Death By Red Bull

death-by-red-bull

Have people really died from too many Red Bull Energy Drinks?

We could find no documented cases of death by only Red Bull alone. But, does almost count?

Update: This just in. The first wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against Red Bull.

Brooklyn Man’s Heart Stops After Drinking Red Bull

33 year old Cory Terry died after he drank a Red Bull shortly after playing basketball. His family is suing Red Bull for 18 million dollars.

Mr. Terry was an avid Red Bull drinker and had been drinking them for many years. His mother claims that he was very healthy and that Red Bull was responsible for his death.

We have no idea how much caffeine he consumed that day, but one can of Red Bull is just 80mg of caffeine.  Src.

Man’s Heart Stops After 8 Red Bulls

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Australian Matthew Penbross’s heart stopped after consuming 8 Red Bulls within 5 hours.

Fortunately ambulance officers (paramedics) were able to revive him with a defibrillator.

Penbross (aged 28) was in good health, with no history of heart disease, and regularly consumed 4 Red Bulls per day.

8 cans of Red bull amounts to 640mg of caffeine. A read of the article makes it appear that Penbross was not big on eating properly – so I wonder if he had this on an almost empty stomach.

Penbross was competing in a Motocross event at the time, so I imagine his adrenalin must have been through the roof.

Sweden Investigates 3 Red Bull Deaths

According to ABCNews:

“Swedish officials are investigating the deaths of three young people who are believed to have been drinking Red Bull. Two of the people who died had used Red Bull as a mixer with alcohol, while the third apparently drank several cans of the energy drink after a strenuous workout and later died of massive kidney failure.”

So, two of those people were mixing Red Bull with alcohol (a whole other problem) and the other seems to have had other health issues involved since caffeine isn’t metabolized by the kidneys nor causes kidney failure.

Man Drinks 20 Red Bulls and Goes Crazy

This happened a while back, but still makes us laugh serves as an example.

48 year old Peter Edwards was caught “swerving from side to side” across the road. The police had trouble stopping him – he overtook their car and almost rammed into a truck. He was eventually stopped using a “stinger device” that punctured his tires.

Edwards was later tested and found to be free of any alcohol and drugs.

It turns out he had consumed 20 cans of Red Bull. By the sounds of it, he had been drinking these over the duration of a whole night. By our calculations thats about 1.6 grams of caffeine – still a long way off from a lethal dose – but enough to make you go crazy.

Red Bull made this inane comment:

“there is no added benefit in consuming the product in excessive amounts.”

Yeah no kidding.

15 Year Old Hospitalized After Red Bull Overdose

15 year-old in the UK was taken to hospital with heart palpitations after drinking eight cans of Red Bull.

Eight cans is about 640mg of caffeine – which – to be honest is not a huge amount. Red Bull also contains 1000mg of Taurine, 60mg Glucuronolactone, and 27 grams of sugar per can.

So to get things straight – the overdosing teenager consumed 216 grams of sugar (that’s about 54 teaspoons) along with 8 grams of Taurine.

8 cans in a row of anything isn’t advisable.

These kind of stories are very concerning – given that we now have drinks with substantially more caffeine than Red Bull.

It’s time for some folks to rein in the caffeine overdosing.

8 Red Bulls is ridiculous (and expensive) – and by my calculations, this would also mean Penbross downed 216 grams of sugar (that’s more than a whole cup of pure white sugar) and Edwards would have consumed 540 grams. Too much sugar in the blood stream can also have intoxicating as well as deadly side-effects.

Don’t forget all the Taurine either… Red Bull has 1000mg per can. Taurine is something we have little data on.

Other Energy Drink Deaths Have Been Documented

While Red Bull may be not be the blame for deaths, Monster Energy and 5 Hour Energy Shot haven’t been so lucky.

Monster is being tied to at least 5 deaths and 5 Hour is being blamed for the death of at least 13 people. However, nothing has been proven and these complaints are still under litigation or investigation.

  • Dusty

    ehh the title of this article brought me in for a let down

  • larevolucion

    It’ll be interesting to see if this guy takes the case further and tries to press charges against Red Bull. He’s already calling for better warning labels on the can; interesting thing is, I don’t even see a warning on my Red Bull cans. Maybe they are on the newer ones. At any rate, it might not be very smart to drink that much at once but, I’m sad to say, he could make out like the McDonalds woman who spilled hot coffee on herself if he plays his cards right.

