Teen Drinks 4 Gallons of Water and Gatorade, Dies
It wasn't a prank; Zyrees Oliver overhydrated after football practice
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2014 8:15 AM CDT
Gatorade bottles line the Buffalo Bills' bench during the second half of a preseason NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, NC, on Aug. 8, 2014.   (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

(Newser) – Hours before he was supposed to start his first day of his senior year of high school in Georgia, 17-year-old Zyrees Oliver collapsed and was rushed to the hospital in a helicopter. He'd consumed 2 gallons of water and 2 gallons of Gatorade after football practice last Tuesday and was so overhydrated that his body's electrolytes were thrown off balance, causing massive swelling in his brain. Five days later, on Sunday night, he was taken off the ventilator. "He's already in heaven," his aunt, Nina Oliver, told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution that night. He was pronounced dead hours later.

"It's incomprehensible," Oliver says. "We had a healthy, beautiful, vibrant young man." Zyrees excelled at both football and track and boasted a 3.8 GPA, according to his family and friends. His classmates wore team colors and formed a prayer circle at school on Friday, while grief counselors were dispatched Monday. While death from overhydration is very rare, it does happen: A woman died in 2007 after drinking 2 gallons of water in a radio contest, reports CBS News; earlier this year, a couple was charged after their 5-year-old daughter died from drinking too much grape soda. (Gatorade, meanwhile, helped this girl survive.)

