Cardiac arrest in a young man following excess consumption of caffeinated “energy drinks”

Adam J Berger and Kevin Alford
Med J Aust 2009; 190 (1): 41-43.

An otherwise healthy 28-year-old man had a cardiac arrest after a day of motocross racing. He had consumed excessive amounts of a caffeinated “energy drink” throughout the day. We postulate that a combination of excessive ingestion of caffeine- and taurine-containing energy drinks and strenuous physical activity can produce myocardial ischaemia by inducing coronary vasospasm.

A 28-year-old male amateur motocross rider was admitted to Port Macquarie Base Hospital in August 2007 after having an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. He had collapsed shortly after participating in a motocross race. An off-duty paramedic and nurse had been on hand, and effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation was commenced promptly. Paramedics arrived after about 20 minutes of resuscitation.

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  • Adam J Berger1
  • Kevin Alford1,2

  • 1 Port Macquarie Base Hospital, Port Macquarie, NSW.
  • 2 Rural Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW.


We acknowledge and thank Dr Malcolm Barlow at John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, and Professor Terry Campbell at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, for their input in preparing this case report for publication.

Competing interests:

None identified.

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