If you’ve scrolled through Instagram for more than three seconds this Summer, chances are you’ve seen a can of Bang Energy Drink being promoted. Fitness models, fashion influencers, lifestyle bloggers, they’re all drinking it – or at least, they’re telling us they are. In fact, the brand often goes as far to cater for influencer parties, where cans upon cans of the beverage can be seen on offer.
Now, Bang Energy is not your typical energy drink – it even says so on the packaging. Filled with creatine, BCAAs and caffeine, it’s essentially a pre-workout drink. In fact, YouTuber Tana Mongeau compared drinking it to taking MDMA tweeting ‘I’m legit chewing my cheeks in the car’. Likelihood is, the extreme amount of caffeine in the drink is to blame.
At 300mg per can, Bang Energy’s caffeine levels are dangerously high. For comparison, Red Bull has 160mg of caffeine in the same size serving but is typically sold in cans half the size so has 80mg. And that 300mg is actually a compromise, having originally packed 357mg of caffeine into each can before being lowered to 300.
‘Bang should be consumed responsibly since a person could experience a caffeine overdose if too much of this drink is consumed at once,’ warns Caffeine Informer.
Alas, the terrifyingly high caffeine content and the dangers of this drink being promoted to young audiences aren’t the primary concerns for social media users currently debating this drink. Because, there is even more sinister sentiment behind it with many convinced that a portion of the proceeds are actually funding Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.
The rumours began after a tweet went viral by Daniel Byron, who said ‘Bang Energy drinks are pro Trump and are donated to MAGA re-election. And so therefore bang energy is fucking CANCELED’. Accompanied by a screenshot from Popular information – an independent political newsletter - the website appeared to confirm this saying ‘every can of this energy drink helps Trump get re-elected’.
While there is no confirmation of this on the Bang Energy website, the CEO of Vital Pharmaceuticals, Jack Owoc, which manufacture Bang Energy, is a known Trump supporter. In fact, in March this year his company donated $250,000 to a pro-Trump super PAC – which raises unlimited funds of money for political campaigns.
According to Snopes, a fact-checking site, it cannot be confirmed that a portion of the proceeds from each can of Bang Energy does go to Trump’s re-election campaign however they confirm that Vital Pharmaceuticals is helping fun it. So essentially, by helping VP profit in buying Bang Energy you are likely helping fund a donation.
But are the influencers aware of this? That’s less likely. Given how popular this brand is and how heavily they sponsor content in an online space where it is increasingly harder to make money without brand-sponsorship, it seems likely that influencers are jumping to promote the drink without doing due diligence. Especially since there aren’t any caffeine warnings on most of their posts, which to be honest, is just as worrying.