By sharing his experience, he hopes to alert people to the risks associated with the excessive consumption of these drinks. In several English media, including newspapers The Sunand The Mirror, Lee Kamen, 53, tells how he suffered a heart attack after drinking between 8 and 12 cans of energy drink each day for one year. The event occurred in 2017 at the age of 49, when he did not drink or smoke.
“I drank between eight and twelve energy drinks a day, Red Bulls and Monsters. I used to go to a wholesaler for the bar and buy cases of twenty-four cans, which I drank like any other drink. I worked a lot and drank it to cope. It lasted for about a year, ”he explains.
Lee Kamen survived but saw himself place a stent (device used in cardiology to keep an artery open) and must now take drugs for life. “When I was in the hospital, the doctor explained to me that the cause of my heart attack came from my consumption of energy drinks. I had no idea it was bad to drink it. It was quite a shock at the time, but now I’m passionate about this issue, ”he adds. The second click came when her 10-year-old daughter came home from school with a can of an energy drink in her hand., which he “emptied directly into the sink.” After discovering that she had bought it in a nearby store, he then asked the school to send an email to notify the parents of the students.
His fight: to ban the sale of these drinks to minors
Today, this father wishes to express himself in order to educate adults and campaigns for prohibit the sale of these drinksunder 16. In the meantime, according to him, it is up to store managers to be responsible, both supermarkets and small grocery stores. The cardiovascular risks There are growing concerns about the potential for excessive consumption of energy drinks. Earlier this year, a case report released in the scientific journal BMJ Case Reports detailed how a 21-year-old man with no medical history suffered from biventricular heart failure severe (when both sides of the heart are affected) after drinking four cans of energy drinks every day for two years.
The patient eventually ended up in intensive care after four months of shortness of breath on exertion, shortness of breath when lying down and weight loss. While these products are gaining in popularity around the world, the impact of excessive and chronic consumption on the cardiovascular system remains poorly known. In France, the Consumer Association for Housing and Living Environment (CLCV) campaigns for better supervision after deciphering the label of 10 of them last March. In particular, the list of ingredients : sugar, glucose and glucose syrup are at the top of the list after carbonated water, which explains why 8 drinks out of 10 have a Nutri-Score D or E.
Caffeine, taurine … no specific legislation in France
The other, more problematic ingredients are taurine and stimulating substances such as caffeine. And this at high levels: 23 mg / 100 ml on average, or the equivalent of 3 espressos for a can of 500 ml). ” The health effects of this cocktail of ingredients are still little known … In France, the Nutrivigilance system has been recording for 10 years the reports of adverse effects linked to the consumption of these drinks. The main symptoms observed are cardiovascular (chest pain, tachycardia, hypertension, etc.) and neurological (irritability, anxiety, etc.). Caffeine was considered the first factor triggering these symptoms, ”notes the CLCV. The latter regrets that there is still no specific legislation for energy drinks.
Therefore, there is therefore no maximum amount for the ingredients like taurine and caffeine. “Today, the regulations only require the words” high caffeine content, not recommended for children and pregnant or breastfeeding women “on the labeling of drinks containing more than 150 mg / L of caffeine, with the exception of the values present in the code of good conduct signed by manufacturers, ”adds the association. Its primary request is to set maximum amounts in energy drinks, taking into account their actual conditions of consumption by adolescents ”. She also wants “much clearer labeling that advises against mixing with alcohol and which recalls that energy drinks are not suitable for physical effort. ”
In 2017 ANSES *, which has evaluated several times the safety of these drinks, revealed that more than 200 cases of adverse effects have been reported within the framework of a monitoring system put in place since 2008. The body is not in a position to give a maximum consumption limit but above all warns against risky practices related to caffeine, considered to be the major explanatory factor. She also recommends avoiding energy drinks. with alcohol or during physical exercise (they increase the loss of mineral salts and increase the risk of heat accidents). Finally, it invites pregnant and breastfeeding women, children, adolescents or people with certain pathologies to be vigilant about their caffeine intake.
* National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety