Teen Dies After Drinking Latte, Mountain Dew and an Energy Drink In 2 Hours

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While caffeine isn’t an illegal drug, or even one that has a legal age of consumption, it can still have lots of detrimental effects. After all, caffeine is addictive. So while adults might recognize addiction creeping up (like a headache from skipping morning coffee), kids aren’t as quick to understand what’s happening to them. Many might simply enjoy the way sodas or an energy drinks give them tons of energy and makes them feel good, without recognizing when they’re in danger. Take this tragic story for example of a South Carolina teen who just died from a caffeine overdose.

Davis Allen Cripe, a 16-year-old student at Spring Hill High, consumed a large Mountain Dew, a latte, and an energy drink before collapsing at school. He was rushed to the hospital, but died once he got there. According to Richland County Coroner Gary Watts, the teen died from “a caffeine-induced cardiac event causing a probable arrhythmia.”

A Warning To Parents

“We lost Davis from a totally legal substance,” Watts said in an interview with WLTX 19.

“You can have five people line up and all of them do the exact same thing with him that day, drink more, and it may not have any type of effect on them at all,” said the coroner.

Davis’ father is also speaking out on the matter.

“Parents, please, talk to your kids about the dangers of these energy drinks. And teenagers and students, please stop buying them.”

There may have been other factors at play that caused Cripe’s heart to react the way it did. I’m only speculating, but there’s a chance he hadn’t eaten anything that day, or at least not much food. Or perhaps he’d eaten a lot of sugar that day as well, or other unhealthy foods that could also wear on the cardiovascular system. Maybe he hadn’t been sleeping for a while and was overtired to boot (hence ingesting so many caffeinated beverages in such little time). Perhaps he had some underlying issue that would cause his body to react the way it did to that much caffeine. Had he been taking this high a dose of caffeine over a prolonged period of time? We really can’t be sure.

How Much Caffeine Is Too Much?

What is sure is that everyone who consumes caffeinated beverages needs to be aware that too much of anything can be bad for you. A can of Red Bull already has 111 mg of caffeine while a large dose of Mountain Dew (say, 16 ounces) contains 72 mg. Add 16 ounces of latte and that’s another 158 mg. That’s already 341 mg of caffeine, which is roughly 3.5 cups of coffee in one sitting. You can begin to imagine how jittery you might feel, and more so if you’re not even accustomed to having so much. That’s not even accounting for how much sugar he might’ve had with those three beverages.

The only takeaway here is that we need to be more serious about how much caffeine we all consume, and how much we allow our kids to have (if any). You never know how your body will react.

(Image: Instagram / Davis Allen Cripe)