Published On: Mon, Jun 24th, 2013

Red Bull Gives You Wings, Straight into the Emergency Room

By: Gina Onori

Large companies such as Red Bull, Monster, 5-hour Energy, and Amp, are the essential necessity for many young adults of today.

“I sometimes need that extra push to get through the last few hours of a shift,” said 26-year-old paramedic Mikey Gould. “On some occasions after drinking the plethora of [energy] drinks that are offered I will get a bit jittery and have heart palpitations.” This is coming from the same young man who says that he often witnesses young adults coming into the hospital from the intakes of energy drinks.

“One instance was when I was in paramedic school and doing rounds at the various hospitals. We had a few teenagers come in with racing hearts,” said Mike. “Come to find out they were drinking Red Bull and vodka.”

Another occurrence Mike reported was young children coming into the emergency room exceedingly weak with rapid heartbeats due to energy drink intake before workouts without the consumption of water.

If the paramedic witnesses the hazards of these beverages, yet still guzzles them down, could there possibly be a link to energy drink addiction?

According to, Dr. Dave Moor says, “Caffeine is a drug of dependence, and withdrawal produces agitation – especially in the developing body of a teenager. They can end up in a hospital emergency room with heart palpitations. Like pot, caffeine is a drug, listed in the therapist’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual as a potentially serious problem at an intake of only 250 mg.”

However, energy drink companies are adamant that there are no addictive substances in their products.

“Red Bull contains vitamins, taurine, caffeine, sucrose and gluclose,” said a Red Bull employee. “None of which are addictive substances.”

While the controversy may be unresolved and contentious for the time being, some of my recent studies show that the effects of these cocktails are paramount.

“I get anxiety after the consumption of energy drinks,” said 23-year-old Stephanie Aster.

“I have a racing heart and then become anxious,” said 22-year-old Melanie Yates.

26-year old Kristen Ruggiero of Boca Raton developed a heart-murmur after drinking energy drinks for an elapsed period of time.

These are just a few of the many side effects that young adults are experiencing due to consuming these beverages.

“The biggest misconception is that they’re okay to drink them just because they are available for sale,” said Naturopathic Dr. Brian Yuseum.

Yuseum explains that 95% of North Americans suffer from some type of adrenal fatigue, relating to lower back pain due to energy drinks.

“If you do not have enough amino acids and the proper complex carbohydrates to take you through the day and have balanced energy, you are going to be exhausted,” said Yuseum. “If you take an energy drink that further over stimulates the body without the nutrients to recapture your environment you are going to get worse and worse until it is basically poison and becomes a disease state.”

Yuseum explains that what you should do is eat a healthy, balanced breakfast to get you through the day without crashing later.

Nevertheless, with brand names and marketing ploys such as Cocaine, Amp, Monster, and Red Bull (which gives you ‘wings’), it is no wonder why so many young adults are falling into the tactics of these corporations.

In a recent study developed in Boca Raton, forty seven percent of people preferred Red Bull energy drinks, twenty one percent of citizens favored Monster, and thirty percent of the public said they liked miscellaneous drinks such as Amp, Rockstar and 5 Hour Energy Shots.

Not only are these companies damaging the health of our community, but they are targeting our youth, with an array of advertising practices aimed at children and teens, including promotions of their beverages at schools and school-sponsored sporting events.

For instance, on the Florida Atlantic University Press website, the Red Bull skydiving team was promoted for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at The Dubliner Irish Pub.

Furthermore, there are numerous Facebook sites where Red Bull is promoted at FAU to bring forward stimulating events, linked to movies, music, and sports.

What is more, according to the Los Angeles Times, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating reports that five people have died since 2009 after they consumed Monster energy drinks. The investigation was revealed in consideration of 14-year-old Anais Fournier who’s parents sued the company in connection with their daughter’s death.

In addition, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration  issued a report that discovered a severe rise in the number of emergency department visits associated with the use of non-alcohol energy drinks, from 1,128 visits in 2005, to 13,114 in 2009 ( The description noted that energy drinks are targeted to appeal to youth, and are consumed by up to half of children, teenagers and young adults.

“The whole idea is to stay balanced,” said Naturopathic Dr. Brian Yuseum. “It is a highly addictive substance and it is something that someone needs education on before they start putting into their bodies without knowing anything about.”

Below is an interview I did with Naturopathic Dr. Brian Yuseum

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