Weird Medicine

This Man's $150-A-Day Energy Drink Addiction Gave Him A Heart Attack

Energy Drink
Energy drink addiction ends in heart attack. Nattu; CC by 2.0

Martin Bowling, a 28-year-old insurance worker from the United Kingdom, has been living with an intense energy drink addiction for the past seven years. In fact, his addiction got so bad that he was spending upward of $160 a day to fuel his dangerous habit. Bowling learned the hard way that everything, especially something chock-full of sugar and caffeine, should be enjoyed in moderation, after drinking 2 liters of energy drink and suffering a heart attack.

“I feel lucky and extremely thankful to be alive,” Bowling told The Sun. “There were no warning signs. I don’t even know if it hurt. I just remember hitting the floor and waking up in hospital. Now I see those drinks as death in a can. I was later told a stranger brought me back to life, and I have never had the chance to thank them.”

Bowling said the relatively low price of energy drinks in the UK and easy access to them fueled the rise of his seven-year addiction. Back on June 1, Bowling was enjoying a boxing match at a local pub with some friends when he suffered a cardiac arrest due to the dangerously high levels of caffeine in his blood stream. He was rushed to nearby Queen’s Hospital where doctors were able to treat the attack.

“I'd been drinking them for about seven years and it was like I'd become mentally addicted,” Bowling added. “Sometimes, I could find myself in arguments if I hadn't had one. The amount I was drinking had slowly increased since I started when I was 21. I would wake up and think of an energy drink, then go to sleep after an energy drink — they helped me sleep. Even when doctors told me high caffeine levels were the cause, I still wanted a can. It was ridiculous.”

According to a statement released by the World Health Organization back in October 2014, energy drinks are "poised to become a significant public health problem." Overconsumption of energy drinks carries the risk for "heart palpitations, hypertension, nausea and vomiting, convulsions, psychosis, and in rare cases, death." 

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