US teen's death after caffeine binge sparks concern over energy drinks

By 3:30 p.m., around the time the final bell rang at school, he was dead.

A diet Mountain Dew, a cafe latte, and an energy drink: This was the toxic cocktail that reportedly contributed to the death of a healthy SC teenager last month.

"He was a great kid, he didn't get mixed up in the wrong things - he loved music", his father, Sean Cripe, said. We worry about their safety, their health, especially once they start driving. But it wasn't a vehicle crash that took his life.

Some energy drinks contain more than 200 milligrams of the stimulant, he said.

Cripe's son, Davis Allen, drank a large diet Mountain Dew, a café latte from McDonald's and an energy drink within the last two hours of his life.

The Richland County Coroner says too much caffeine led to his death.

Holding a news conference was hard for Davis' family, Watts said, but the story of a teen who died after legally purchasing drinks containing a drug many believe is safe is "a conversation worth having". For teenagers sometimes combining coffee, energy drinks, and sodas can be risky.

"It was mainly due to the time period that he ingested a rapid amount of caffeine that affected his heart", Watts told The Post and Courier, adding that Cripe had collapsed just 15 minutes after taking the energy drink.

According to our estimates, Cripe could've drank anywhere between 300 and 750 mg of caffeine.

"We shouldn't demonize coffee or caffeinated drinks, they have their role in our society and our lifestyle, use them safely which means use them with moderation", said Dr. Rozmus. "Additionally, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death can occur".

Well, for young children, doctors don't recommend any caffeine at all.

According to Watts, Davis's autopsy revealed the teen had neither undiagnosed heart conditions nor any other conditions that could have been triggered by the high amount of caffeine.

"The risk of alcohol poisoning increases as people consume more alcohol because they feel the caffeine will keep them awake and alert", Glatter said.

Regulations governing energy drinks in Canada differ from those in the US and those sold in Canada have "roughly half the caffeine of an equivalent-sized cup of coffee-house drip coffee", she said by email.

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  • Zachary Reyes