Debate | Red Bull’s media dominance

Max Verstappen is sponsored by Red Bull, a popular energy drink.

The brand is prominently displayed on virtually all of the Dutch driver’s equipment, including his helmet, cap, and overall.

Red Bull is a sponsor/partner of Verstappen and, of course, his employer. The Dutchman’s driving skills are not only lucrative in terms of prize money in Formula 1, but his performances also attract a tremendous amount of sponsorship money.

Big deal? Well, there also are opponents to Red Bull’s media dominance.

“It looks like an ordinary can of soda. However, energy drinks are not as innocent, according to research from the World Health Organization.”


A high-risk group regularly consumes three or more cans of energy drinks per day. According to the RIVM, these heavy drinkers also face other issues: they are more likely to experience parental separation or abuse compared to their peers, they smoke more, and they regularly use alcohol and hard drugs.

State Secretary Blokhuis (Prevention) is concerned about the thousands of young people who are currently at risk. “It is important to prevent these young people from developing sleep problems, palpitations, or worse. In any case, energy drinks do not fit into a healthy diet.”

Healthcare professionals point out the negative consequences for the health of children and young people when they consume energy drinks. The RIVM states that doctors can pay even closer attention to symptoms indicating excessive consumption, such as heart problems, anxiety, dizziness, and liver inflammation.

To reduce problematic use among high-risk groups, Blokhuis will engage in discussions with the Nutrition Center to explore how the existing advice on energy drinks can be better communicated to young people.