In an incident, a college student drank two gallons of coffee in three hours while preparing for his exams. The result? First he felt like he could conquer the world, then he collapsed and experienced multiple cardiac arrests at the young age of 21.
Dr. Bernard Hsu warns people not to drink more than 4 cups of coffee per day, as consuming more than that will have devastating effects on our bodies.
Dr. Hsu reports that the student (called B.B to protect his identity) pulled all-nighter while preparing for his finals. In the process, he drank two gallons of coffee. After a while, his body started shaking involuntarily and his heart raced like he had just run a 100 miles. This much caffeine in our system will make us feel suffocated and make our thoughts unclear. As so, B.B experienced pain in his calf muscles as he started to sweat profusely. The color of his urine turned brown and stank of caffeine.
21-Year-Old Has His First Seizure After Consuming Two Gallons Of Coffee
B.B fell unconscious in his bathroom and experienced a seizure. Fortunately, his mother heard the noise and immediately called 911. He was then taken to the emergency room, where they assessed his situation. The doctors had difficulty finding the reason as B.B could not concentrate or talk reasonably after his seizure.
The doctors found that B.B was hyperventilating and had hyperthermia. Hyperthermia is when your body starts heating up to an abnormal level. He was sweating because his body was trying to cool itself down, but because B.B was incapable of exercising or releasing energy in any way, his body was not releasing enough energy, resulting in him hyperventilating.
Too much or too little caffeine can give us a headache because it constricts the blood vessels in our brain. The right amount can make us alert and feel energized because it blocks a substance called adenosine in our body that promotes sleep.
Two gallons of coffee results in our brain’s over-excitement, which leads to a seizure. B.B fell unconscious again in the ER, as his heart started malfunctioning, restricting the proper flow of blood. He was given CPR, but unfortunately, he experienced another 5 cardiac arrests within the next three hours. His body seemed to be unresponsive to medicines that were supposed to stabilize his heart rhythm.
Results showed that he suffered from hypokalemia. It is a condition where one suffers from low potassium in blood vessels. Low levels of potassium lead to an intolerable amount of muscle contraction, which is why B.B was experiencing pain in his muscles. This excess of muscle contraction, in turn, heated his body even more. High temperature causes the protein to dissolve, which is what our muscles are made up of. BB’s muscles literally started breaking down and dissolving. This condition is called rhabdomyolysis, and it can cause death.
Thankfully, B.B recovered. Keep this in mind the next time you try to make through a situation by solely depending on two gallons of coffee.
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Image Credit: Kjetil Kolbjornsrud