The family of a Brooklyn father, 33-year-old Cory Terry, has filed an $85 million wrongful death lawsuit against Red Bull.
Terry died of a heart attack during a basketball game after drinking a can of the energy drink. The New York Daily News reports it’s the first wrongful death suit filed against Red Bull, the world’s largest energy drink maker.
Terry drank Red Bull on a regular basis but his heart stopped after he drank a can while casually shooting hoops two years ago.
Cory Terry’s grandmother said Terry was a healthy, active nonsmoker, but drank Red Bull constantly. “He drank that stuff all the time.”
“He said it perked him up,” she recalled. On the evening of his death, Terry was shooting baskets for about 45 minutes, finished off a can of Red Bull, became lightheaded and collapsed.
The complaint indicates nine fatalities worldwide have been linked to Red Bull and cites scientific studies linking Red Bull to potential health hazards, especially for adolescents and people who exercise.
Between 2004 and 2012, the FDA received 21 reports from doctors or hospitals connecting Red Bull with a long list of symptoms, including fatigue, dizziness, chest pain and more.
According to government data, emergency room visits caused by energy drinks more than doubled in the past five years.
Terry’s attorney commented that even in light of these findings, and Terry’s death, the FDA has not ordered warning labels and urged the agency to take a closer look at energy drinks.
If you still are not convinced that energy drinks pose a risk to your health, we’ve listed 10 reasons to help change your mind.
10 Reasons To Avoid Energy Drinks
While levels may only range from 80 mg to 215 mg per can, energy drinks contain caffeine which is a diuretic and can contribute to dehydration — especially if you’re working out.
Nine fatalities worldwide have been linked to Red Bull alone along with other potential health hazards, especially for adolescents and people who exercise. Between 2004 and 2012, the FDA received 21 reports from doctors or hospitals connecting Red Bull with a long list of symptoms, including fatigue, dizziness, chest pain and more.
3) Sudden Burst of Caffeine
According to CBS contributor David Agus, drinking a cup of coffee is a slow process of caffeine ingestion, whereas many energy drinks are a “shot” that delivers the caffeine all at once.
4) Raise Blood Pressure
An herbal extract derived from the yohimbe tree is found in many different energy drinks which can result in increased blood pressure, stroke, kidney, heart failure, nausea and sleep deprivation.
5) Cardiac Arrhythmia
When drinking coffee during the day you’re getting a gradual rise in caffeine as well as eliminating some. But with energy drinks you’re pumping over two-thirds of that amount all at once, which can cause heart palpitations leading to a stroke.
6) Vitamins You Don’t Need and May Not Want
Dr. Oz claims there are very high levels of B vitamins in some energy drinks that could be harming you. For example, an adult needs only 15 mg of niacin per day – and few people are deficient.
“One bottle of 5-Hour Energy has twice that amount, which is just shy of the upper tolerable intake level for niacin, above which you can get flushing of the skin, which can be annoying and even painful.
“If you drink more than two bottles in a day, you are also exceeding safe levels for folic acid and vitamin B6, raising your risk of various types of toxicity to your body. We have also found that the amounts of vitamins in these products don’t always match what’s on the label.”
The caffeine in energy drinks can cause insomnia which leads to impaired judgment if you’re driving or engaged in tasks that require intense concentration.
8) Type 2 Diabetes
Because many energy drinks are also very high in sugar, the added sugar content can contribute type 2 diabetes.
9) Dangerous When Combined With Alcohol
Brown University points out that since energy drinks are stimulants and alcohol is a depressant, the combination of effects may be dangerous. The stimulant effects can mask how intoxicated you are.
“Fatigue is one of the ways the body normally tells someone that they’ve had enough to drink. Research has found that people drink more and have higher BACs when they combine alcohol and caffeine.”
The New York Times notes researchers warned that with energy drinks certain susceptible people risk dangerous, even life-threatening, effects on blood pressure, heart rate and brain function.
The authors noted that “four documented cases of caffeine-associated death have been reported, as well as five separate cases of seizures associated with consumption of energy/power drinks.”
“Additional reports include an otherwise healthy 28-year-old man who suffered a cardiac arrest after a day of motocross racing; a healthy 18-year-old man who died playing basketball after drinking two cans of Red Bull; and four cases of mania experienced by individuals known to have bipolar disorder.”