Energy Drink Dangers
A randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that energy drinks can cause abnormal heart electrical activity and increase blood pressure. Forty healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 40 were given two unmarked 16-ounce bottles of different commercially available caffeinated energy drinks or a placebo drink on three separate days and were instructed to consume them within a 60-minute period. When compared with placebo, the 32-ounce consumption of both brands of energy drink led to a change in the heart’s electrical activity (prolonged QTc), which is a risk factor for heart arrhythmias. Blood pressure also went up after energy drink consumption compared to placebo. The energy drinks contained 304 to 320 milligrams caffeine, plus taurine, glucuronolactone, various B-vitamins, and other ingredients.
Energy drinks are widely consumed and are popular with young people. It is important for users to be aware of the potential dangers of these beverages.