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Energy drinks may be harmful

I’ve never liked the way I felt after drinking energy drinks. This study explains why I felt so jittery. I think I’ll stick to water. :)

People with high blood pressure should avoid drinking energy drinks, according to a study. The small study found that healthy adults who drank two cans of an energy drink a day had a big increase in their blood pressure and heart rate.

(Steves note: isn’t that the whole point!)

What is in energy drinks?

Energy drinks are promoted as being able to increase mental alertness and physical performance. Energy drinks, like Red Bull, Monster and Rockstar generally contain large doses of caffeine and other stimulants like taurine and guarana.

Energy drinks can contain up to 80 mg of caffeine, compared to 37 mg in a can of Mountain Dew, or 23 mg in a can of Coca-Cola Classic. Generally these drinks are drunk quickly, which is a big hit of caffeine to the body fast. A can of energy drink can have 1-2 times the amount of caffeine than a cup of coffee. However, generally coffee is drunk slower, lessening the immediate impact on the heart.

The energy drink study

Researchers studied 15 healthy adults over 7 days. They were not allowed to consume any other forms of caffeine for two days before and throughout the study.

Researchers took their blood pressure, heart rate and EKG regularly throughout the study. They drank two cans of the energy drink a day and were not physically active.

The Results: The researchers found at the end of the study that:

  • heart rate had increased by 5-7 heart beats per minute, and
  • systolic blood pressure had increased by 10 mm Hg.

Researchers suggested that caffeine and taurine are the cause of the increases in blood pressure and heart rate.

Lead author of the study Dr Kalus from Henry Ford Hospital said, “Based on our findings, we recommend that people who have hypertension or heart disease and are taking medication for them to avoid consuming energy drinks because of a potential risk to their health.”

The study was published in The Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

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About Kellie

Kellie is 37 years old and together with her brother Steve makes up the My Health Software team.

She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


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