Energy Drinks Linked to Heart Problems
Energy drinks have become increasingly popular in the last few years, but recent research suggests that consuming them may be bad for your heart. Specifically, drinking energy drinks was shown to increase systolic blood pressure by 3.5 points and the QT interval by 10 milliseconds.
The QT interval is a segment of the heart's rhythm as measured by an electrocardiogram. When the QT interval is prolonged, it can cause serious irregular heartbeats or sudden cardiac death.
The analysis included seven studies that had previously been published. The age range of the participants was 18-45 years old.
In the initial part of their analysis, the researchers looked at the QT interval of 93 people who had just consumed one to three energy drinks. They observed a 10 millisecond QT interval difference following energy drink consumption.
The researchers found the increase in systolic blood pressure during analysis of another study pool which included 132 participants. The two discoveries led researchers to caution people with heart problems to be cautious when consuming energy drinks.
The study was conducted by researchers at University of the Pacific in California. It was presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions the week of March 19th, 2013.
There are natural alternatives to energy drinks. Previous studies have shown that goji berry juice, green tea, yerba mate tea, and even vitamin D or a multivitamin supplement can help increase your energy.