Energy drinks, such as Monster Energy drinks, Red Bulls and Rockstar Energy Drinks, are common beverages of choice for people in San Diego, and elsewhere. Not only do people enjoy the taste of these sweet, sugar-filled beverages, they also enjoy the jolt of energy that they provide. Recent news reports and studies, however, have shown that these beverages may actually be hazardous to people’s health and could potentially cause death. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, there have been 34 deaths linked to the consumption of energy drinks since 2004. These wrongful deaths are, in large part, believed to be due to the significant amounts of caffeine that are found in these types of drinks.
Many people are ignorant as to how caffeine can impact the body. Caffeine acts as a central nervous system stimulant. As such, it can have a number of effects on the body. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, some of the most common effects include the following:
- Making people feel shaky or jittery
- Increasing people’s heart rate or causing an uneven heart rhythm
- Raising people’s blood pressure
- Causing dehydration
- Making it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep
As a stimulant, caffeine can make people feel more awake or alert. That feeling of alertness can come with a price, however, when people also experience these other effects on their bodies.
Ingesting caffeine, especially in excess, can have potentially hazardous consequences. In some cases, consuming caffeine, such as in energy drinks, can cause people’s hearts to work too hard, according to the FDA. This could result in an accidental death due to a cardiac event, such as an arrhythmia or cardiac arrest. Additionally, caffeine can stay in people’s systems for between four and six hours. This means that it may still be present long after the initial effects have worn off. As a result, people may consume additional energy drinks, which could cause caffeine toxicity or caffeine overdoses.
The manufacturers of many energy drinks continue to tout them as safe for consumption. While no one is forced to drink such beverages, failing to properly inform the public about their dangers can make them all the more hazardous. People who have lost a loved one due to their consumption of energy drinks may benefit from consulting with an attorney to discuss their options for taking legal action.