Energy Drinks Can Damage Cardiovascular Health, Says New Study

A new study conducted by the American Heart Association has found that gulping down four 8-ounce servings of energy drinks can up one’s blood pressure and cause cardiac arrhythmia. This report that has been published in the Journal of the American Heart Association was carried out on 34 participants all in the age bracket of 18 to 40.

Before the study was started their heart rhythm and blood pressure readings were taken. The research was conducted to study the effects of energy drinks on young and healthy people’s cardiovascular health. Participants were given either placebo comprising of carbonated water mixed with lime juice and berry flavoring or an energy drink.

They were required to consume all 32 ounces within an hour, but no more than 16 ounces were to be drank in half an hour. The electrocardiogram and blood pressure markers of participants were checked every 30 minutes for a continuous period of 4 hours after drink intake. QT intervals were used for the measurement of the time that the heart’s ventricles took to beat again.

It was found that in comparison to placebo drinkers, those who drank one of the two commercially available energy drinks had QT interval readings that were either 6 milliseconds or 7.7 milliseconds higher whereas their systolic and diastolic blood pressure was also up by 4 to 5 mm Hg. Typically, the amount of caffeine in energy drinks shouldn’t have an adverse impact on heart health.

However, in the case of energy drinks, there are several supplements that are supposedly included for boosting energy which combined with caffeine can have a negative impact on the heart’s health. Lead author of the study, Sachin A. Shah said, “We urgently need to investigate the particular ingredient or combination of ingredients in different types of energy drinks that might explain the findings seen in our clinical trial.”

Unfortunately, energy drink consumption is on the rise in the United States. Other than heart health, energy drinks have also been shown to have a negative impact on oral health as they can cause tooth erosion. What’s more, they are also associated to hypervitaminosis A, high blood sugar, and weight gain.

A study from last year published in the Circulation journal found that sugar-filled beverages such as energy drinks can negatively impact heart health and also increase the risk of death particularly among women. Authors of this new study think that physicians need to be more aware of the factors that can increase blood pressure in patients of cardiovascular problems.

However, it must be noted that this study had limitations. First of all, it only looked at the short-term effects of energy drinks. Secondly, it only had healthy individuals as participants. Regardless of these pointers though, it’s no secret that too much energy drink consumption is unhealthy. People need to keep away from harmful beverages as much as possible. It’s not as if cardiovascular problems and related deaths aren’t widespread as it is.