Study: Energy Drinks May Increase Heart Malfunction, High Blood Pressure Risk
Energy drinks might give you that extra energy you need to get through your day, but they could be doing long-term damage to your health.
A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that consuming the caffeinated beverages increases your risk of developing heart abnormalities, irregular heart rhythms, and high blood pressure.
In a study involving 34 healthy volunteers from ages of 18 and 40, researchers found that those who consumed energy drinks developed higher blood pressures and faster heartbeats than those who drink placebos.
"Energy drinks are readily accessible and commonly consumed by a large number of teens and young adults, including college students," said Kate O'Dell, a researcher and co-author of the study. "Understanding how these drinks affect the heart is extremely important."
Now, I've gone through my fair share of sugar-free Red Bull in my early 20s while working late nights in night clubs. I remember not being able to go to sleep after drinking them at the club. I'd get off work at 3am and not be tired. I knew that wasn't normal, but chalked it up to the caffeine. You'd think "it's working!"
But it wasn't until I really started paying attention to my body and how different foods or drinks affected me that I realized Red Bull literally makes my heart race. Even as recently as this past February, when I was in Scottsdale. Durning the "big game" someone bought me a vodka Red Bull. I never drink those anymore, but drank it because it actually tasted so good! I went home late that night, and remember not being able to go to sleep (after a weekend of getting close to no sleep) and then waking up in the middle of the night with my heart racing. I remember waking up with this racing heart and thinking "did someone drug one of my drinks?" before realizing this is how I feel after drinking Red Bull.
That's just been my personal experience, and so I generally steer away from any sort of energy drinks. I love caffeine in the form of coffee and tea, but I don't want to wake up with a racing heart so I don't do energy drinks.