November 18, 2012

Are people dying from 5-hour Energy drinks?

"The main number being batted around... is that 5-hour Energy has been cited in reports of 13 deaths; that is, 13 people who died had ingested 5-hour Energy drink at some time prior to their passing."

The suspicious ingredient is caffeine — a little more than the amount in a run-of-the-mill McDonald's coffee and maybe less than half as much as you'd get in something concocted by Starbucks. If caffeine like that was lethal the streets would be strewn with the corpses of hipsters.

I suspect that 13 is a small number in proportion to the number of people drinking the stuff, and that the people who died were engaging in other dangerous behavior. (That is, that the product appeals to people who are looking for a way to keep going, as if by magic, when it's really time to stop.)


Here, you can buy 5-hour Energy on Amazon. I predict you'll survive.


Unknown said...

This is exactly the kind of thing Obama can handle.

He should organize a boycott, and shake 'em down for some hard cold cash, just like Jessie and Al would.

kentuckyliz said...

That's more than have died from Bucky Balls. BAN!!! BAN!!! BAN!!!

Paco Wové said...

I especially appreciated this bit from the linked article:

"If you choose to use MDMA, amphetamine, or meth, STAY AWAY FROM ENERGY BEVERAGES."

Remember kiddies, if you choose to drive at 100mph on crowded city streets, PLEASE FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS.

Automatic_Wing said...

Without knowing the details, I suspect the deaths had more to do with the reason people were drinking 5 Hour Energy than with the stuff itself.

For instance, college kids drink it so they can drink more alcohol before they have to pass out. That sort of thing.

edutcher said...

I've approached them with a certain caution just because of the whole crash and burn concept.

however, I wonder caffeine's use in "Medicine Man" helped popularize them.

dbp said...

Hey! It's called 5-Hour Energy, what happens in hour 6 is not specified.

KCFleming said...

The urge to rule others comes out in many ways.

Medical reasons, especially easily targeted ones, no matter how nonscientific, are especially appealing.

Burn the witch!
It's that sort of thinking, made modern.

DADvocate said...

But a close analysis of the report itself leads me to conclude that two of those deaths were reported twice, lowering the number to a still-disturbing 11.

Still-disturbing? That figure is for 4 years. (See NYT article linked to in Forbes article.) 2.75 deaths per year "that cited the possible involvement of 5-Hour Energy." You're probably more likely to die from someone jumping out from behind a corner and going "Boo!"

More than anything, this illustrates the incredible heights of absurdity our MSM has reached. You're probably more likely to choke to death on a toothpick.

Unknown said...

Where is Schumer on this? I always look to Chuck for sanity in these matters.

Michael K said...

Some people are more sensitive to caffeine. I used to have a condition in which I would get episodes of tachycardia, rapid pulse. I drank decaffeinated coffee. One time I was testifying in a court case and the lawyer wanted to meet during lunch so we sent out for sandwiches. The only soft drink available was called "Jolt Cola." It has twice the sugar and caffeine content of other colas.

I could barely get through my afternoon testimony and had to stop driving home for a while. A couple of years later, I had a cardiac cath procedure that identified an abnormal connection in my heart, had it zapped, and I have no more trouble with tachycardia.

I can imagine 13 people with the same condition dumb enough to drink energy drinks. If I had one of those attacks now, I would die as I cannot tolerate a pulse over 136 now. In an attack it would go over 200. That condition, called PAT, is fairly common.

madAsHell said...

They drank a 5-hour Energy right after the alcohol enema. One of their friends told them it was the antidote.

Sydney said...

They've taken cold medicine off the market for less. Expect regulation of your coffee and tea soon.

kimsch said...

The owner was on Fox last week. He said that there were other factors in the deaths. He also mentioned that there more caffeine in any particular Starbucks drink than there is in a 5 Hour Energy drink. He said it's people looking for money.

These people have decided that there's a correlation between the deaths and 5 Hour Energy. Once again, correlation does not indicate causation.

