Energy drinks may make your heart beat faster--much faster, if you’re not used to drinking caffeine, according to new research from the Mayo Clinic. The results raised the concern among scientists that energy drinks may increase the risk of cardiac events.
Blood pressure more than doubled among healthy young people, who were “caffeine naïve” (people who drink less than the amount of caffeine found in a cup of coffee daily) involved in the study, according to a Mayo Clinic release about the research.
In the study, Mayo Clinic researchers gave a can of commercial energy drink or a placebo to 25 healthy young adults, ages 19 to 40, and measured changes in their heart rate and blood pressure before and 30 minutes after consumption. They also compared rates between the caffeine naïve and caffeine users (the “caffeine mature”?).
The people who drank the energy drinks experienced a “marked” rise in blood pressure after drinking it. The effect “was most dramatic in people who did not typically consume much caffeine.”
“We know that energy drink consumption is widespread and rising among young people,” lead author Anna Svatikova, M.D., Ph.D., cardiovascular diseases fellow at the Mayo Clinic said in the release.
“Concerns about the health safety of energy drinks have been raised. We and others have previously shown that energy drinks increase blood pressure. Now we are seeing that for those not used to caffeine, the concern may be even greater. Consumers should use caution when using energy drinks because they may increase the risk of cardiovascular problems, even among young people.”
Recent research revealed that nearly half of all energy drink TV advertising is aimed at teens.
Results of the study were presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 64th Annual Scientific Session in San Diego, and were mentioned on sciencedaily.com.