What Killed This Man, Many Of Us Drink Every Day
Energy drinks are surely one of the most popular beverages in the world, sold more than millions of bottles each year. They are easy to get hands on, are surely very popular, taste good – and hold tons of secrets that we don’t know!
The beginning of energy drinks
Energy drinks were first produced in Japan, with a purpose to enhance sports performance and to give the Asian businessman a little energy kick to be at the peak of their career games. They were immediately hit, and Europe got the license for further produce of the beverage and so started Red Bull, firstly produced in Austria in the middle 1980’s.
Red Bull was introduced to the USA market in 1997, a good ten years after the produce in Austria (1). The USA is now a leading consumer of the energy drinks, and not just for businessman and the athletes but almost to every American, young to old age. Approximately 1,5 billion cans were sold in 2004, this ‘highlights the enormity of the industry’.
In 2015 energy drink sales in US convenience stores had a whopping 8.5% unit increase in a 52-week investigation. The fact that the energy drinks are still very popular and are highly consummated till this day highlights only the benefits, and less paying attention to the negative sides of the drink.
What Do Energy Drinks Do To your Health?
‘The term “energy drink” refers to beverages that contain caffeine in combination with other ingredients such as taurine, guarana, and B vitamins, and that claims to provide its consumers with extra energy’, which are ingredients that may be highly dangerous to our health (2).
The Story of Dean Wharmby
The story of Dean Wharmby, a loving father and professional bodybuilder, is a scary proof of the negative effects of the consummation of energy drinks.
Dean consumed around 10,000 calories a day which was more than 4 times the recommended calorie intake for a male, but this is the number needed to keep up his shape, muscle size and mass. To convert these calories into energy and muscle, Dean would eat a mix of fast food and balanced meals including chicken, fish, and eggs.
His biggest mistake was consuming two energy drinks every hour during his workouts.
The energy drinks seemed to help at first; they would keep him focused and awake during these strenuous training sessions. But then Dean was diagnosed with cancer, which led him to abandon his bad habits and turn to natural medicine instead of chemotherapy.
When his tumor started to slowly shrink, he got back to his old habits of drinking energy drinks. He was later diagnosed with a liver cancer in which the doctors said to him that the beverages destroyed his liver and the body began to produce more cancer cells, and promoted their growth.
It was now too late to treat the cancer even to chemotherapy or alternative medicines. He passed away last year, leaving his wife and young daughter behind him.
Different energy drinks consist different levels of caffeine ranging from 50 to 505 mg per can of bottle and the caffeine concentration from 2.5 to 171mg per fluid ounce. That can be dangerous if you consume more than 1 energy drink at a short amount of time.
Studies have briefly looked at the idea of the negative sides of the caffeine, affecting the work of the cardiovascular system, and the energy drinks were banned in countries such as Denmark and Norway (3).
Caffeine was also connected to the effects of drugs similarity such as alcohol or smoking as researches show the side effects of the caffeine withdrawn may have. ‘A population-based serve revealed that 30% of a sample of 162 caffeine users fulfilled diagnostic criteria for substance dependence when applied to caffeine’(4), further proving the addictive side to energy drinks.
Symptoms of caffeine withdrawal may include intense headaches, nausea, fatigue, bad mood, difficulty concentrating etc.
Unfortunately, the USA seems to have somewhat lax views on caffeine, and its side effects as the amount of caffeine and individual labels do not need to be put on energy drinks according to the FDA. They say that ‘For healthy adults, FDA has cited 400 milligrams a day—that’s about four or five cups of coffee—as an amount not associated with dangerous, negative effects’(5).
Negative effects of Niacin
Niacin is also known as the Vitamin b3. It has been known to cause a negative side effect on the liver, causing damage and liver failure. Energy drinks often contain Niacin to boost the effects of the caffeine and an average energy drink can contain over 40mg of niacin.
Link to Hepatitis
Unfortunately, Dean Wharmby’s story was not the only real life example of a bad case of overusing the energy drinks. A shocking revelation took place when a man was hospitalized with severe symptoms that he thought were just flu-like. But once he started developing jaundice he knew something was wrong and went to the doctor for medical help.
They diagnosed the 50-yeard old man with hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver than can grow into liver disease or liver cancer. The man stated that he has consumed more than 2 cans of energy drinks to help boost his energy during his construction job that made him very exhausted over the past three weeks.
He had no traces of hepatitis in his family nor any links to hepatitis. When the doctors diagnosed him, they were profoundly interested in the relationship that energy drinks, niacin, and hepatitis has. Read the full case study here!
Although it’s not 100% clear whether the extreme consummation of the energy drinks and the cause of hepatitis is fully linked it’s worth to pay attention to, as another lady was diagnosed with hepatitis after consuming an above average amount of energy drinks per day.Her case study can be found here.
It’s certainly not needed to cause more problems and difficulties to the body, such as serious as these, just to boost up your energy levels. There are a lot of natural ways to help boost your energy, but still not matter how natural they are, overconsuming a product can lead to negative effects instead of improvement to your body.
Source: Healthy Holistic Living