What other conditions did the deceased have? What might the deceased have in common other than a 5 Hour Energy? I heard that one of the deceased died 2 or more days after consuming a 5 Hour Energy. Did that person also consume, say, potato chips 2 days before death? Who's to say it wasn't the potato chips?

Each of these deaths, 11 or 13, is a tragedy to the family and friends of the deceased. But 11 or 13 deaths over 4 years (and how many millions or tens or hundreds of millions 5 Hour Energies consumed) is nothing. I certain if we looked, we'd find more people dying of choking on pretzels.

Look what they've done with baby cribs. We can't use drop side baby cribs anymore because there were a few deaths correlated to drop side cribs. The number of deaths over a ten year period was quite low, less than 3 figures IIRC. But all baby furniture manufacturers had to take a loss on all their inventory of drop side cribs when the Consumer Safety board banned them. Stores had to eat inventory. Consumers couldn't sell their cribs when they weren't needed anymore. The secondary market also went away.

Tens or hundreds of Millions of children survived drop sided baby cribs. Once my children started pulling up to stand in their cribs I would check the connections (bolts and screws) on a regular basis and tighten them often. Babies shake cribs. Parents must stay on top of crib maintenance. You don't just put it together and forget it.

Someone upthread mentioned Buckyballs. They've stopped making them. They still have other products, but won't be making Buckyballs anymore. Because a couple of kids swallowed some and they held different sections of the intestines together and required surgery to remove. Buckyballs were clearly marked for adults only. Do not let children play with them.

I can't remember the product, but recently I heard about one that might be banned based only on what might happen with it. There have been absolutely zero complaints or injuries. But still someone wants to ban it (whatever it is).

Balfegor said...

Look at them, though -- the drinks are tiny (Frappuccino comes in 9.5 oz bottles; this is <2 oz.). People are probably popping them repeatedly throughout a day, not just drinking one in lieu of a cup of tea.

tim maguire said...

A. Everybody dies.

B. Everybody does stuff before they die.

C. Doing stuff kills people.

John henry said...

I wonder if this includes cases of people drinking the stuff, going outside, crossing the street and getting hit by a car?

Well, they did die shortly after drinking it.

There were a number of documented AIDS deaths in Africa back in the 80s and 90s that were similar.

Someone is identified as having AIDS (without the benefit of an HIV test). They then died of something else like being hit by a car. Bingo! Another AIDS death to juice the stats.

It is worse than junk science. It is bullshit.

John Henry

bagoh20 said...
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bagoh20 said...

I bet a lot more people died who didn't drink them, so logically 5-Hour Energy is saving millions of lives. They should be required for all citizens.

Emil Blatz said...

Key takeaway: don' b drinkin' dis shid in Turkey or Scotland!

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

We often avoid identifying the cause and effect relationship for reasons of convenience, profit, and leverage.

Dante said...

5-hour energy drinks are expensive. All they are is caffeine and a vitamin "B" pill. And 1/20th the cost.

Take that instead. Your pee will turn sea green too, so you will know it's working.

Strelnikov said...

I find myself dying for one sometimes.

Bender said...

These people have decided that there's a correlation between the deaths and 5 Hour Energy.

Tens of thousands of people who voted for Obama will die within the coming year -- not from ObamaCare, not from his policies, they will simply die after having voted for him.

n.n said...

On the other hand, a slight majority of Americans have demonstrated that they are incapable or unwilling to self-moderate their behavior. For that reason, we should use the authority of government to restrict their liberty. It's not just for submission with benefits, but to save them from dreams of instant gratification, which, in the real world, are never realized without consequences.

William R. Hamblen said...

Maybe they died of disgust from the taste.

Unknown said...

I remember reading that pedestrians killed or injured in automobile accidents are counted as having worn no seat belt. With people so easily led as we have become, those who tweak these little levers of power no longer trouble with even the mildest camouflage. It's flim flam right in the open and, if you're embarrassed by it, tough shit for you.