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FDA investigating deaths linked to 5-Hour ENERGY

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Posted: Thursday, November 15, 2012 8:09 pm | Updated: 9:21 pm, Wed Dec 19, 2012.

SARASOTA, Fla. - An investigation is underway amid claims a popular energy drink is taking lives.

The federal government and the New York Attorney General are leading the investigation after the consumption of 5-Hour ENERGY allegedly killed 13 people and landed 33 others in the hospital.

According to the doctor, your best bet is stay away from energy drinks altogether, because you never know how you may be effected, and the consequences can in fact be deadly.  But despite that information, people say they're willing to take the risk.

Whether you're looking for a boost during your workout, or getting ready for your second gig, taking a 5-Hour ENERGY shot may be tempting. “I work 40 hours during the week, and then i go out and DJ on the weekends, so it's something different to keep me going, and it works,” says Sarasota's "DJ Scotty B".

Bivens says he drinks a 5-Hour ENERGY every night before DJ'ing and he's never had any bad side effects.  And despite recent reports, he doesn't planning on stopping.

And Bivens isn't alone.  Dino Francani, a server at Barnacle Bills on Main Street, says he still plans on taking the energy drink. “You can just stop at the store and grab an energy drink. Coffee you have to come to work make it, or go to Starbucks which is out of the way.”

But Dr. Reuben Holland, an emergency physician at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, says he's seen the consequences in the ER. “Perspiration, sweating, heart palpitations, headache, chest pain, in severe cases you can actually have heart attack, arrest, and seizure.”

He says 5-Hour ENERGY shots have about ten times the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee. “In addition they have other stimulants, such as carnetine, guarana, and B vitamins that can also potentate the effects of caffeine.”

So what do you do if you're in desperate need of a boost? Jenna Norwood with Supercharged Living says there's a better source for energy. “Real food, staying hydrated, and eucalyptus oil as a matter of fact has been tested on truck drivers, and they've found that it's actually helped them stay awake longer than these energy drinks; just a drop on the hand, and inhaling eucalyptus oil.”

And when it comes to the energy drinks, Dr. Reuben's advice is simple: “Don't use them.”

Living Essentials LLC, the distributor of 5-Hour ENERGY, did release a statement Thursday saying they take reports of any potential adverse event tied to their products very seriously, going on to say they're unaware of any deaths proven to have been caused by the consumption of 5-Hour ENERGY.

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