Just One Energy Drink May Damage Blood Vessels, According to Research

Before you reach for that energy drink, you might want to consider the potential harm you’re causing your body. That’s because energy drinks are likely giving your body a lot more than just a quick boost of energy. They are increasingly being linked with health issues, including damage to the heart and blood vessels.

Research conducted at the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, assessed the effects of drinking a single energy drink on 44 healthy, non-smoking medical students in their twenties. Then, they conducted ultrasound testing to determine the health of their blood vessels. On average, they found that blood vessel dilation drastically dropped from 5.1 percent dilation to 2.8 percent just an hour and a half after drinking a single energy drink, which suggested an “acute impairment in vascular function,” according to the researchers.

Dilated blood vessels might not sound like a big deal to many people, but we depend on healthy blood flow for proper functioning of every organ, including our brain. Significantly reducing blood flow could have serious consequences. Earlier research had already linked energy drink consumption to substance abuse later in life as well as many other serious side effects, including: flushing, headaches, nausea, lethargy, abnormal heart rate, loss of consciousness, and even death.

Last year, an otherwise healthy 16-year-old boy, Davis Cripe drank an energy drink and a latte then later fell to his knees during an art class, before passing out, and being rushed to the hospital where he died. The official cause of death for sixteen-year-old Davis Cripe’s was “caffeine-induced cardiac event causing a probable arrhythmia.”

After the boy’s sudden and tragic death, the Palmetto Poison Center, in South Carolina issued an advisory: “Consuming large amounts of caffeine can cause heart related problems including increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and irregular heart rhythm.” The agency added: “Vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death can occur.”

Yet, most people would not think that the amount of caffeine in an energy drink is a concern.

Some people are more at risk than others. Children, teenagers, and young adults are particularly at risk of suffering the ill effects of energy drinks as their bodies are still developing. And unfortunately, the drinks are frequently marketed to young people. The American Academy of Pediatrics already warns parents not to let their children consume these beverages.

One cup of coffee contains about 100 milligrams of caffeine and a 12-ounce cola contains about 35 milligrams of caffeine, yet some energy drinks contain as much as 500 mg of caffeine, when all sources of caffeine are considered, even when the label suggests much lower levels. That is comparable to drinking 14 cans of soda in a single sitting. That is a disturbing amount of caffeine for adults, but is a completely unacceptable and alarming amount for children.

Ironically, the beverages are marketed to boost “energy” or athletic performance, but in a study of over 900 medical students, researchers found that of those who drank energy drinks, 29% experienced increased weight gain and 32% experienced increased overall fatigue over students who didn’t drink energy drinks. But let’s face it: it’s a lot easier to sell beverages under the guise of “energy drinks” than if they were labeled “fatigue-causing drinks that make you fat.” So the beverage makers continue to potentially dupe unsuspecting consumers who want an immediate pick-me-up and don’t relate the serious energy crash that happens hours later to the beverages.

Meanwhile, in just 4 years, between the years 2007 and 2011, emergency room visits linked to energy drink use doubled, with 1 in 10 of these people requiring hospitalization, according to the US government’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).

So before you grab an ”energy drink” consider the potential damage to your blood vessels and heart, as well as the intense energy crash that frequently follows.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-newsletter Worlds Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, co-founder of BestPlaceinCanada, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Cancer-Proof: All Natural Solutions for Cancer Prevention and HealingFollow her work.

 

55 comments

Jack Y
Jack Y4 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y4 months ago

thanks

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John J
John J4 months ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J4 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Lesa D
Past Member 5 months ago

thank you Michelle...

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Rita Delfing
Rita Delfing6 months ago

Never had one never will, clearly this is not a necessary thing to drink.

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Daniel N
Past Member 6 months ago

thank you

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Mely Lu
Mely Lu6 months ago

I never liked these energy drinks anyway. Completely unnecessary and loaded with sugar etc.

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David C
David C6 months ago

never had, never will, but I have seen multiple patients admitted wtih high bp related to energy drink use......wonder if or when they will ever get warning labels

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Gloria p
Gloria picchetti6 months ago

I am lucky. I just don't like energy drinks.

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