Tuesday 21 Oct 2014

Information and opinions presented here do not always represent the views of the American Heart Association.

SimpleScience@Heart: Energy drinks may increase blood pressure, disturb heart rhythm

Published: 3:00 pm CDT, March 21, 2013

 You may want to rethink downing those energy drinks — they may increase your blood pressure and disturb your heart’s natural rhythm.

In a recent study, healthy people who had one to three cans of an energy drink:

  • Changed part of the heart’s rhythm that’s linked to fainting and sudden cardiac arrest. The change wasn’t enough to cause a lot of concern, but it’s worth more investigation, researchers said.
  • Increased their systolic blood pressure, the top number in a blood pressure reading, by 3.5 points — a concern to researchers.

      Energy drinks, which account for nearly half of the international beverage market, contain caffeine. Scientists say if you don’t normally drink a lot of caffeine, you may have an exaggerated response. And if you have high blood pressure, a heart rhythm problem or other health concerns, you could have more heart-related side effects from energy drinks.

 

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