When time is short, and work is high, some people need a little boost to get them through the hours.

Whether it’s adjusting to a new night shift or just squeezing out the last few hours of the day before a solid crash to bed at night, energy drinks have become a staple for workaholics and study fiends the world over.

They’re more efficient than coffee, more readily available, and often have less sugar or additives than any alternative.

But that doesn’t mean they’re healthy. On the contrary, they have huge dangers of their own. In 2017, a man had to have part of his skull removed.

He lived, existing with a hollow spot and a caved-in space above his forehead, a total lack of a complete skull making his head shaped like a crescent moon.

And the cause was rooted in what he was drinking: simple, legal, over-the-counter energy drinks.


10 /10 Wake Up Call

Austin, the man who nearly died drinking energy drinks, was discovered by his in-laws when he collapsed one day. The entire ordeal was cataloged and told to the public by his wife, Brianna.

All she knew for some time was that he suffered a terrible and very sudden condition and had to have brain surgery. All this while she was nine months pregnant.

9 /10 Mental Drain

Brianna stayed by Austin’s side in the hospital every day until it was her turn to be sent to a bed for the birth of their first child. Austin was in bad shape, and up until then, he hadn’t woken up.

He suffered a major brain hemorrhage – a brain bleed. Before his second surgery, he experienced seizures and strokes as his brain tried to over-correct itself on the damage done to repair it.

When their son was born, Brianna said that was the moment when Austin finally woke up again.


8 /10 Back Home Again

It took a while and many more hospital trips for Austin to be cleared to go back home.

The series of strokes he suffered from the surgery left him debilitated. Although his life was saved, he was reset in a lot of ways.

He couldn’t walk well and had to re-learn how to do a lot of basic functions. Such as talking. When he was released home, Brianna took care of him and helped him readjust to finding his lost faculties again while also raising their son.

7 /10 Hard Life

Austin still had to keep in touch with doctors. His physical and mental therapies, overseen by his wife under medical professionals’ advisement, were to continue indefinitely.

He had a significant portion of his brain reworked and a huge amount of his skull removed.

His head was completely caved in and collapsed in the front, just over his forehead. Although he has become heavily disabled, Brianna still cares for him with love and devoted care.

6 /10 Brain Rush

The toxicology report from the hospital Austin was examined revealed that he had taken more than energy drinks to the point where labeling his ingestion rate as “toxic” was the least startling thing they had to claim.

His new work schedule caused this. He was commuting long distances and working extra hours, which prompted him to start taking energy drinks as a solution to lacking sleep and the stress of work to support his family with a new life on the way.

Raluca Grigore / Shutterstock.com

5 /10 Caffeine Craze

There are many harmful chemicals in energy drinks, the leading one being caffeine. Although it does occur naturally, caffeine is almost always offered in an amount that is far above a recommended dosage.

Natural coffees have a normal amount of caffeine in them, and energy drinks often boast as a sales point having five or ten times more than that.

Caffeine activates in the brain and triggers the body to undergo a sudden rush of “waking energy” while also suppressing dopamine and serotonin.

4 /10 Hazardous Drinking

Most people associate energy drinks with bladder-specific issues. Due to the high concentration of natural and non-natural chemicals in most popular energy drinks, there is a lot of junk the body needs to filter out.

Sugar is the least concerning thing an energy drink can have. The number of other additives that don’t get used has to be filtered through the kidneys, which can cause stones, and highly acidic urine, which can cause tract infections.

3 /10 High-Speed Neurons

Most of the work energy drinks do is located in the brain. They send hormonal and neural blockers which stop the brain from absorbing the chemicals necessary for sleep and restfulness while replacing them with stress-inducing ones that can activate a sense of heightened panic.

This alerts the heart to pump more blood, making the body feel more alive and active, increasing internal temperatures, blood pressure, and causing many other problems in exchange for a boost of alertness.


2 /10 Overworked

The fact that Austin went through this nearly fatal incident because he was working so hard has not gone ignored.

Although the couple has declined interviews following the incident, on Brianna’s better attempt to keep herself and her family out of the spotlight so they can focus on healing, it’s no secret why he did it.

They had a son on the way. If he hadn’t gone under that day, he would have kept his habit up so that he would have enough work hours to make the money they would need to manage an infant.


1 /10 Drink Responsibly

There is some skepticism towards the overall incident. Brianna’s words were the sole source of truth to the events as she relayed them on her Facebook page.

Austin, who has since lost his ability to speak effectively, cannot positively give his side of the story.

The doctor’s reports that came out initially have been compared to similar medical findings regarding energy drinks and their effects on the human body.

While a brain bleed is extremely rare, it’s not impossible. If he stuck with coffee, it’s far more likely that he would not have had the accident he did, though.

Or maybe, if he were given better opportunities, he wouldn’t be placed in a life where energy drinks were his only hope of making it through the day.

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