A new study has linked the consumption of energy drinks to serious cardiovascular disorders possibly due to the caffeine and other stimulants they contain.
The researchers from Mayo Clinic, Rochester, examined the effect of energy drink consumption on hemodynamic changes, such as blood pressure and heart rate.
Anna Svatikova and her colleagues randomly assigned 25 healthy volunteers (aged 18 years or older) to consume a can (480ml) of a commercially available energy drink and placebo drink within five minutes, in random order on two separate days, a maximum two weeks apart.
The placebo drink, selected to match the nutritional constituents of the energy drink, was similar in taste, texture, and colour but lacked caffeine and other stimulants of the energy drink.
The researchers found that caffeine levels remained unchanged after the placebo drink, but increased significantly after energy drink consumption.
The energy drink’s consumption elicited a 6.2 per cent increase in systolic blood pressure while diastolic blood pressure increased by 6.8 per cent.
The average blood pressure increased by 6.4 per cent after consumption of the energy drink. There was no significant difference in heart rate increase between the two groups, the researchers found.
The average norepinephrine level increased from 150 pg/ml to 250 pg/ml after consumption of the energy drink and from 140 pg/ml to 179 pg/ml after placebo.
“These acute hemodynamic and adrenergic changes may predispose to increased cardiovascular risk,” the authors observed.
The study was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015.