Results of a study show that energy drinks may increase heart rate and blood pressure levels in addition to increasing energy. The researchers of the study are recommending that anyone who has high blood pressure or heart disease should avoid these beverages because their blood pressure could change and the drinks may change how effective medications are.
The drinks generally have high levels of caffeine and taurine, an amino acid found in protein-rich foods like meat and fish that can affect heart function and blood pressure, the researchers said.
The researchers stated that they saw a significant increase in both blood pressure and heart rate in healthy participants while they were just sitting. The increase was nothing health threatening, but it could be for people with cardiovascular disease or those taking drugs to lower heart rate or blood pressure.
The participants consumed two energy drinks every day over a seven day period. Their heart rates rose from around 8% on day one to 11% on day seven. Maximum systolic blood pressure rose from 8% to 10% by the end of the study, and diastolic blood pressure went from 7% to 8%.
The American Beverage Association responded to this study by saying,
“While the amount of caffeine in energy drinks or coffee may cause a slight and temporary increase in blood pressure, it would have no greater effect than walking up a flight of steps, so singling out energy drinks in a unique manner, particularly when compared to a more commonly consumed caffeinated beverage like coffee, does not provide a full and proper context for consumers.”
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