Posted November 11, 2015

Consuming a Single Energy Drink May Increase Cardiovascular Risk

A recently published study found that consumption of a single caffeinated energy drink significantly increased blood pressure and noradrenaline levels in healthy young adults. The researchers noted these changes could potentially increase the risk of cardiovascular events. The study was published on November 8, 2015 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

In the study, 25 healthy adults consumed a 16 oz. energy drink (Rockstar, Rockstar Inc.) containing 240 mg of caffeine, 2000 mg of taurine, and extracts of guarana seed, ginseng root, and milk thistle. On a separate day, the same adults consumed a placebo beverage that was similar in color and taste but did not contain caffeine or other stimulants. Measurements taken 30 minutes after the drinks were consumed found that, following ingestion of the energy drink, blood pressure increased an average of 6.4% (about 5 mm Hg), compared to a 1% increase (about 1 mm Hg) following ingestion of the placebo drink. Blood levels of norepinephrine (noradrenaline) increased by 73.6% following ingestion of the energy drink, compared to 30.9% after placebo. Compared to placebo, there was no significant difference in heart rate increase. 

The researchers warned that the increases in blood pressure and noradrenaline following ingestion of the energy drink could pose an increased cardiovascular risk, but stated the larger studies are needed.

See's Review of B Vitamin Supplements and Energy Drinks for more information about the safety of energy drinks and tests of related products.

To access the complete study, use the link below.