Are Energy Drinks bad for your heart?
In the recent years there has been an explosion of energy drinks to the market. More people than ever before turning to these products as quick ‘pick me ups’, whether to stay awake due to poor sleeping habits or gain the edge in sport. What effects do these products have on our heart?
The lead researcher (nephrologist Dr Magdalena Szotowska, Poland) of a small study has found that energy drinks can increase blood pressure and cause tachycardia (fast rhythms) and arrhythmias (Premature Ventricular and Atrial Contractions) in healthy volunteers. She believes that sales of these products should be regulated. She also found the drinks increased anxiety and insomnia among the participants in her study.
Now for the flipside: The latest research from the European Society of Cardiology by Dr. Matteo Cameli from the University of Siena, states that consuming energy drinks can exert acute positive benefits on heart performance.
Energy drinks contain both caffeine and taurine where concerns have been raised of adverse effects on the heart. Caffeine does increase blood pressure, studies have suggested that taurine may stimulate the release of calcium.
Dr. Cameli found an increase in HR by results show that energy drinks enhance contractions of both the left and right ventricles, thereby delivering a positive effect on heart function. This could be explained by the effect of taurine that, as previously demonstrated, stimulates the release of calcium from the muscle.
Both these recent studies have been performed on healthy subjects with no heart disease. It will also be important to determine which of the effects are induced in patients with heart disease to further the understanding of the potential benefits or risks of energy drink consumption.
As always please feel free to contact me for further clarification. Energy consumption drinks may have a benefit on cardiovascular system function due to the latest study but do note that it can contain an immense amount of sugar and calories.
To your heart health success,