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Arizona Teen Consumes Popular Drink, Ends Up Dead

A healthy, athletic 16-year-old girl from Arizona was on vacation with her friends and their parents when tragedy struck. After spending a day having fun in the sun, the teen said she didn't feel good. She ended up going into cardiac arrest and died. When her family found out what product she had been using that day, they felt that it played a major role in her death. They're trying to spread the word now, and they're not alone.

Lanna Hamann was on a weekend trip with a friend's family in Mexico, and the 16-year-old spent the day on the beach. It came as a shock to everyone when Hamann died unexpectedly that night. Her parents believe that Hamann's favorite energy drink is to blame.

Hamann's friend told the teen's parents that the girl had been drinking a lot of Red Bull under the hot sun that day instead of water. This is believed to have led to dehydration. In high doses, caffeine can act as a diuretic and cause you to urinate more, which results in a loss of more water and sodium. When that's not being offset by drinking water or other more hydrating beverages, it can become dangerous. It can be especially dangerous when one is physically exerting themselves, such as Hamann was on that summer day on the beach.

The parents who had brought Hamann on the trip with them felt terrible, and said they didn't realize that the young girl hadn't been drinking any water. Hamann's mother says it's not their fault.

“This is something that could have happened anywhere,” Kris Hamann said to KPHO-TV. “Whether she was in Mexico or whether she was here in Arizona playing softball.”

After Hamann's death, her friends launched a campaign to warn other kids about the dangers of high-caffeine energy drinks like Red Bull.

"Hundreds of us tried contacting Red Bull through email, Twitter, phone and not one response was given back," said Hamann's friend, Noa Thomas.

"I won't be purchasing any energy drinks in the future, and I'm considering no longer consuming soda products as well,” said another friend, Joey Kobold. "I never really thought there was an issue—just a good-tasting drink." Many of Hamann's friends said they will no longer drink energy drinks.

A link between Hamann's death and Red Bull has not yet been confirmed, but she's not the first young person whose death was blamed on energy drinks. In South Carolina, a healthy teen with no history of medical problems died after chugging a large soda, a cafe latté and an energy drink within two hours. In California, a 19-year-old died from cardiac arrhythmia believed to be caused by Monster Energy Drinks.

Dr. Teo Mendez, an orthopedic surgeon, told Fox News in an interview, "When you start having these energy drinks there’s a wide variability in the amount of caffeine in them,” he said. “For example, a Red Bull Has 80 mg of caffeine, some of these other energy drinks that they call Red Line could have up to 500 mg of caffeine – so seven times as much."

Dr. Mendez says that parents should follow the guidelines and not allow minors to consume energy drinks. Kids over 18 should be cautious and take these drinks in moderation.

Source: NY Daily News, Time
Photo: Refinery 29/Kris Baron Friedman, YouTube

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