has two bulls facing each other in front of a rising sun.
The founder of this legendary brand, Chaleo Yoovidhya formulated this drink after seeing that the laborers were in need of some extra reserves of energy.
When Deitrich Mateschitz first came to Thailand and tried Krating Daeng, he was surprised to find that his jet lag was gone. After that, he sought out the owner of this brand, Chaleo, and made a proposal.
As a result of their agreement, the two businessmen collaborated and introduced the formula to the world with the name Red Bull.
Red Bull became a global success and by the time he died, Chaleo had made a multibillion-dollar fortune.
But that’s enough of a history lesson. You’re probably more interested in what Krating Daeng does and how well it does it.
So how about we first take a look at the ingredients of Krating Daeng?
What ingredients are in Krating Daeng?
An 8.4 fluid ounce bottle of Krating Daeng has the following main ingredients:
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Sucrose (sugar)
It also contains the following in small quantities:
- Citric Acid
- Choline Bitartrate
- Sodium benzoate (preservative)
- Artificial flavors and colors
Now that we have listed all of the ingredients, it is time to go into their amounts and compare them to their daily recommended values.
Krating Daeng Nutritional Information:
Krating Daeng has the following nutrients and macronutrients in its blend:
Of which sugar
|Energy||160 kcal||2000 kcal|
*Based on a 2000 calorie diet.
The exact amounts of the vitamins in Krating Daeng haven’t been disclosed and only their percentages are available. They are:
|Vitamins||% of the daily requirement|
Krating Daeng is quite rich in B-vitamins and fulfills the requirements for 3 of them. For other vitamins, however, you will have to use multivitamins.
Caffeine In Krating Daeng
Krating Daeng has a modest caffeine content of 50mg.
This may seem small on paper, but keep in mind that it has other ingredients like Taurine and Sucrose which work in conjunction with caffeine to give a sizeable boost.
Though this boost won’t last you the day and will run out in 3-4 hours, it is still good enough to help you power through your current task.
Another thing to note is that Krating Daeng is a 45-year-old energy drink, and such amounts of caffeine were considered the standard at the time.
What I really like about Krating Daeng is that you can’t overdose on caffeine by drinking it, as the limit for caffeine consumption is 400mg for adults.
Caffeine is a strong stimulant, and in moderate amounts, like the 50mg in Krating Daeng has pretty useful effects on our bodies.
Caffeine helps improve the following:
- Focus or concentraion
- Physical performance
- Cognitive ability
- Long-term memory.
It also has been shown to reduce the chances of the following diseases:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Skin Cancer
But lower caffeine content doesn’t mean that it is fine to drink several can a day.
Contrary to the caffeine in it, Krating Daeng contains a ton of calories and sugar, both of which may be dangerous in large doses.
Krating Daeng Calorie Content
Krating Daeng has a considerable number of calories per serving, which is 160 kcal.
This is a worrisome number for people who are aiming to get leaner or are just trying to stay fit.
Calories are essential for us to function properly. They are the fuel that our bodies burn to produce energy.
But most of us already have a diet that either abides by the 2000 calorie limit* set by the FDA or just exceeds it.
This is just a general amount that is considered safe, actual calorific requirements may vary due to gender, age, and level of activity done in a day.
If we add 160 calories per energy drink to such a diet then it’s just a recipe for disaster, because many people don’t limit themselves to just one can a day.
Overeating, or overdrinking in this case, is not a problem if done every so often. It is only when it becomes a constant in someone’s life do things start getting dangerous
Overconsumption of calories over long periods can have these adverse effects on the human body:
- Weight gain which may cause obesity
- Problem with hunger regulation
- Cause bloating
- May cause excessive gas
- Could impair brain function
- Increased risk of many diseases
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not telling you to avoid drinking Krating Daeng. I’m just warning you about the potential dangers of being careless with your diet.
It is a great energy drink if you’re being smart with it.
So if you drink a can of Krating Daeng as day – do limit yourself to one can – then you should adjust your diet to make room for the 160 calories.
Krating Daeng’s Sugar Contents
A single bottle of Krating Daeng has a total sugar content of 42 grams.
I don’t think I even need to explain just how big of a number that is. It exceeds the daily recommended amounts of sugar for both men and women.
The recommended daily sugar intake set by the AHA is 24 grams and 36 grams for women and men respectively.
The FDA, however, says that it is safe to consume at most 50 grams of added sugar in a day. But this is for healthy adults and may not apply to everyone.
The thing is, you can drink a bottle of Krating Daeng a day but you will have to greatly cut down o your sugar intake for the day.
Not to mention you are probably going to experience a great sugar crash after the boost runs out.
If you’re someone with high blood sugar levels or are trying to lose weight then you may find the sugar-free version of Krating Daeng to be a much better option.
Taurine in Krating Daeng
Krating Daeng has 1000mg Taurine in it.
Taurine is an amino acid that is found naturally in our bodies, especially in areas like the brain, heart, retina, and platelets. It is generally safe to consume as well.
It has many important functions in the human body and is involved in many metabolical processes. Taurine is also thought to be an antioxidant.
The body is capable of producing Taurine by itself, but some people may not be able to produce sufficient quantities, and they have to rely on supplements for it.
