Energy drinks can cause high blood pressure and trigger abnormal heart rhythms, according to a scientific study out this month. Researchers from University of the Pacific and David Grant Medical Center confirmed suspicions that energy drinks can be dangerous when consumed in large quantities. Time to ditch them for something a little healthier, maybe?
"Our findings suggest certain energy drinks may increase the risk of having an abnormal heart rhythm when consumed in high volumes," said primary investigator Sachin A Shah. "While we wait for more data, some consumers should exercise caution and not blindly follow the buzz.”
The study took 27 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 40 and split them into two groups. Subjects drank either two cans of an energy drink, an equivalent volume of a drink containing panax ginseng (an ingredient in the energy drink), or a placebo beverage once a day, every six days, for three weeks. Neither the volunteers nor the researchers knew who was getting which drink until the end of the three weeks. The researchers measured subjects' heart rhythm and blood pressure before the drinks were consumed and four times during the six hours immediately afterward.
The volunteers who consumed the energy drink experienced a statistically significant increase in a marker of abnormal heart rhythm risk (known as the QTc interval). These volunteers also experienced a slight rise in blood pressure, for two hours after drinking it). In contrast, the ginseng and placebo groups showed no rises in QTc interval or blood pressure.
This isn’t the first time energy drinks have caused controversy. In 2013, two separate studies came to the same conclusions, while a 2015 trial found that people who aren’t used to caffeine suffering the worst effects.
In fact, energy drinks have been associated with sudden deaths. As of June 2014, the Center for Science in Public Interest (a consumer health advocacy group in the USA), had collected reports of 34 deaths that may have been associated with energy drinks.
Kombucha, on the other hand, is known to boost energy levels without damaging your health. Keep your eyes on Kaptain Kombucha's blog for some upcoming articles on exactly how drinking kombucha can be an effective way to boost wellness as part of a healthy lifestyle!
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