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Showing 3 of 83 comments
OrneryPup
Aug 15, 2014 2:45 AM CDT
4 gallons ? How is that even possible? I'm picturing 4 gallon jugs of milk. It's a wonder he didn't simply explode like an overfilled water balloon.
pvtrosales
Aug 13, 2014 9:34 PM CDT
Has anyone read the side effects from medically prescribed personel for you to take and get better! Thats more scary than canabis, smoking or alcohol!!!! But it's all legal prescribed by doctors...Bayer aspirin, penycilin, can cause multiple side effects including death..Taking Viagra and get an erction for over 4 hours you loose your manhood and will never have an erection again and its doctor prescribed:-):-):-):-)
FREEWOMEN911
Aug 13, 2014 7:39 PM CDT
Acesulfame K Sugar substitute found in pudding, chewing gum, non-dairy creamers, instant coffee mixes, tea mixes and gelatin desserts. May increase cancer in humans. Acetone Also known as Dimethylketone, 2-Propanone, Beta-Ketopropane. Inhalation of moderate to high amounts, even for a short time results in entry of acetone into bloodstream where it is carried to all other organs. Nose, throat, lung and eye irritant, headaches, confusion, increased pulse rate, effects on blood, nausea, vomiting and unconsciousness, coma. Shortens the menstrual cycle in women. Effects of long-term exposure include kidney, liver and nerve damage, increased birth defects, metabolic changes and coma. Found in nail polish remover. Acetaldehyde Found in many nail care products. Known to cause cancers in humans and experimental animals. Acrylamide/polyacrylamide Acrylamide, produced naturally in some foods when cooked at high temps. Manufactured for use in polyacrylamide gels, sometimes used as a treatment for drinking water and/ or wastewater. Acrylamide causes cancer in animals and in large doses, nerve damage in humans. Smoking is a major acrylamide producer as is frying, deep frying or extended micro-waving. Alcohol Implicated in oral cancer. Found in mouthwash, astringent, toothpaste, cleansers. Alkyl-phenol Ethoxylades May reduce sperm count. Found in shampoo and bubble bath. Alpha Hydroxy Acid Destroys skin cells and leaves skin more susceptible to damage from the environment and skin cancer. Actually ends up aging skin. Found in anti-aging facial creams and lotions. Aluminum Heavy concentrations may be linked to Alzheimer’s dementia. Aluminum is in many antiperspirants and prevalent in water supplies. Processed foods contain dietary aluminum. Sodium aluminum phosphate appears in pickles, cheese and baking soda. Ammonium Glycolate A photosensitizer with potential to increase risk of sunburn and skin cancer by intensifying UV exposures in deep skin layers. This sensitizer can instigate immune system response that includes itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin. It is also a penetration enhancer which alters the skins’ structure, allowing other chemicals to penetrate deeper into the skin, thus increasing the amounts of other chemicals that reach the bloodstream. Found in body products. Ammonium Persulfate Found in hair color and bleaching kit sensitizer - can instigate immune system response that can include itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin, lung sensitizer - can instigate immune system response that can include asthma attacks or other problems with the lungs and airways. Immune system toxin, respiratory toxicant, skin or sense organ toxicant, classified as toxic in one or more government assessments. Aspartame Genetically Modified, synthetic sugar substitute. People report dizziness, headaches and even seizures. Scientists believe it can alter behavior due to altered brain function. Long term effects of this genetically modified organism on human health has not been studied or tested. Found as a sweetener in foods and some body products, such as shaving gel. See our Genetically Modified / GMO Foods section for more information. Benzalkonium chloride, cetrimonium chloride and lauryl dimonium hydrolysed collagen Found in hair treatment products. Both are toxic and allergenic. Benzene Inhalation of high levels can cause headaches, rapid heart rate, tremors, confusion, unconsciousness and death. Hodgkin’s and Lymphomas result from inhalation. Used in detergents, drugs, pesticides and adhesives. Benzoic Acid Inhalation affects nervous system and is moderately toxic by ingestion. Severe eye and skin irritant. Used as a food preservative and in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics Benzoic / Benzyl / Benzene Contains carcinogens, endocrine disruptor, may cause birth defects. Found in shower gels, shampoos, bubble bath. Benzoyl Peroxide In acne treatments, bar soap, facial cleansers and food additives! Highly toxic/ irritant. Bisphenol A or BPA Toxic plastic chemical used as a can lining in brands of some infant formulas. Also found in water bottles, this chemical is used to produce polycarbonate and epoxy plastics. For babies, check food container labels and beware of polycarbonate plastic baby bottles. Chemical reactions can occur when plastic is heated. BHA – BHT Banned in other countries, these two preservatives are considered carcinogenic but remain in U.S. manufactured foods that contain oil as they retard rancidity. Found in foods and body products. Bronopol May break down into formaldehyde, may form carcinogenic nitrosamines. Found in body products. Butylparaben Potential breast cancer risk and endocrine disruptor raising concern for impaired fertility or development, increased risk for certain cancers, itching burning and blistering of skin. Found in body products. Carboxymethylcellulose Causes cancer in animals. Used in cosmetics, inhalation could cause chemical pneumonitis. Coal Tar Dyes – (includes D&C Blue 1, Green 3, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 33, etc.) Even though their carcinogenicity has recently been proven, the 1938 Act includes a specific exemption for them. Severe allergic reactions, asthma attacks, headaches, nausea, fatigue, lack of concentration, nervousness, increased risk of Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Found in bubble bath, hair dye, dandruff shampoo, toothpaste and foods. For more information, see the Dyes Commonly Used in Food and Body Product Section. Cocamidopropyl Betaine May contain harmful impurities or form toxic breakdown products, itching, burning and blistering of skin. Synthesized from coconuts, this chemical is found in body products and may be labeled natural or organic. Coumarin Formerly the active ingredient in rat poison. A carcinogenic ingredient used in the manufacturing of deodorants, shampoos, skin fresheners and perfumes. D&C Yellow 11 Found in: Lip gloss, polish remover, nail polish, bath oil/salts/soak, body spray, mositurizer, lipstick, styling gel/lotion, bar soap, after sun products, cologne, nail treatment. Color safe for external use only, found in ingested products, Color not approved for use around eyes, in eye products DEA: Diethanolamine A chemical used as a wetting or thickening agent in shampoos, soaps, hairsprays and sunscreens, blocks absorption of the nutrient choline, which is essential to brain development in a fetus. Diacetyl An additive that tastes like butter causes a serious lung condition called bronchiolitis obliterans, or “popcorn workers’ lung. Found in foods, especially microwave popcorn. Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) A chemical used to keep nail polish from chipping, has been connected to cancer in lab animals as well as long-term fertility issues in newborn boys. Banned in Europe, but still in use in the U.S. Found in nail polish. Dimethicone A silicone emollient, which coats the skin not allowing toxins out. May promote tumors and accumulate in the liver and lymph nodes. Found in lotions and creams. Dioforms Damage and weaken tooth enamel allowing more staining and discoloration to take place. Found in tooth whitening products. Disodium EDTA Harmful if swallowed or inhaled, causes irritation to skin, eyes and respiratory tract. Found in cosmetics. Diazolidinyl Urea Found in facial cleansers, shampoos and conditioners. Linked to neurotoxicity and immunotoxicity