Energy drinks are meant to boost our energy and they have become very popular since they came out in the market, however, a recent study reveals that consuming these energy drinks is not good for the heart. In fact, the study also revealed that energy drinks are even worse than caffeine alone.
According to the researchers of the study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, drinking 32 ounces of energy drink is associated with potentially harmful changes in heart function and blood pressure which is even worse than drinking caffeine alone.
While manufacturers and patronizers of energy drinks claim that they are as safe as caffeine, there is actually no evidence to support that claim. Drinking about 5 cups of coffee is generally recognized as safe to consume by the Food and Drug Administration.
Energy drinks, one the other hand, which also contains caffeine has other ingredients and little is known about the safety of these ingredients.
Dr Emily Fletcher of the Air Force Medical Centre in Travis, California, decided to study the potential health impact of the said type of drink since 75 per cent of military base’s personnel have consumed an energy drink.
A group of 18 participants were divided into two groups: the first one received 946 ml of energy drink and the second group were given drinks which contain 320mg caffeine (40 ml lime juice and 140 ml of cherry syrup and carbonated water).
The participants were then tracked and the electrical activity of their hearts where measured by electrocardiogram. Their blood pressures were also monitored at one, two, four, six and 24 hours after consuming the assigned drink.
The results showed that the group who consumed energy drinks showed signs of the heart “pausing” for an extra 10 milliseconds between beats. Fletcher said that when the intervals are either too short or too long, it can cause the heart to beat abnormally which can be life threatening.
Moreover the group who consumed energy drinks had mildly elevated blood pressure after six hours.
This suggests that ingredients other than caffeine may have some blood pressure altering effects, but this needs further evaluation.
On a final note, researchers said that the findings of the study should not bring too much worry for healthy individuals. However, people with heart conditions should take extra caution when taking energy drinks.