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Drinking THIS Harms Your Heart! Safer Alternatives – Plus Why & How it’s Dangerous

By on May 19, 2017
Drinking just 32 ounces of an energy drink could cause sudden changes in your blood pressure, say researchers.

The study, which appears in the Journal of the American Heart Association, says that people who drank this beverage experienced rapid changes in the heart’s electrical activity and blood pressure, presenting a serious health risk.

However, caffeine is not to blame here, say researchers. Other participants who drank a beverage containing an equivalent amount of caffeine–approximately 320 milligrams–did not experience any serious side effects.

So what’s causing it? Researchers are unsure.

“On the other hand, those who consumed the energy drinks still had a mildly elevated blood pressure after six hours,” says Emily A. Fletch, Pharm.D., a David Grant U.S.A.F. Medical Center deputy pharmacy flight commander at Travis Air Force Base in California. “This suggests that ingredients other than caffeine may have some blood pressure altering effects, but this needs further evaluation.”

The Research

In the study, researchers invited eighteen young adults to participate in a beverage study, evaluating the effects of certain drinks on their heart and blood health. Splitting them into two groups, researchers gave the first group a 32 ounce serving of an energy drink, containing 320 milligrams of caffeine and other stimulants purported to enhance energy levels. The other group received a control beverage instead, which contained 320 milligrams of caffeine but no other stimulants.

After consuming it, researchers measured their blood pressure. They then took additional readings 1, 2, 4, 6, and 24 hours after the test period.

So what changed? A lot, say researchers–and the effects weren’t good.

“While both the energy drink and caffeine arms raised systolic BP in a similar fashion initially, the systolic BP was significantly higher at 6 hours when compared with the caffeine arm,” write researchers in the journal’s online version. “Ingredients contained in energy drinks other than caffeine warrant further investigation. Larger clinical trials controlling for the limitations of this study are warranted.”

In addition to these findings, researchers found that energy drinks significantly altered something called the QT interval. Fletcher explains that this measures how long it takes for heart ventricles to prepare for a heart beat. Generally, a steady beat is optimal–a short or long QT interval can lead to abnormal heart beat fluctuations, leading to a potentially deadly heart arrhythmia.

Bottom line? Energy drinks alter your heart and blood pressure in a bad way–you’re best off sticking with other types of caffeinated beverages instead.

“Our study findings suggest significant prolongation of the QTc interval 2 hours after energy drink consumption when compared with caffeine,” write researchers.

Readers: What do you think? Are energy drinks truly dangerous? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Sources:
Energy Drinks Linked to More Heart, Blood Pressure Changes Than Caffeinated Drinks AloneHeart.org
Randomized Controlled Trial of High-Volume Energy Drink Versus Caffeine Consumption on ECG and Hemodynamic Parameters (Study)AHAJournals.org

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