Category Archives: 5-Hour Energy

Energy drinks … the news gets worse

Energy DrinksEnergy drinks have consistently been in the news over the past few years. They’re dangerous. And most aren’t regulated the way they should be because they’ve managed to fall into the “special” category of nutritional supplements. That categorization has helped manufacturers avoid conforming to the maximum caffeine content allowed in sodas and other beverages (71 mg. per 12 ou.). Energy drinks contain other stimulants in addition to caffeine. Ingredients like guarana seed extract and taurine are common in energy drinks and have stimulant properties. Emergency room visits that are linked to energy drinks are rampant. Deaths have been linked to the drinks, but no direct cause and effect has ever been established. What’s worse is that kids (especially teens) are consuming too many energy drinks far too often.

While we hate to be the bearer of more bad news on the subject, the report that follows deserves your attention.

A grieving Arizona mother is claiming that energy drinks were a major factor in the shocking death of her 16-year-old daughter.

Lanna Hamann was on vacation in Rocky Point, Mexico when her mother, Kris Hamann, received a call saying her daughter had died from a heart attack. Lanna was travelling with friends, who told Kris that the teen had been drinking energy drinks all day, rather than keeping hydrated with water.

On Saturday June 14, Lanna complained to the father of one of her friends that she was not feeling well, after a day drinking the energy drinks at the beach. Soon after, she suffered a heart attack and died.

In a tearful interview, Kris described the star softball athlete as having a “beautiful smile” and an “outgoing personality.”

“Obviously, this is something that could have happened anywhere, whether she was in Mexico or whether she was here in Arizona playing softball,” Kris said. “(Parents should) make sure they’re watching their kids. (Watch) what they’re drinking and (make sure) they’re drinking water instead of an energy drink.”

Consuming large quantities of energy drinks can become dangerous.

“Blood pressure is going to rise. Heart rate is going to rise. Your muscles are going to start to contract,” said registered dietitian Abby Nevins. “So if you’re taking a bunch of 5 hour energies throughout the day, not hydrating with water, there is going to be a problem at the end of the day for sure.”

Nevins recommended a cup of coffee for consumers looking for that extra buzz, because coffee has more natural ingredients.

In the past few years, the Food and Drug Administration has received five different reports of people whose deaths have been at least partially blamed on energy drinks.

10 common side effects of excessive energy drink consumption, including heart palpitations, chest pain and respiratory distress. Studies have also found links between energy drink consumption and arrhythmia and high blood pressure. One recent study showed serious increases in heart contraction rates within an hour of drinking an energy beverage.

FoodFacts.com wants to express our deep sadness regarding this tragic situation. In addition, we want to caution those whose immediate reaction might be that consuming energy drinks without hydrating wasn’t intelligent on the part of a 16-year-old girl. There are plenty of less-than-intelligent decisions people of all ages make every day of the week. Most don’t result in a heart attack. The problem lies less with the teenager than with readily available, unregulated products that pose an extreme danger to our kids.

Whether or not they let us know it, kids actually do listen to adults. While none of us wanted another item to add to the already long list of things about which we need to caution our teens, we certainly have it. Talk to them about energy drinks and E.R. visits and deaths. Their lives are far too important to put in danger for a currently cool, quick pick-me-up. They really can live without it.

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/06/energy_drinks_blamed_in_16-year-old_girls_death_by_heart_attack.html

First it was Monster Energy and now it’s 5 -Hour Energy. 13 deaths in four years …

Last month, FoodFacts.com shared information with our community regarding Monster Energy Drinks and their dangers. Today, we’re bringing you expanded information on the dangers of energy drinks.

Over the last four years, 13 deaths have been reported that implicate 5-Hour Energy drink as a cause of death. Keep in mind that energy drinks are regulated differently than other caffeinated beverages and that these reports seem to be coming to light more and more often.

It appears that in the last three years, this particular brand (5-Hour Energy) has been cited in at least 90 filings with the F.D.A. More than 30 of those citings involved serious and/or life-threatening injuries. These would include heart attacks, convulsions and a spontaneous abortion. Of course, the report filed with the F.D.A. doesn’t mean that the product was actually responsible for death or injury or in any way contributed to it. But the product was consumed by the people who died or were injured. And that commonality seems to be growing.

Living Essentials, the distributor of 5-Hour Energy made a statement that their product was safe when used as directed and said that it was unaware of any deaths PROVEN to be caused by consuming their product.

Energy drink manufacturers are coming up against heavy criticisms regarding health risks and how they are labeling their products. Because they can fall into the cloudy category of dietary supplements, they are not required to fully disclose their caffeine content. Many lawmakers are asking the F.D.A. to get tougher on their regulations of these products.
5-Hour Energy doesn’t look like most other energy drinks on the market. It’s a small bottle and refers to itself as a “shot”. So consumers are under the impressions that they are getting a smaller amount of an “energy drink”. Consumer Reports recently reported the caffeine content of 5-Hour Energy at around about 215 milligrams. That’s about twice the amount of caffeine as is contained in an 8-ounce cup of coffee. Since it’s about twice as small, some folks might not realize it.

The problems that the F.D.A. faces have to do with how manufacturers classify their products. Some energy drinks, like Red Bull, are classified as beverages. They are governed under different rules than those marketed as dietary supplements. Sort of shorthand for “they can get away with not reporting what they actually contain” if they are classified as dietary supplements.

Daniel Fabricant is the director of the F.D.A’s division of dietary supplement programs. He’s made a statement that the agency is looking into the death reports that have cited 5-Hour Energy. While he says that medical information can, in fact, rule out a link between the deaths and 5-Hour Energy products, he’s also stating that reports may contain insufficient information to implicate the product in the fatalities.

FoodFacts.com has always remained wary of the benefits of energy drinks, most especially because of their appeal to teenagers. Recommended intake of caffeine is very different for young people than adults and we know that the appeal of energy drinks is largely with the younger population. We have a lot we need to say NO to as parents and as other adults who care for young people. Let’s make sure we add energy drinks to that list. Educate your own children and others that you care about regarding the dangers inherent to these controversial products.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/15/business/5-hour-energy-is-cited-in-13-death-reports.html