Many people turn to beverages like Red Bull and Monster for a boost of energy to get through the day. But are energy drinks safe or could drinks like this be making you sick? A case study published in the British Medical Journal linked drinking too many energy drinks to hepatitis, a deadly serious inflammation of the liver. (Here’s what happens to your body when you drink an energy drink.)
The Latest Case Study
The most recent story in the British Medical Journal was about a 50-year-old construction worker, who drank four or five energy drinks every day for three weeks. He experienced intense stomach pain and nausea, and thought he had come down with the flu. He eventually went to the emergency room because he had jaundice, and the doctors discovered the construction worker had hepatitis. He stopped drinking energy drinks, and the symptoms disappeared.
But It’s Not the Only Case
In 2011, a 22-year-old woman was diagnosed with acute hepatitis according to a case study in the Journal of Medical Case Reports. She exhibited many of the same symptoms as the construction worker, including jaundice (yellow skin) and an inflamed liver. It turns out the otherwise healthy patient had been drinking 10 cans of energy drinks every day for two weeks prior.
Are the Drinks to Blame?
In the past, energy drinks have been linked to deaths and have reportedly had similar effects to cocaine. In this case, doctors reported that high levels of vitamin B3 are what caused the liver damage, not the caffeine or other ingredients in the energy drinks.
The construction worker was consuming approximately 200 percent of his daily recommended dose of B3, which is known to “cause liver toxicity,” according to the study.
The reports show that over-consuming B3 might be the cause of their sicknesses, but drinking that many energy drinks every day probably isn’t the best call regardless. To help you stay focused, brew a cup of bulletproof coffee, eat eggs for breakfast and drink more of this cure-all beverage.