Energy drinks found to produce harmful changes in blood pressure and heart function, reveals new study
The harmful effects of energy drinks go beyond their caffeine content, a recent study revealed. According to the authors, a large number of research have long established that energy drinks may adversely affect cardiac health, but none has actually examined the safety of the other ingredients. There are more than 500 energy drink products available in the market today. While both manufacturers and fans claim that these drinks are just as safe as caffeine, an increasing number of associated emergency department visits and deaths say otherwise. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers caffeine doses of up to 400 mg as generally safe. Aside from caffeine, energy drinks were found to contain four ounces of sugar, several B vitamins and an energy blend of taurine and other ingredients.
As part of the study, a team of researchers at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California enrolled 18 healthy participants who were instructed to drink a commercially-available energy drink and a formula with the same caffeine content but none of the other ingredients. The research team also measured the participants’ blood pressure levels and electrocardiogram readings.
The experts found that the participants’ blood pressure levels rose by nearly five points, and remained high for up to six hours. In contrast, drinking the formula resulted in less than one point increase in blood pressure levels. While the changes did not appear worrisome for healthy individuals, the research team warned that people with heart condition should exercise caution in consuming these beverages.