Man hospitalized after downing energy drink calls for tighter regulations

A 48-year-old man who landed in the hospital with a dangerously high heart rate after drinking an energy drink is calling for the age restrictions to be raised on the beverages and has vowed to never buy one again.

Simon Lewis, of Somerset, England, said within minutes of finishing the beverage on Saturday night his heart rate skyrocketed to 190 beats per minute.

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“I was sweating,” Lewis, who described himself as fit and healthy, told South West News Service (SWNS), a British news agency. “I was clammy and my heart was skipping beats. I called an ambulance and when the paramedics arrived they said they’ve had issues with people after having energy drinks before.”

Lewis, who said he had consumed energy drinks before without any issues, is calling for the lawmakers to change the age restriction from 16 to 18. (In 2018, many large supermarket chains in the U.K. voluntarily banned the sale of energy drinks to anyone under 16, reported the BBC.)

“The laws on them should be the same as the laws on alcohol,” he told SWNS. “I won’t touch one again, and my daughter is now banned from having them.”

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Energy drinks typically contain large amounts of caffeine, added sugars, other additives and legal stimulants such as guarana, taurine, and L-carnitine, which can increase alertness, attention and energy. However, they may also raise blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. The ingredients can also have a harmful effect on the nervous system, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Lewis’ heart rate returned to normal the following day, but he said he faces further testing to see if there is any lasting damage.

“I’m feeling a bit worn out, but it could have been very nasty indeed,” he told SWNS.