That’s where Krating Daeng and other energy drinks come in. By adding Taurine into their blends, they can offer many health benefits.
Some of the benefits of Taurine are:
- May help prevent diabetes and improve blood sugar levels
- Helps keep cardiovascular disease at bay.
- Increase physical performance
Another great thing about Krating Daeng is that the taurine in it is derived from the lab instead of taking it from animals and fish, meaning that the drink is vegan-friendly.
Inositol In Krating Daeng
Inositol is a carbohydrate that is found in our bodies as well as gained from outside sources like Krating Daeng.
It has a chemical structure that is similar to Glucose and it plays a part in many core processes of the body.
Inositol, like Taurine, is safe even in high doses and mostly shows no side effects.
Some of the well-researched health benefits of Inositol are:
- May help reduce depression
- Improves Insulin sensitivity which in turn helps with blood sugar control
- Helps control anxiety
- Beneficial to women with PCOS
Is Krating Daeng stronger than Red Bull?
In short: No, it isn’t.
The reason for this is that the Austrian Red Bull has slightly higher caffeine levels as compared to Krating Daeng.
Krating Daeng has 50mg of caffeine per serving while Red Bull has more than that at 80mg of caffeine.
Apart from that, the two are somewhat similar to each other. They have almost the same ingredients which makes a lot of sense, as Red Bull was inspired by the former.
So the extra 30mg of caffeine gives Red Bull the edge over its predecessor and makes it the stronger drink of the two.
Krating Daeng may have less caffeine but it does have more sugar and calories than Red Bull. So keep that in mind when choosing between the two.
Is Krating Daeng bad for you?
Although it has a lot of sugar and calories, there’s nothing else to worry about when it comes to Krating Daeng.
So no, Krating Daeng if drunk in reasonable amounts will not have any adverse effects on your body. Though you will have to cut down on sugar for the day.
It may even be good for you, and that’s because it has a bunch of vitamins and other useful ingredients, plus the caffeine will give you a nice boost.
But the risk kind of outweighs the rewards in this case. There’s another problem that comes with large quantities of sugar:
The sugar crash. Sugar may give you a quick rush of energy but after it runs out you’ll be left depleted.
And if you don’t want to cut down on sugar, you can always just drink the sugar-free version of Krating Daeng.
How many Krating Daeng can I drink in a day?
You mustn’t drink more than a single can of Krating Daeng in a day.
Any more than that and you will risk overdosing on sugar and calories, which will have many adverse effects on your body.
I wouldn’t recommend drinking this daily either. It’s just too risky. It’s better if you drink one can every two to three days.
But the thing is, some people may find that one serving of Krating Daeng won’t be enough to give them a sufficient boost. This is because some people have higher resistance to caffeine and may require higher doses to stay alert.
What does Krating Daeng taste like?
I’ve heard some people say that Krating Daeng tastes like Red Bull. I don’t think that they realize that it’s the other way around.
Red Bull tastes a lot like Krating Daeng.
There are some differences of course. For example, Krating Daeng is non-carbonated while Red Bull is carbonated.
Another difference is that Krating Daeng is a lot sweeter than Red Bull and has a more intense taste, while Red Bull tastes ever so slightly watered-down to some people.
I personally find super sweet drinks not that preferable, but that’s just me. You may even love the sweetness.
Krating Daeng’s Flavors
For better or for worse, Krating Daeng doesn’t really have any other flavors apart from these two versions:
- Krating Daeng Original
- Krating Daeng Sugar-free
So if you’re looking for something with less sugar, there’s an option for you.
Where can I buy Krating Daeng?
Krating Daeng is mostly sold in Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, and of course Thailand.
But you’re not gonna have much luck finding it in a Western country. One reason for that is Red Bull (the Austrian one) dominates there.
Your only option then is to buy it online from Amazon or some other website.
There is a problem when importing it or buying it from an online seller though:
Krating Daeng is sold in Thailand at a price that is equivalent to 20-30 cents in US dollars, but some online sellers are charging close to $5 for it. But you may be able to find it for a price close to normal energy drinks.
So in the end it comes down to whether you are willing to pay several times the actual price for it.
Though if you ever find yourself in Asia, you must definitely check out Krating Daeng. Maybe even buy a crate or two to take back home.
Krating Daeng: Alternatives
Since sugar was the biggest problem with Krating Daeng, here are some sugar-free alternatives for it:
I would give Krating Daeng a 6.5 out of 10.
Let me explain why:
Krating Daeng as an energy drink has quite a few quirks.
It has moderate amounts of caffeine in it but has ridiculously large quantities of sugar. The calories are a lot too. but it’s the sugar that concerns me.
The taste is good, and it is also very rich in B-vitamins, taurine, and inositol, but it’s hard to find outside of Asia.
Even the safe amount of caffeine may be a turnoff for people looking for highly caffeinated drinks.
It seems that for every upside there’s a downside of equal magnitude. It is for these reasons that I couldn’t give Krating Daeng a higher rating than this.
But hey, 6.5 isn’t a bad score in the slightest. It just means that although it is quite good, it has a few issues that can’t be overlooked.