Can I Overdose?

Strange but true – energy drinks can kill

Full ThrottleIt may sound a little odd, and perhaps even laugh-out-loud ridiculous, but people have been known to overdose on energy drinks. We’ve all read the stories in the news of ravers and daredevils turning kamikaze and drinking in excess instead of moderation. In cases like this, we often assume that the victim kind of got what they deserved.

Energy drink enthusiasts tend to live their lives on the edge by flirting with danger by nature. The energy drink industry specifically markets its products to extreme sports enthusiasts and others who like to get as much out of life as possible. So let’s be real: a lot of these folks don’t believe in moderation and may drink more energy drinks than they should. However, overdose from an energy drink has occurred under more innocent circumstances as well.

Accidental overdoses from energy drinks typically occur when the user assumes that if a product is marketed as healthy or good for you, more is obviously better. A lot of people believe you can never get enough of a good thing, and before you know it they’re sucking back energy drinks like water. Doctors see a lot of this in patients who get turned onto a certain herbal treatment.

For instance, if a person drinks too much ginseng, a common ingredient of energy drinks, they can experience painful cramps, headache and diarrhea. If the person happens to be diabetic, a beneficial herb like ginseng can suddenly have dangerous consequences. Ginseng is virtually harmless when taken in small amounts by a healthy person; however, too much ginseng can result in plummeting blood sugar levels – a dangerous situation for any diabetic.

To avoid overdosing on energy drinks you must respect the fact that some of the ingredients they contain can be dangerous when consumed in large amounts. I’m not talking one energy drink a day; I’m talking 3 or more. It’s easy for people to forget that certain dangers can occur if you indulge too much over a short period of time. Even though we typically read only about the guy who overdosed after 10 energy drink cocktails at a rave, an overdose can be as innocent as a student trying to stay up all night to study with the help of 4 energy drinks.

Many of the substances that put the kick into your energy drink may actually have long-term effects on your system as they build up inside of your body over time. The main culprit here is caffeine, which can lead to serious health problems if you’re not careful. Most people would never drink 80 cups of coffee (that’s about as much as it would take to kill you); however, many of these same people forget that energy drinks have 3 times as much caffeine as one cup of coffee.

So, if a person should drink 3 energy drinks (the equivalent of about 9 cups of java), they won’t die, but they’ll likely want to from the killer stomach ache it causes. If an average healthy person drinks 3 energy drinks, they’re likely doing serious damage to their stomach lining. This is why it’s important to read the nutritional labels on your drinks.

Scientific studies have shown that too much caffeine can lead to osteoporosis, insomnia, high blood pressure, infertility, ulcers and heart disease. It can also result in fertility problems, including a higher chance of miscarriage. If you’re drinking more than the equivalent of 5 cups of caffeinated beverages a day, there’s a good chance it will wreak havoc on your stomach and make you gain weight. For more on the side effects associated with energy drink gluttony, please read the article Harmful Side Effects.


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