Science/Tech

Dangers Of Energy Drinks Exposed

If you’re an energy drink lover and need that carbonated drink to power through your day, then this might kill your buzz.

According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, drinking around 32 ounces of energy drinks in an hour’s time would increase the risk of your heart suffering from electrical disturbances four hours later.

The small study was done on 34 healthy volunteers aged 18 to 40. All were asked to drink 32 ounces of one of two commercially available energy drinks or a placebo drink on three separate days. Per the study, the energy drinks were also caffeinated, having 320 milligrams of caffeine per 32 ounces, while the placebo drink had lime juice, cherry flavoring and carbonated water.

Afterwards, the researchers measured electrical activity in the participants’ hearts via electrocardiograms. QT intervals and blood pressure rates were also taken, recorded at the start and after every 30 minutes for four hours.

Per the findings, the subjects who drank the caffeinated energy drinks have a higher QT interval than those who drank the placebo drinks, with their blood pressure also increasing in the process. This poses risks, since QT intervals that are either too short or too long can be a catalyst for heart arrhythmias, while blood pressure can either lead to stroke or a heart attack.

“The public should be aware of the impact of energy drinks on their body, especially if they have other underlying health conditions,”  said lead author Sachin A. Shah, professor of pharmacy practice at the University of the Pacific. “Healthcare professionals should advise certain patient populations, for example, people with underlying congenital or acquired long QT syndrome or high blood pressure, to limit or monitor their consumption.”

Of course, the study was still relatively small and only featured healthy individuals. Furthermore, due to the study’s size, the long-term effects of energy drinks consumption wasn’t also considered. Still, Shah believes the findings showed a number of warning signs and red flags.

Energy Drink Energy drinks like Monster and Rockstar are estimated to contain over 50 grams of sugar per can while Redbull contains nearly 27 grams. thom masat/Unsplash

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