Energy Drinks – Are They Bad For Your Heart?  (Part 1)

With over 500 brands on the market, energy drinks have grown in popularity as physical and mental performance boosters.  However, before reaching for an energy drink for a pick-me-up or an after exercise refresher, consider that it may not be healthy, especially for your heart.

Caffeine Levels

The Center for Disease Control recommends an intake of no more than 400 mg of caffeine a day for a healthy adult.  An average cup of coffee may contain 60-150 mg of caffeine, whereas caffeine levels in energy drinks vary widely from 6-242mg a serving.  They may fall in the recommended range, but are misleading.  Energy drinks are not regulated by the Federal Drug Association and often contain much higher levels of caffeine than their labels claim.  If you consume energy drinks, you could consume higher levels of caffeine than advertised.

Possible Dangers of Caffeine

The body rapidly absorbs caffeine, boosting adrenaline in the bloodstream.  Adrenaline is the hormone that triggers blood vessels to contract and direct blood to major muscles.  Too much adrenaline has been linked to heart palpitations, high blood pressure, and a rapid heartbeat.  Although high caffeine levels are probably not dangerous for healthy adults, anyone with cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, or other cardiac conditions are recommended to limit their caffeine intake. 

Uncertain caffeine levels in energy drinks cause concern.  Before consuming energy drinks, anyone with cardiac concerns should consult the doctors at Carolina Heart & Leg Center, P.A. Call us today at (910) 491-1760 to schedule an appointment.

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