Energy Drinks & Your Heart
Can Energy Drinks Kill You?
Think you need an energy drink to make it through the afternoon? After drinking one of these, you might not make it at all.
Incident reports released by the FDA show that over the past three years, five people may have died after drinking Monster Energy, reports theNew York Times. The mother of one of the alleged victims, a 14-year-old Maryland girl who died from a heart arrhythmia after reportedly drinking two Monsters, has filed a lawsuit against the energy drink company. Monster, theTimesreports, says they’re not to blame for the teen’s death.
The fact that energy drinks aren’t a healthy bet isn’t news to us (check out some of the worst offenders here.) Some contain more than five times the caffeine in a cup of coffee, and one energy drink even has the equivalent amount of caffeine that's in 13 sodas. The worst part? Energy drinks are barely regulated. Though over-the-counter stimulants with 100 mg of caffeine are required to carry a warning label, energy drinks aren’t. Nor are they required to disclose how much caffeine they contain.
Last year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released a report that found emergency room visits involving the consumption of energy drinks had increased 1,000% between 2005 and 2009. In more than half of these cases, the emergencies didn’t even involve alcohol or other drugs.
But the government is finally starting to pay attention. Last month, the New York State Attorney General launched an investigation into whether energy-drink purveyors are misleading their customers about the health and ingredients of their products, and now the FDA is looking into the cases.
If you need a boost, pour out the canned stuff and…
1. Eat something.Food is everything an energy drink wishes it was: delicious, healthy, and packed with the nutrients that keep you going. Nosh on these portable sources of protein for an instant lift.
2. Swap it for coffee or tea.Coffee is the #1 source of antioxidants for Americans and even fights diabetes, while tea helps prevents arthritis and can lower your blood pressure. Oh, and did we mention they both keep you awake?
3. Have breakfast.One of the biggest breakfast mistakes is not eating it. Breakfast skippers are nearly five times more likely to be obese than breakfast eaters, according to one study. Try one of our 13 Breakfasts for Energy to power through your day.
4. Take a nap.A quick snooze will have you feeling way more refreshed than glugging chemicals would. Check out our power napping tips here.
5. Drink some water.Did you ever think that energy drinks are so appealing because, well, you’re thirsty? Half of my patients complaining of fatigue are actually just dehydrated, says Woodson Merrell, MD, executive director of the Continuum Center for Health and Healing at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City.
Video: Energy Drinks: Why Are They Sending So Many People to the ER?
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