Most people are aware that there are healthier alternatives to sodas, coffee, energy drinks, and other caffeinated beverages. That’s a no brainer!
What people don’t know is that these drinks are not only unhealthy, but they pose certain serious risks to consumers, especially for adolescents. For Lanna, Davis and their families, this understanding could have prevented a great tragedy.
Lanna Hamann was a 16-year-old softball star and honor student. She was an active and healthy teenager who enjoyed seemingly harmless energy drinks.
While on vacation in Mexico with some friends, Lanna spent some time walking along the shore with her energy drink. She later reported that she wasn’t feeling well, began to have trouble breathing, and finally collapsed and had a heart attack. She was rushed to the clinic, but unfortunately there was nothing they could do to help her.
Doctors found that she had been dehydrated at the time of death, which seemed strange considering that she had been consuming energy drinks all day. In fact, Lanna seemed to be known for her obsession with Red Bull energy drinks.
However, doctors say that her drink of choice was exactly the issue.
Davis Allen Cripe was also a healthy 16 year old. According to his family and doctors, he had no pre existing heart conditions, had never taken drugs or alcohol, and was the perfect picture of health. In fact, unlike Lanna, he didn’t even consume energy drinks all that often, and the day he passed away he only drank one.
However, earlier that day that same day Davis had a latte and a large mountain dew, and following the energy drink, he collapsed and had a heart attack. Davis’ doctors believe that the combination of caffeine from these three drinks is the most probable cause for his death.
Davis’ father shared not only his devastation at the death of his son, but pleads with other parents to talk to their kids about the dangers of energy drinks.
Are Energy Drinks The Enemy?
It seems that the main issue with energy drinks is that teens, and even adults, are under the impression that they are perfectly harmless, and most people are unaware of the high caffeine content in one drink alone. Just one drink can equal 4 cups of coffee, and while sodas generally contain 15 mg of caffeine, an energy drink is likely to contain 2 to 10 times that amount.
While it is widely known that energy drinks and caffeine can have a positive effect on performance and alertness, there are many negative effects that go unnoticed.
The Dangers Of Energy Drinks
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Caffeine intoxication
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Muscle twitching
- Increased obesity risk
- Increased type 2 diabetes risk
- Dental decay
- Depression (1, 2)
Choose Your Beverages Wisely
The first step to preventing a similar event from occurring due to caffeine or energy drink consumption is simply being aware of the possible dangers that these beverages can cause. The next step is to spread the word. Encourage your family and friends to avoid or at the very least limit their energy drink consumption. It could very possibly save a life.