Energy drinks should be consumed with caution - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Energy drinks should be consumed with caution

Source: WBRC video Source: WBRC video

An Arizona mother is voicing concerns about energy drinks, after her 16-year old daughter died after consuming them on vacation.

Kris Hamann says her daughter, Lanna, was drinking the beverages and not enough water. She later went into cardiac arrest and died.

A Birmingham registered dietitian told Fox 6 News that the drinks are usually okay when used in moderation. However, if a person consumes a large quantity of them, or any other highly caffeinated beverage, that's where problems arise.

"Blood pressure is going to rise. Heart rate is going to rise. Your muscles are going to start to contract," said dietitian Abby Nevins. "So if you're taking a bunch of 5 hour energies throughout the day, not hydrating with water, there is going to be a problem at the end of the day for sure."

Nevins says the trick is to know exactly how much caffeine you're taking in, no matter the source. Pay attention to ingredients and nutrition facts. And know how each drink stacks up against alternatives.

"For example a 5 hour energy drink, one little two ounce bottle, is going to have as much caffeine as a tall (smallest size) coffee from Starbucks. But a little red bull has about half of that."

Nevins recommends consumers go with a cup of coffee, simply because there are more natural ingredients in it. However, if you do drink an energy drink, she says some are betters than others.

"They are going to say if there is no sugar added, if it's low carb. They're going to advertise that like crazy because that is a selling point for these energy drinks," said Nevins.

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