Woman with 6-energy-drinks-a-day habit hospitalized, fitted with pacemaker

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While energy drinks are usually treated either as a godsend for people working second and/or third shift, or as a symbol of hyper-masculine Americana at its most garish and loosely fruit-flavored, it’s worth keeping in mind that the over-consumption of them (or consumption at all, for some people) can have severe long-term effects on the body.

The U.K. magazine Metro tells of a 33-year-old woman who ended up hospitalized, and later fitted with a pacemaker, due in part (according to her) a six-energy-drinks-per-day habit. The woman refers to it as an addiction, noting that she “needed it to help me be awake” while mentioning that “whenever she drank the sugary beverages her heartbeat would increase rapidly and she would get palpitations.”

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After she passed out one day, it was discovered that the woman had a second-degree heart blockage, in addition to kidney stones and pre-Type 2 diabetes, due to her sugar consumption. As a reminder that correlation isn’t absolute proof of causation, doctors “could not be certain the sugary beverages had caused the heart condition but told her it certainly did not help.” She’s since quit drinking them entirely, needless to say.

Given that it’s been well known for years that basically nothing about a drink that can also strip rust from metal is good for you, it’s surprising how omnipresent energy drinks remain in everyday life. After all, coffee is one thing, but a double-barreled blast of pure caffeine and sugar is quite another. That’s to say nothing of the habit-forming nature of that kind of concentration, which the U.K. woman’s unsettling story only reinforces.

The Takeout won’t go as far as suggesting that you cut out energy drinks entirely. We’re just saying that maybe you don’t need that third Red Bull as much as you think you do, either.

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