  • http://myspace.com/jasonb03 Jason B

    EVERY ONE reacts to EVERYTHING different so i can understand how that would be possible and even more so if you have a heart condition. My personal experience that i can drink more than 8 in less than 2-3 hrs and feel fine only problem is that it tears up my stomach the next morning … also i mix in red bull in MY favorite drink RED BULL AND CAPTAIN MORGAN’s but have been staying from it beacuse of the red bull as one of the people said in the article ALL THE SUGAR you wake up with you teeth feeling like sand paper because of all the sugar… but not to run off with my story the people that are having problems with this are the same people that should not drink 8-10 cups of coffee so if you going to but warning labels on red bull they better but them on everything that has massive amounts of caffine and sugar

  • Will S

    I can’t see caffeine being the culprit, even on an empty stomach. Unless this guy had a heart condition, it had to be one of the other ingredients. The LD50 of caffeine is something like 175 mg/kg, and he obviously had some tolerance for it with all the red bulls he drank, so I can’t see how it could’ve been the caffeine.

  • Ralphie

    Okay, I pull all nighters all the time. After a good paycheck I tend to head over to the nearest store to buy a 12 pack or red bull (regualar). I drink down $20.00 in about 8 hours. Now I tend to feel a bit sick but, heart issues? bull shit

  • Tad

    Well they really don’t need any more labels, stupid people just need a sign that says that they are stupid. If they had that sign when they went to buy all that red bull some one could have stopped them and said sorry sir but i can’t sell that to you cause your too freaking stupid!

  • http://www.energythis.com EnergyThis

    Geez, it looks like you need to change the death by caffiene calculator to 9 cans of Red Bull… One more would have put him out for the count! That’s why people need to be careful.

    Nice Article!

  • Chris

    it’s been wquite a while since I was “interested” in pharmacology, but I do recall caffeine having interaction with and effect on the adrenal system.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caffeine#Mechanism_of_action touches on it somewhat.

    I guess that what I’m saying is that he wasn’t really thinking straight, or he should have a bit more forethought when he pours psychoactive chemicals into his system. Shame ;)

  • KarlieMildraed

    Well someone keeps stealing my Red Bulls so I won’t be attempting Death By Bull anytime in the near future. I venture back to an old truth, everything in moderation. I then go further back to say, know your limits.

  • Pingback: Se bebe ocho red bulls en cinco horas y se le para el corazón // menéame()

  • youradick

    seems like your calculator is pretty damn misleading/downright dangerous if 8 redbulls can stop a 28 year old atheletes heart. Perhaps you may consider changing that if you dont wanna feel responsible for someone dying? eh? ehh?

  • Caffeine Fiend

    youradick: Anyone who decides to down 8 Red Bulls is an idiot.

    Anyone who decides to overdose on caffeine because of some on-line calculator is also an idiot.

    People’s hearts have stopped after running marathons (with no caffeine in sight). The lethal dose of caffeine is significantly higher than what this individual consumed.

  • Jug

    Youradick: Read the disclaimer. Do products and services where you live need to have disclaimers for disclaimers saying “Yeah, really, it is just here for fun!” now too? I’d feel sad for humanity. :p

  • Pingback: Se le para el corazon tras tomarse 8 redbulls en 5 horas » Pajarracos()

  • KarlieMildraed

    Okay 80mgs of caff in Red Bull times 8 (2=4packs) equals 640mgs of caff. That’s equaled to a few Grande coffees. So three strong coffees or 8 Red Bulls?

    Most of us here at EnergyFiend have a fairly good tolerance level. If you don’t have an idea what your level is at, don’t be attempting any caff. binges in your life. It’s not responsible and then henceforth ruins it for the rest of caffeine respecting public. KNOW YOUR LIMITS for your sakes.

  • Pingback: Me gusta el Redbull « Deambulando()

  • Diego

    Meh, I drank 7 while staying up all night. I stopped once I got chest pains. =p

  • DeaExMachina

    What about the taurine, perhaps considered to be the main ingredient? I read on several websites that the amino acid is found among several places in the body, including the liver (bile), the brain, and the heart. I read that taurine helps to STABILIZE the body’s heart rate as well as help reduce blood sugar levels and blood pressure.

  • http://myspace.com/electronicelaborare caffeinehangover

    Consider me a caffeine addict for many reasons. A normal day to me consists of drinking my beloved vault during work for 12-14 hours a day.

    A night’s worth of vault to me is usually an entire two liter. That’s about 384.8 MGs of caffeine in a two liter, and thats not including the several servings of coffee (107.5 MGs caffeine average), Rockstar Juiced (240MGs caffeine) or NOS (250 MGs caffeine) that I drink on my way over to my other job. On average i will probably drink around 1000 MGs of caffeine per day.

    My point? Other than horrible indigestion, I have no medical problems, nor has my heart ever stopped beating for any reason.

  • KarlieMildraed

    But you also have a relative understanding of your tolerance level, therefore, you are responsible.

    And caffeine does not make your heart explode.

Last Modified: September 11, 2014