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College Basketball

That’s Too Many Energy Drinks

12:08 PM EST on March 2, 2023

Matthew Mayer giving an interview at practice
Still via Illini Inquirer on 247Sports

Matthew Mayer played 31 minutes in Illinois’s loss to Ohio State on Sunday. He scored 10 points and grabbed three rebounds. After the game he grabbed something else: Five cans of Monster Energy. That, plus the one he drank before the game, put him out of practice for several days.

“I’ve actually been sick the last few days,” he told reporters Wednesday. “I had caffeine poisoning. I literally had six Monsters the day of the game.
I only had one before but I had five after because I like a caffeine-induced euphoria to play video games. And so I I could barely get out of bed the next day—it was like basically, like, a caffeine hangover.”

Kyle Boone at CBS Sports calculated the amount of caffeine Mayer took in, assuming he drank 16 oz. cans: 800 mg, with 640 of it coming after the game. Per Ashley Webb, director of the Kentucky Poison Control Center, caffeine intake should not exceed 200 to 400 mg in a four-hour period. Whoops!

I attempted to research caffeine and video games, but mostly all I found was junk articles with titles like “Should Gamer’s Use Caffeine? Maybe” and “IS CAFFEINE THE SECRET TO ESPORTS SUCCESS? – THE SCIENCE BEHIND CAFFEINE AND COMPETITIVE GAMING.” I did think this line from Alex “AJ” Davies, the Performance Advisor at British Esports, was interesting: “It is widely believed that 250mg of caffeine is an amount in which obvious decline is not experienced. However, past 250mg, one can be hit with a plethora of side effects.”

Mayer, a fifth-year senior transfer from Baylor, opened his interview by talking about how he had to wait until Feb. 27 to get a new haircut because of “a deal with Great Clips.” That means he was well enough to get a haircut on Monday. His look, plus the fact that he’s a college student, makes me wonder if he’s joking around here.

Either way, I would not recommending taking the Matthew Mayer Six-Monster Challenge. Illinois, in a logjam for second place in the Big Ten, hosts Michigan tonight. Maybe just one or two cans of Jocko Go this evening.

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