By On November 9th, 2007

Daily consumption of energy drinks related to heart risk

In my last blog I discussed the behavioral risks associated with consuming concoctions containing energy drinks and alcohol, risks which were reported in a recently published study. However, the dangers of mixing energy drinks with alcohol are not the only reason that some states have already placed restrictions on the sell of energy drinks. Another study, howbeit smaller, conducted by Dr. James Kalus and colleagues at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit Michigan, reported a link between the consumption of energy drinks and heart risk.

Specifically, the study revealed that healthy participants gradually increased their systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate over a period of five days while on a regiment of energy drinks. Although the study did not find the increases to be dangerous for the healthy study participants, it does suggest consumption of energy drinks could be dangerous for patients with heart disease; risk is significantly increased for those drinking two or more energy drinks a day, both for those with heart disease and those that are healthy. The following is an excerpt of an article from Medical News Today that discusses the specifics of the study:

On the first day of the study, they measured each volunteer’s blood pressure and heart rate and also took an electrocardiogram (ECG) to assess heart function.

After that, the participants drank two cans of an energy drink containing 80 milligrams of caffeine and 1,000 milligrams of taurine, and this was followed by further blood pressure, heart rate and ECG measurements 30 minutes, one two, three and four hours later. This was repeated each day for the next five days, until the seventh day of the study when they repeated what they did on the first day.

In their analysis Kalus and colleagues compared the average at baseline (day 1) and day 7 with the peaks during the intervening 5 days.

The results showed that:

  • Within 4 hours of consuming the energy drink, the maximum systolic blood pressure (the higher of the two blood pressure measures, when the heart compresses), increased by 7.9 per cent on day 1 and 9.6 per cent on day 7.
  • Within 2 hours of consuming the energy drink, the maximum diastolic blood pressure (the lower of the two blood pressure measures, when the heart relaxes between beats) went up 7 percent on day 1 and 7.8 percent on day 7.
  • Heart rate increased by 7.8 per cent on day 1 and 11 per cent on day seven.
  • Over the period of the study, heart rates went up between 5 and 7 beats per minute and systolic blood pressure went up by 10 mm mercury (Hg) after having the energy drink.
  • No significant ECG changes were observed.

Click here to read the entire article from Medical News Today

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