As energy drinks’ popularity has soared in this country, so have emergency room visits involving their consumption. The number of these visits more than doubled between 2007 and 2011—from 10,064 in 2007 to 20,783 in 2011. Contrary to popular opinion, 56% of these cases did not involve drugs or alcohol, only energy drinks.
More recently, a 2015 study by the International Journal of Cardiology found a strong correlation between energy drinks and patients with heart palpitations. These patients were deemed otherwise healthy and not at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, patients who consumed two or more energy drinks a day had a significantly higher occurrence of heart palpitations and chest pain.
The study above echoes a November 2015 study by the American Heart Association, which found that drinking a single 16-ounce energy drink raises blood pressure and doubles stress hormones in young, healthy adults.
These drinks can be lethal. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has linked five deaths to Monster Energy, and 13 to 5-Hour Energy. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has linked 34 deaths to energy drinks since 2004, with half of those occurring in just the past few years. Of these 34 deaths, 22 involved 5-Hour Energy, 11 Monster, and one Rockstar.
Incredibly—and insensitively—as of February 2016, Monster Energy still touted its signature drink as a “killer energy brew” that “packs a vicious punch.”