Drinking around 0.5 litre of energy drink cause rises in blood pressure and stress hormones levels to a great extent, says a new study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015 today. The scientific paper is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The apparent effects of energy drinks on blood pressure and stress hormone responses raise concerns pertaining to the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
The first author of the study, Anna Svatikova, explains that energy drinks are linked with increases in blood pressure among young healthy adults in previous studies. Her own research now shows that the rise in BP happens simultaneously with increases in a stress hormone chemical called norepinephrine.
25 volunteers consumed 0.5 L of energy drink and a placebo drink (without caffeine, taurine, and other stimulants of energy drinks) within 5 minutes on 2 days.
Their BP increased afterwards: systolic BP by 6 % after energy consumption and by 3 % after placebo drink. Furthermore, their norepinephrine levels rose by around 74 % following the consumption of energy drinks as opposed to a 31 % increase after the placebo drink.
In a statement, she says that this might lead to a predisposition to increase risk of having cardiac problems. She also believes this might happen in healthy people.
“These results suggest that people should be cautious when consuming energy drinks due to possible health risks,” Dr. Svatikova says. “Asking patients about energy drink consumption should become routine for physicians, particularly when interpreting vital signs in the acute setting.”