Energy drinks may increase blood pressure, disturb heart rhythm

Updated:Aug 30,2013

You may want to rethink downing those energy drinks — they may increase your blood pressure and disturb your heart’s natural rhythm.

In a recent study, healthy people who had one to three cans of an energy drink:
  • Changed part of the heart’s rhythm that’s linked to fainting and sudden cardiac arrest. The change wasn’t enough to cause a lot of concern, but it’s worth more investigation, researchers said.
  • Increased their systolic blood pressure, the top number in a blood pressure reading, by 3.5 points — a concern to researchers.

Energy drinks, which account for nearly half of the international beverage market, contain caffeine. Scientists say if you don’t normally drink a lot of caffeine, you may have an exaggerated response. And if you have high blood pressure, a heart rhythm problem or other health concerns, you could have more heart-related side effects from energy drinks.

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