Killer Caffeine?

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Midterm season is upon us. As students are forced to run on two hours of sleep a night, proofreading papers and reviewing lecture notes, it's not news that many of us turn to caffeine for that extra boost. And we've gotten really creative when it comes to our favorite recreational drug, pounding back coffees, slurping energy drinks, and even popping the occasional caffeine pill. But even if 5-hour ENERGY does get our hearts racing, few students venture to assume that our caffeine intake could seriously harm us.

As it turns out, the FDA is reportedly investigating five deaths linked to Monster energy drinks.

A notable case is that of a 14-year-old girl who died after drinking two 24oz. Monsters in 24 hours (although it was noted that she also had a disorder that weakens blood vessels). While it has not been proven that the energy drinks were the primary cause of the reported deaths, it is worth noting that although there is a cap on the amount of caffeine allowed in sodas, there is no FDA caffeine limit for energy drinks. And because there are no warning labels and no specified number of calories on Monster's supplement label, it's possible that by regularly consuming such products, we might be harming ourselves a little more than we thought. So think twice before you crack open your next can of Monster, and maybe head to the nearest Starbucks instead, at least until the FDA issues a final report.

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