Nick M. wants energy drinks to be banned after suffering a brain hemorrhage and three mini-strokes after consuming 25 cans of Monster and Red Bull in six hours. The U.K. man downed the energy drinks to keep him alert during a karaoke evening in a night club. But hours after the event, the 56-year-old man developed a severe headache so painful that he was rushed to the hospital where doctors diagnosed him with a brain bleed caused by caffeine overdose. During the week that followed his hospitalization, Nick suffered three mini-strokes. He now has difficulty speaking and pronouncing words.
“It felt like someone had cracked my head open with a sledgehammer. I could hear my heartbeat in my ears. I’d had that with migraines in the past, but this didn’t compare. The pain was off the scale,” he told Metro News.
Both Monster and Red Bull as well as 5-Hour Energy have been named in wrongful death lawsuits alleging the high levels of caffeine in the energy drinks is toxic and can lead to serious and even life threatening complications including heart attacks and strokes. Consumer groups such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest have called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to add safety warnings to the labels of energy drinks, but to no avail.
Meanwhile, more studies continue to point to the dangers the drinks pose, including a BMJ Case Reports study, which linked a man’s consumption of five energy drinks daily to liver inflammation.
University of Florida fellow in Gastroenterology and Hepatology Dr. Vikas Khullar warned that “anyone with liver or heart disease should consume energy drinks with caution.”
Nick agrees. “These drinks nearly killed me. I was so close to death and thought I might not make it through surgery,” he said. “They should not be sold. They are as bad as drugs and should be banned.”