Below is a picture of Davis Allen Cripe. David hailed from South Carolina in the United States of America. The 16 year old lost his life reportedly after consuming an excessive amount of caffeine.
Davis Allen Cripe, 16, collapsed at school on 26 April 2017 and later died in hospital. A local news station reported that Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said an excessive amount of caffeine was the cause of the teenager’s death. Watts said Cripe had consumed a number caffeinated drinks on the day he collapsed, including a large diet Mountain Dew, a cafe latte and some type of energy drink.
Dr Marian O'Reilly, chief nutrition specialist at Safefood.eu spoke about caffeinated energy drinks, stating that "they can be a real danger to teens and young adults seeking a high-performance sugar kick. Some energy drinks contain up to 17 and a half teaspoons of sugar and have the equivalent of two to three cups of coffee. The marketing on these drinks is particularly appealing to kids and have very small warning labels, which are largely ignored. Many parents look upon the likes of Red Bull and Monster in the same way as any other fizzy drink, but don't take into consideration the huge amount of sugar and caffeine in them". Nutritionist Stephen Crawford also echo's the warnings about high performance drinks "These drinks speed up your heart rate and put pressure on liver function, it's crazy to allow children free access to drink them, absolutely crazy".
So what are the dangers of these performance enhancing drinks?. Without scaring people to much, the number one danger according to www.caffeineinformer.com is cardiac arrest. People with an underlying heart condition they may or may not know about are at risk. A 2016 study showed that 18-40-year-olds who drank energy drinks had a significant increase in their QTc interval, which is a marker of abnormal heart rhythm risk. Other problems known to be caused by energy drinks include headaches, insomnia, anxiety, diabetes issues, drug interactions, energy drink addiction, high blood pressure and stress hormone release.
Is it time we start educating young and old footballers about the dangers associated with these drinks? Although there is a movement already well and truly underway for quite some time, it seems the TV Adverts and the millions pumped into advertising help to keep the voices of warning at bay for the most part.