Energy Drinks May Endanger Heart Health

Energy drinks are all the rage now-a-days,  especially among people who are looking for a good and instant rush of energy. The way these drinks work is by increasing your blood pressure and your heart rate. This gives you the kick-start you are looking for. But, there is evidence that energy drinks may endanger heart health.

While most healthy people can have a can or two without experiencing any problems drinking this stuff, there are those who are medically advised to stay away from these kinds of drinks. This includes those who should follow a high triglycerides diet and those who have high cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure or heart conditions.

Recent Study On Energy Drinks

A study was presented to the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2007 held in Orlando, Florida. It was carried out by Dr James Kalus, senior manager of Patient Care Services at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, along with his colleagues.

In the experiment conducted, healthy participants, 8 women and 7 men with the average age of 26 years old, consumed two cans of a particular energy drink that contained 80 milligrams of caffeine everyday for one week. They were asked to refrain from having caffeine from other sources for two days prior to and all throughout the duration of the study.

On the first day, within the first four hours of consuming the energy drink, the systolic blood pressure (top number) went up by 9 points, and then 10 points by the seventh day. The diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) climbed up to 5 points on both days. The heart rate went up to five beats per minute on the first day; and seven beats on the last. The blood pressure and heart rate were taken while they were just sitting in chairs.

The conclusion of the study:

The researchers said their findings “raised concerns” and advised people with high blood pressure or heart disease keep off energy drinks because they could increase blood pressure or change the effect of any drugs they are taking.

Energy Drinks And Alcohol

People are getting more experimental nowadays, especially with what they eat and drink. Case in point: alcoholic cocktails. Some people mix energy drink with alcohol to get a buzz especially when going out and dancing in clubs. If you are dealing with high triglycerides, the combination of the sugar in the energy drink plus the alcohol can cause your triglycerides level to soar sky-high.

Energy Drinks And The Athlete

Energy drinks are often consumed by people in sports. This isn’t exactly ideal. Caffeine, one of the main contents of energy drinks, is a known diuretic. It causes kidneys to remove extra fluid from the body into the urine, which leaving less fluid in your body. Adding the diuretic effects of energy drinks to the loss of water with sweating and you can get some major dehydration.

Energy Drinks and Caffiene

Caffeine, while a legal substance, has always been linked to increase in the heart rate and blood pressure in numerous experiments conducted in the past. Turns out, the “energy” we get from energy drinks is solely from the two main ingredients: sugar and caffeine. Usually, the caffeine content is about 80 milligrams, but there are those that shockingly reach 200 milligrams per can or bottle.

Since caffeine is a known stimulant, consuming more of it than you should can bring about anxiety, insomnia, and palpitations. In general, energy drinks are basically safe, but just like almost anything else, use them in moderation to avoid any major cardiovascular problems.

Energy and High Triglycerides

If you, however, are trying to lower your triglyceride levels, it is best to steer clear of energy drinks, simply because of the sugar content.