Caffeine overdose death sparks warnings from health professionals

Caffeine overdose death sparks warnings

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Too much caffeine, from an energy drink to coffee, lead to the death of a teenager in South Carolina. It's not common, but health professionals say that doesn't mean you should ignore the dangers of a caffeine overdose. Many of you are now asking, "How much is too much caffeine?"

Davis Cripe collapsed last month at his high school after the coroner said he drank a large soft drink, a latte, and an energy drink over a two hour span. While caffeine overdoses leading to death rarely happens, it can serve as a warning sign if you make caffeine a regular part of your daily diet.      

So before you pour that first, second, or third cup of coffee, followed by an energy drink, you may want to listen to the warnings.

“That’s a lot of caffeine in a short period of time," said Brooklyn Pyburn, a registered dietitian with the University of Arkansas of Medical Science. “It was 272 milligrams and that’s 3 times the amount that’s recommended."

Studies suggest that while some caffeine isn't harmful, too much of it can cause serious problems to your health. Pyburn recommended that adults consume less than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, and less than 100 milligrams for kids and teens.

“You’re safe with three to five eight ounce cups of coffee,” said Pyburn.

When it comes to energy drinks, Pyburn said you really may not know what’s in them since the companies aren't required to list all the ingredients.

“There’s no reason anybody needs an energy drink," said Pyburn.

She said over the past few years, energy drinks have become more and more popular among teens and young adults.

"ER visits have increased with energy drinks, especially when consumed with alcohol," said Pyburn.

But some people like Austin Robinson say they just need that extra boost.

“I do try to cut back on things such as energy drinks, but I have to get through the day sometimes," Robinson said.

Pyburn said instead of choosing energy drinks, try to change to a healthier diet and drink more water instead.

Arkansas Children's Hospital said they don’t ever recall a child coming into the ER because of a caffeine overdose. So while it may be uncommon, health professionals say to stay aware of how much you consume.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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