Energy Drinks are Tied to Cardiac Changes
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, May 16, 2017 11:18 AM

Evidence continues to accumulate that caution should be utilized when regularly consuming high-volume energy drinks.

Drinking a high-volume energy drink was linked to more heart and blood pressure changes compared with a control drink containing the same amount of caffeine, according to a small crossover study of military personnel.

Those in the energy drink arm had a significantly higher change in corrected QT interval, a measure of cardiac repolarization, compared with those in the caffeine arm at 2 hours after baseline.

“Based on this preliminary evidence in young, healthy adults, people who have high blood pressure, underlying cardiac conditions or other health issues might want to avoid or use caution when consuming energy drinks until more is known about their impact on heart health," wrote the authors in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

While both groups initially had similar increases in systolic blood pressure, a significant difference was evident after 6 hours in the energy arm but not the caffeine arm of the study.

Different energy drinks with different herbal or chemical ingredients may have different effects on the cardiovascular system.  We cannot assume class effects, and we cannot assume that herbal/natural preparations are always safe. More work is needed, and we should not extrapolate these results to middle-age healthy people, or elderly people with heart disease.