Energy drinks have become incredibly popular with the younger generation as an easy way to get a quick boost. But new studies are proving what grieving parents like those of 14-year-old Anais Fournier already know. Energy drink risks far outweigh any potential benefits.
Instant gratification has become a staple in today’s society. Everyone, it seems, is looking for a quick fix. And energy drinks promise just that — a quick energy boost. Quick, yes. But safe? More and more studies, along with heartbreaking tragedies, are suggesting the answer is no.
It’s no surprise our youth would find a product promising increased energy and focus appealing. Teens and young adults often turn to energy drinks as a way to boost athletic performance, increase concentration, or stay awake to study or even party. But many ignore or don’t realize the serious energy drink risks associated with this “quick fix.”
It’s the perfect recipe for disaster. And that’s why the families losing loved ones to energy-drink-related tragedies want to warn others.
Grieving Family Faults Energy Drinks For Tragedy
One parent speaking out against energy drinks is Wendy Crossland of Hagerstown, Maryland. In 2012, her 14-year-old daughter, Anais Fournier, went into cardiac arrest after drinking two large cans of Monster.
Anais was hanging out with friends and drank two 24-ounce cans of Monster during the day. The family’s lawyer pointed out those two cans of Monster were the equivalent of fourteen 12-ounce cans of Coca-Cola. The next day, the young girl went into cardiac arrest and doctors placed her in a medically induced coma to keep her brain from swelling.
“We stayed up all night,” her mother, Wendy, recalled. “I laid in bed next to her all night long… We talked to her and stayed with her.”
Six days later, 14-year-old Anais died. Doctors ruled her official cause of death as cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity.
“She never ever regained consciousness and we never got to say goodbye,” Anais’ heartbroken mother said.
Credit: Juicing For Health (left)/ LA Weekly (right)
Since Anais had an underlying condition called mitral valve prolapse, which causes one of the heart’s valves to malfunction, Monster vehemently denied the two cans of Monster Energy alone caused her death. But the common heart condition that affects up to 1 in 20 Americans, usually with no issues. Anais’ doctors felt the condition posed little health risk to the teen.
Kids Gravitate Toward Energy Drinks, Despite Health Risks
Anais’ death is certainly not the only one with an energy drink link. In 2014, a healthy and active 16-year-old, Lanna Hamann, died suddenly of a heart attack. It turns out she’d been drinking energy drinks all day.
16-year-old Davis Cripe only drank one energy drink, but also consumed several other highly caffeinated beverages in a short period of time. With no history of heart problems, he too collapsed and died soon after (read more about Lanna and Davis here).