He drank 25 energy drinks at karaoke and nearly died. Now he wants to ban the drinks

Coffee vs. energy drinks: A caffeine wake-up call

Dr. Steven Nissen talks about the safety of coffee, caffeinated soft drinks and energy drinks.
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Dr. Steven Nissen talks about the safety of coffee, caffeinated soft drinks and energy drinks.

Nick Mitchell downed 25 Red Bull and Monster energy drinks in six hours while hosting a karaoke event in West Yorkshire, England.

The next morning, he woke up with a severe headache. But it wasn’t just a hangover – he suffered a life-threatening brain hemorrhage from a caffeine overdose, reported The Sun.

“There’s a reason these drinks give you wings – but I nearly flew off the Earth and never came back,” Mitchell, a 56-year-old mechanic, told the publication. He spent six weeks in the hospital after a series of mini-strokes left him numb and unable to speak.

Eight years later, Mitchell still has trouble remembering and pronouncing words. The father of three has now launched a campaign to ban the drinks, according to Metro.

“They should not be sold,” Mitchell said. “They are as bad as drugs and should be banned.”

Mitchell concedes that, in hindsight, it was foolish to down so many energy drinks, and says he hasn’t had one since. He told The Mirror that he had been drinking three to four a night to keep him going at work until the night he drank 25 at a frantic, sweltering karaoke gig at a rugby club. He drank two large cans of Monster on his way to the event.

“As soon as I arrived I started drinking Red Bull,” Mitchell told the publication. “Only later did the manager tell me I’d supped 23 75cl cans by midnight and a pal told me I was like a coiled spring. I was jumping around all over the place. He said he’d never seen me so hyper.”

A Red Bull spokesman told Metro that a 250 ml can of Red Bull contains 80 mg of caffeine, about the same as a cup of home-brewed coffee.

Dr. Mohammed Dashti told The Mirror that too many highly caffeinated drinks can be dangerous.

“Caffeine can cause a hyper activity episode in the brain,” Dashti said. “Too many of these in a short space of time can lead to a rapid surge of blood flow and the narrowing of vessels. This is a very dangerous combination and can cause the rupture of a blood vessel that can led to a bleed on the brain or a heart attack.”

In April, Davis Cripe, 16, of South Carolina died after drinking a cafe latte, a a Mountain Dew and an energy drink, according to The Washington Post. He died of a “caffeine-induced cardiac event causing a probable arrhythmia.”