In the summer of 2014, Lanna Hamann travelled to Mexico for a vacation with friends and their parents. No one would have believed that their holiday would have unfolded as it did.
One day as she lay on the beach, Lanna suffered a sudden heart attack. All attempts at resuscitation and medical help were in vain. She died that evening.
At first her death was a total mystery. Lanna was a healthy, happy girl: an athlete who loved to be active. She was a good softball player and had no health problems. There was nothing to indicate that she would die in this way.
After she had processed the news herself to some degree, Lanna’s mother Kris went public with some shocking information: on the day of her death, Lanna had not drunk any water. Instead, shortly before her fatal cardiac arrest, she had drunk a Red Bull energy drink.
Heart specialist Jack Wolfson confirmed Kris’s hunch. Lanna had regularly consumed energy drinks. She was literally addicted to them.
Too much caffeine and sugar, the primary ingredients in the popular drinks, can be dangerous in high concentrations, even for super-healthy people such as Lanna. “There is medical evidence that these things do harm; they can cause changes in the heart rhythm, and impact blood pressure,” Wolfson said.
According to Caffeine Informer, overconsumption of energy drinks can lead to:
- Cardiac Arrest
- Headaches and Migraines
- Increased Anxiety
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Drug Interaction
- Risky Behavior
- Jitters and Nervousness
- Allergic Reactions
- High Blood Pressure
- Stress Hormone Release
It is easy to see how energy drinks affect the heart. Cardiologist Jack Wolfson stated to Arizona news station KSAZ Fox 10 that “There is medical evidence that these things do harm, they can cause changes in the heart rhythm, and impact blood pressure.”
Lanna’s case may be an extreme example, but many people experience mild but similar reactions. Hospitalizations due to energy drink consumption are not uncommon, and the majority of those treated for excessive energy drink consumption were 18 to 25 years of age. (Source)
These drinks are targeted to young people, but no one should be drinking them. I have not touched one since that single experience.
To learn more, watch the video below.
Kris says that her daughter’s could happen to anyone. She hopes that her story can help prevent similar tragedies in the future.
Hopefully Lanna’s untimely death serve as a warning to others not to overdo it with caffeine and other stimulants.