A little caffeine to combat low energy and get you through your day may be a good thing, but too much of a boost may actually cause unnecessary strain on your heart. In the case of energy drinks, the unique combination of sugar, taurine, and caffeine may have a number of effects including irregular heartbeat, increased heart contraction rates and blood pressure, and in some cases even long term damage to the heart muscle.
Energy drinks are available virtually everywhere, and provide high doses of caffeine that act as a stimulant upon both the cardiovascular and central nervous system. The total amount of caffeine in energy drinks varies from about 80 to more than 500 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, compared with approximately 100 mg in a 5-ounce cup of coffee.
The incredibly profitable energy drink industry has been facing increasing scrutiny in recent years over the labeling of possible health risks. These concerns are further complicated by the fact that some of these high-caffeine drinks are sold under the rules governing beverages, while others are marked as dietary supplements. Each category has different ingredient rules and reporting requirements, which can make things confusing for consumers and health professionals.
No matter how these drinks are classified, a review of seven previous studies presented at the 2013 American Heart Association meeting in New Orleans found that drinking one to three energy drinks a day could negatively impact your heart rhythm and increase blood pressure. While these changes may seem small, our team at Cardiac Monitoring Service knows that they can still cause significant problems for certain consumers with pre-existing heart conditions.
The growing popularity of these energy drinks also has some health officials concerned. In 2012, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that emergency room visits related to energy drinks increased tenfold over the span of four years. Many of these visits were by young adults who had used the energy drinks in conjunction with alcohol or drugs.
Furthermore, according to a New York Times article, between 2009 and 2012 5-Hour Energy, a highly caffeinated energy shot, has been mentioned in approximately 90 filings with the F.D.A. The FDA records showed these cases included more than 30 reports involving serious or life-threatening injuries like heart attacks, convulsions, and even one case of spontaneous abortion.
Overall, medical professionals, the FDA, and energy drink companies all agree that further investigation and research is needed to assess the impact of energy drinks on heart health. When and if you do consume an energy drink, keep an eye out for disruptive side effects that can signal a bad reaction, such as extended dizzy spells, a skipping heartbeat, or feelings of jitteriness or anxiety.
As a leading supplier of Holter Monitors, Cardiac Monitoring Service is a leader in the heart monitoring industry and we are committed to improving heart health in the United States. If you’re a medical professional looking for Holter monitoring or Cardiac Event Monitoring, call us today!