Caffeine Overdose Deaths? 5 Hour Energy Drinks Scrutinized
A few weeks ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released the news that the coffee usurper 5 Hour Energy drink may indeed have been involved in 13 deaths over the past four years. The growing concern coincides with the increased reports from hospitals documenting different kinds of heart-related treatment issues, like arrhythmias, convulsions, and even heart attacks. 5 Hour Energy is not the first energy drink to breach the wrong kind of headlines. Monster energy drinks have been known to cause similar issues in the people that drink their products. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported last year that in 2009 there were 13,000 emergency room visits attributed to energy drink “caffeine overdose” or excessive consumption leading to adverse affects.
FDA Energy Drink Reports
In response to the FDA reports, 5 Hour Energy’s CEO Manoj Bhargava has denied that his company or product has caused any consumer death, citing money as the primary motivator for the allegations. On the other hand, an FDA spokesperson claims that 5 Hour Energy has been included in 90 FDA filings since 2009. Whatever the truth is, it is not debatable that these drinks include a highly concentrated amount of stimulants. Apparently highly caffeinated energy drinks like 5 Hour Energy, Monster, Rockstar and Red Bull are not required by the F.D.A. to list amount of caffeine on their products. Reports vary from comparing the caffeine in 5 Hour Energy with a 12 oz cup of coffee, to three or four times that amount of actual caffeine. We all know caffeine is an addictive drug and can have detrimental affects on heart health after excessive and prolonged consumption.
More consumer awareness needs to be raised to some of the consequences of energy drink consumption. Along with the adverse cardiovascular health problems, an addiction to Monster, 5 Hour Energy, Red Bull, and Rockstar energy drinks can cause other problems. People with preexisting issues with gastrointestinal problems, anxiety, panic attacks, liver and kidney problems, and younger people who need to maintain healthy sleep patterns for development can be at risk. Close attention should be paid to new reports of the possible dangers these drinks pose, since they can be bought almost anywhere and by anyone. Although it is reportedly and generally well-accepted that a person most likely will not overdose in the conventional sense like a narcotic overdose, these drinks can cause other traumatic health events just as deadly and fatal—a caffeine overdose in the unconventional sense.