On the coattails of a Missouri store’s decision to card minors in purchases of energy drinks comes another precaution.
According to a report by a Houston-based news channel, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Cardiologist Dr. John Higgins performed a “self-test” on energy drinks, with results he will present at a meeting on the dangers of consuming high levels of caffeine in Washington D.C. next week. Higgins chugged a 24-ounce can of Monster and measured how his body reacted. An EKG showed an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. He also examined pictures of his artery. Normal arteries are flexible and open and close easily; after consuming the energy drink, his arteries became sluggish, which affected his blood flow.
Higgins was convinced to take action because of cases like 14-year-old Anais Fournier, who died after drinking two cans of Monster Energy in two days. Her mother is now suing the energy drink company and is trying to spread the word about the dangers of high levels of caffeine in minors. Higgins noted an increase in emergency room visits of children because of complications from energy drinks. He says that they are often consuming more than one drink in a short period of time, both by themselves and mixed with alcohol. “We know that alcohol causes the caffeine concentration to go up higher and stay up higher longer,” Higgins says.
Due to the shocking results of the self test, Higgins is issuing a warning. “Particularly in the kids, we want them to avoid the energy beverages right now under all circumstances.” He also expanded this precaution to pregnant women and people with cardiac issues.