Are Energy Drinks Bad for Your Heart?
Must. Have. Caffeine.
We all have our morning routines. Most of us shower, brush our teeth, get dressed, and eat breakfast. Chances are some caffeinated beverage helps to jump-start your morning, like coffee, tea, or an energy drink. Caffeinated drinks can do wonders for college students heading out to an early morning class after pulling an all nighter or an exhausted mother of three in the middle of a particularly nasty flu season. In doses under 400 milligrams, caffeine is considered safe for consumption by the FDA, and a regular 8-ounce coffee from your corner shop only has 95 milligrams on average. According to an April 2017 study, however, what caffeinated drink you choose can greatly impact your heart’s health.
Much research has already been done about the cardiovascular safety profile of caffeine, but scientists at the David Grant Medical Center on Travis Air Force Base were interested in how energy drinks may affect the heart. The team compared blood pressure and EKG results of healthy individuals after they drank an energy drink or a regular caffeinated beverage. The caffeinated beverage had the same amount of caffeine as the energy drink, but none of the other ingredients, such as sugar, various B vitamins, and taurine, which are found in many of the common energy drinks available now.
Your Heart on Energy Drinks
The results were interesting. The participants who drank the energy drink had elevated blood pressure for up to six hours after consuming the beverage. The participants who drank the caffeinated beverage had only a slight rise in blood pressure. The EKG results were even more revealing. Twenty-four hours after they had the beverage, the results of those who had drunk the energy drink were the same as those associated with life-threatening irregularities in the heart.
Energy drinks are often marketed under the guise they will keep you awake for longer than a cup of coffee or any other caffeinated beverage on the market. There is no research available that says an energy drink with the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee will do more for your energy levels or focus. However, a 2015 Mayo Clinic Study showed that just one 16-ounce energy drink increases blood pressure and stress hormones enough to induce a cardiovascular event.
Natural, Heart-Healthy Energy Boost
If you are a healthy man or woman, consuming a moderate amount of caffeine is fine. However, for an energy boost without caffeine, and with the added benefits of maximizing physical performance, preventing or treating headaches, and increasing weight loss - have a glass of water! Your energy levels are decreased significantly if your body is dehydrated.
February is American Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, but making small lifestyle choices can significantly reduce your risk. For more information on heart healthy habits, consult with the doctors of South Orange Chiropractic Center.
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