Back in 2015, a teenager named Dustin Hood drank 3 and a half cans of Monster Energy drinks within 24 hours.
These supersized cans held 680ml each, meaning he drank in total over two litres of high caffeine fizzy drink. The total caffeine content is the same as drinking 14 regular cans of Coca Cola or 7 cups of coffee in 24 hours. For an adolescent teen like Hood, it’s not recommended to exceed more than 100 mg of caffeine a day yet he drank over 700mg in a day.
After consuming the Mega Monster Energy drinks, Hood started playing basketball before shortly collapsing, falling face first into concrete. He tragically died later in hospital.
Hood’s cause of death was reported as a cardiac arrhythmia, mostly likely triggered by the caffeine overload.
Lawsuit started by family
His father started a lawsuit against Monster Energy for his son’s death. It’s likely that he and his lawyer will blame the energy drink company for producing such a high caffeine-count drink without regulating it with appropriate warnings on its packaging.
Monster Energy describes its own product as:
“…a wicked mega hit that delivers twice the buzz of a regular energy drink. The Monster packs a vicious punch but has a smooth flavour you can really pound down. So when it’s time to unleash the beast within, grab a MONSTER and GO BIG.“
Its wording throws any caution in to the wind and encourages drinkers to “go big“.
Monster deny liability
Monster Energy responded to the accusation that their product killed the teen, saying:
“There is no medical or scientific basis to support connection between Monster Energy Drinks and cardiac arrest purportedly suffered by Dustin Hood.”
Monster Energy drinks and other energy drinks like Red Bull have been linked to multiple cases of collapsing and cardiac arrests, especially when mixed with other toxic substances like alcohol. Swedish authorities reported two deaths by lethal concoctions of vodka mixed with a Red Bull energy drink, and another who died having drank an energy drink after an intensive fitness workout.
Caffeine in the adult working world is highly depended on to keep the user alert and energised. It can work by raising blood pressure and the heart rate. However, in large amounts, the body may not be able to process it all and can go into overload. Those with heart conditions are even more likely to suffer adverse effects.
Norway, Denmark, and France banned Red bull from being sold in shops, save for pharmacies, and other countries are becoming more wary of the effects of high caffeine content drinks. As with any thing that boosts performance, a little may boost the body but in excess will kill it.
Monster Energy is most popular with adolescents. Teenagers are still developing their bodies and such a shock may have lasting health implications. With this in mind, Monster Energy are likely to see more complaints from concerned parents all over the world.