A young teen has urged people to stop drinking energy drinks and claims she "almost died" from consuming too many.
The 16-year-old girl from the US shared an alarming video on TikTok showing what appears to be a heart monitor machine strapped to her bare torso.
Despite warnings that she was drinking too much, she "didn't listen" and in November last year, she was rushed to hospital after she "blacked out and started shaking violently" at home.
"My body finally said ‘this is not good’," she revealed in a follow-up clip on TikTok. "I thought I was invincible."
Over a period of almost two years, the teen said she'd have "two to three, sometimes four" Monster energy drinks daily, on top of "a lot of coffee".
But wasn't looking after herself either and "wasn't eating properly," she recalled.
"I would go days without eating. Then I would eat a lot in one day and I ended up puking it back up because I ate so much at one time. My stomach couldn't handle it," she said.
"I wasn’t getting any sleep because I had a s***load of anxiety and stress, because I was drinking so much caffeine.
"I have an extremely addictive personality, [the drinks] made me feel good because I was more focused and energised rather than feeling so tired all the time."
Energy drinks contain high amounts of caffeine, but also other ingredients, including sugar, which make cause and effect difficult to attribute to one specific ingredient, the Heart Foundation says.
The dangers of energy drinks
"What we do know is that energy drinks are also often high in kilojoules and have very little nutritional value. For this reason, they aren’t recommended as part of a heart-healthy eating pattern," the Heart Foundation told Yahoo News Australia.
In the hospital, the medical staff made the teen blow into a syringe in a bid to steady her heart rate which was "really high" and "extremely irregular too".
She claims hers was ranging between 180 and 190 beats per minute, but a normal resting heart rate for a teenage girl is anywhere between 50 and 90.
"The syringe wasn’t working so they had to inject me with something that stopped my heart," she continued.
"My heart would not slow down. Every time they did it it would creep back up. They did it three times, it didn’t work, so they injected me with something else. After that, I fell asleep."
The Heart Foundation revealed the side effects of too much caffeine can include insomnia, nervousness, headache, irregular or fast heart rhythms and nausea.
"Energy drinks have the potential to increase your heart rate and blood pressure in the short term, but the long-term effects are unknown," they said.
Teenagers should avoid high amounts of caffeine
According to HCF, studies show caffeine consumption can affect a teenager’s concentration and ability to sleep, which may slow the maturing process of their brains.
Because of their smaller body weight, caffeine has "more than twice the impact on children than it does adults", meaning kids and adolescents are more susceptible to symptoms including anxiety, insomnia and nervousness.
Clinical psychologist Gemma Cribb said consuming too much caffeine can stop a teenager from getting adequate nutrition because mixing caffeine and sugar can also affect mood and lead to poor health choices.
Energy drinks that are high in sugar and stimulants "should be avoided altogether", according to Dietitian Susie Burrell, who told HCF that teenagers are often drinking more than they should.
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