Energy Drinks – Are They Bad For Your Heart?  (Part 2)

The number of hospitalizations and deaths related to energy drinks is on the rise.  Although most contain caffeine and sugar similar to drinks like soda, there are additional unhealthy ingredients in energy drinks.  Specialized “energy blends” are herbs and chemicals that may include ginseng, taurine, B vitamins, among others.  The effects of these ingredients on cardiovascular health is unknown.

A study compared energy drinks with the added energy blends to a beverage with similar caffeine and sugar.  Electrical activity for the participants’ hearts and blood pressure were both measured before and after each drink.  

After drinking the energy drink, a 10-millisecond pause was recorded between the electrical impulses in the heart.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires warning labels for medications with a 6-millisecond pause.  Anything above that is off the market.  However, energy drinks are not regulated.

Consuming both drinks elevated blood pressure.  The energy drink caused a 5-point elevation even six hours after consumption when blood pressure had returned to normal after consuming the other beverage.

Energy drink companies claim they contain a safe level of caffeine.  However, the other ingredients in energy drinks can be of concern for individuals with cardiovascular issues.  It is important to consider the effects on blood pressure and heart rhythm because the effects are relatively unknown.  

Before consuming energy drinks, consult the doctors at Carolina Heart & Leg Center, P.A.  The doctors will answer any concerns and guide you to make heart-healthy choices. Call us at (910) 491-1760 to schedule an appointment. 

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