Energy Drink Induced Deaths and Illnesses?

The FDA recently reported deaths and illnesses linked to consumption of some popular energy drinks. So far they have linked 40 illnesses and five deaths to Monster Energy, 13 illnesses and two dissabilities to Rockstar Energy, and 92 illnesses and 13 deaths to 5-Hour Energy shots. 

The FDA traced these effects back to adverse-event reports (AERs) that patients, families, or doctors filed about the products. The product manufacturers who market their drinks as nutritional supplements must collect these reports and submit them to the FDA.  

In response to these AERs, 5-Hour Enery manufacturer, Living Essentials, stated that the company "takes reports of any potential adverse event tied to our products very seriously." They continue to ensure their product is safe, however, when used as directed. 

Also reporting on the adverse effects related to these energy drinks, WebMD provides the caffeine content packed into the products. 

(For your reference: the average cup of coffee contains about 100 milligrams of caffeine.)

  • 1 serving of 5-Hour Energy contains 215 milligrams of caffeine
  • 1 serving of 5-Hour Energy Extra Strength contains 242 milligrams of caffeine
  • 1 serving of Monster Energy contains 92 milligrams of caffeine
  • 1 serving of Rockstar Energy Double Strength contains 80 milligrams of caffeine
  • 1 serving of Rockstar Energy Shot contains 229 milligrams of caffeine

WebMD relates high doses of caffeine to restlesness, insomnia, tremors, seizures, and unstable heart rhythm. Consumer Reports suggest that healthy adults should have no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day.