In case you needed another reason to nix the energy drinks, the Food and Drug Administration says that five recent deaths may be linked to Monster Energy Drinks.
We know that mixing energy drinks and booze is bad news for your health, but even without the boozy help, those cans of energy drink are still pretty unhealthy. They’re loaded with unhealthy additives like:
- Sugars. Even energy drinks that taste terrible are loaded with as much sugar as a soda, if not more. Often, the sweetener is high fructose corn syrup.
- Artificial sweeteners. Diet or lower-calorie energy drinks tend to use sweeteners like aspartame.
- Artificial flavors and colors. Most energy drinks on store shelves are not made from real juice, so they need chemical flavorings and colorings to make them look and taste more appealing.
- Stimulants. This is where the immediate health concerns come in. Energy drinks contain caffeine along with a cocktail of other stimulants, like ginseng and taurine. In moderation and on their own, these ingredients aren’t necessarily unhealthy. It’s all about the amounts, and energy drinks contain high doses of stimulants.
On top of the FDA investigation, one family is suing Monster because their 14-year-old daughter died after drinking two cans of their product in a 24-hour period. Monster is doubling down, saying that its product is totally safe and that these charges are all false.
According to Food Safety News:
The lawsuit, filed in California Superior Court in Riverside, said that after drinking two 24-ounce cans of Monster Energy on consecutive days Fournier went into cardiac arrest. She died days later on December 23, 2011 from what the lawsuit said was “cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity” that complicated a heart disorder she already had.
On Monday, FDA spokeswoman Shelly Burgess said the agency had received reports of five deaths and one heart attack that may be associated with the Monster Energy drink from 2009 through June this year.
Is drinking a Monster energy drink going to kill you? Probably not, but until the FDA investigation is through, it might be a good idea to get your energy boost elsewhere. On the next page, check out a list of five natural ways to amp up your energy without energy drinks.
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Marcus Q.