I read some news this morning that really hit me hard. The story was regarding a young Dad of three who had died after drinking a can of energy drink most days just to get through night shifts at work.
His wife is now campaigning to raise awareness of the dangers of energy drinks and work out supplements in his memory.
There is a reason that this story affected me. I have long had a reliance on these drinks, to the point of addiction. Whilst the victim in this story was reportedly drinking a 250ml can each shift, I personally consume two 500ml can each and every day.
Four times as much caffeine as a poor Dad who had lost his life, every day for the last 10 years. I could be in real trouble.
I have have always been one of those frustrating people that will never take advice and holds the opinion that these bad things will just never happen to me. Life is now different though, with a child relying on me to look after myself in order to be there for him as he grows older. I have a duty to look after my own well-being in much the same way I hold the duty to care for him. I needed to do some research.
How dangerous are energy drinks?
Now this may come as a surprise to many but I am not actually a complete moron. I was already well aware that consuming too many of these drinks is not good for me and can lead to heart problems. I also realise that the increase in heart rate and tight chest when I drink too many are not great signs. I needed to find out just how much risk I am putting myself under with this habit compared to my many other vices and lifestyle choices.
Now the stats. According to the Food and drug administration in a report in 2019, there have only ever been 34 deaths caused by energy drinks. When put into comparison with the 3 million alcohol related deaths each year or even the 8 million smoking related casualties, it may seem that this should not be my top priority.
This statistic looks even smaller when compared with the fact that 150 people are year are killed by coconuts falling on their heads. Flying champagne corks wipe out 24 of us whilst falling out of bed sees off another 20 every year. The list could go on, but the simple point is that energy drinks do not actually directly cause many deaths at all.
These statistics really struggle to really tell the whole story. Those that consume way to much caffeine will be all too aware of some of the side effects that it can cause. Headaches, migraines, insomnia and shaking are all common immediately after consumption but some of the long term risks are less clear.
Research had shown that using these drinks too often can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes and a range of mental illnesses. Perhaps most frightening for me is the damage that these drinks can cause to your liver. I was a heavy beer drinker in my younger life, which though it seems so long ago I am sure my liver with never thank me for those days. There are many more effects which I will not list, but you can find more about the long term dangers here.
So all this got me thinking. The poor Dad who lost his life to an energy drink really was so unlucky, but why am I risking it? Yes I have a job, a nutcase toddler and a real determination to make this blog work which all leaves me needing at least 25 hours in a day to get anywhere close to achieving my aims.
The harsh reality though is that all my Son needs is a healthy Dad and this is far more important than my work or my writing. Energy drinks probably won’t kill me but they certainly could decrease my life expectancy and I have every intention of being around to watch him lift the World Cup. I am 34 now and he is just 18 months so for this to happen I’ll have to be around a while longer and also hope that he becomes Brazilian so this may be a long shot.
I’m drinking a can now why I write this and I’ll be having another when I start work later tonight but… Tomorrow is the another day. It’s time to cut back, one a day for now will keep me going until I find the will to stop altogether.
If you see me a little sleepy at work or wonder why I’m not chatting on Twitter at 2:AM You know why! Robbie is all that matters and every little step I can take to be around and embarrassing him for a long long time is worth the effort so here it goes, wish me luck!
If you drink way too much caffeine or feel that I have missed something please drop me a comment below. I’d also really appreciate any shares on social media so feel free to tap on one of the icons. A few more of my recent posts are below and would be great if you check them out too!
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