That energy drink may be the reason your heart goes pitter-patter
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
The vim and vigor energy drink fans feel after downing a can or two might be too much for some people. That’s because they could end up experiencing an abnormal heartbeat and elevated blood pressure instead of the perky punch they desired.
Growing evidence suggests some normally healthy people may experience heart palpitations after consuming energy drinks. Heart palpitation is the sensation of one’s heart beating too hard, too fast or fluttering and skipping beats.
Add to that concern the notion that some energy drink consumers enjoy a cocktail mix of energy drink and alcohol, and there’s the potential for several heart health issues ranging from palpitations to heart attack.
A study, published in the International Journal of Cardiology, surveyed patients aged 13-40 that were rushed to a hospital with heart palpitations. The study discovered 70 percent of the patients consumed an energy drink before being rushed to the hospital. Researchers made a direct correlation between energy drink consumption and the negative heart episodes.
Another study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, raised similar concerns, cautioning that the rush from energy drinks can cause unhealthy changes in a person’s heart rhythm and blood pressure that don’t occur with other caffeinated drinks.
The studies raise enough concern that Dr. Vinay Mehta of Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin, has issued similar warnings to his patients, their families and people across northeast Wisconsin. Mehta is a board-certified cardiologist, fellowship trained in cardiac electrophysiology.
“I generally urge my patients to refrain from consuming these types of beverages, especially if they have a history of heart health issues such as arrhythmia, cardiac arrest, heart failure and heart attack, among others,” he says. “If people must drink energy drinks, I preach moderation.”
It’s understandable that some people experience a mid-day energy crash and need a pick-me-up to get through the day, Mehta says. Still, energy drinks are not the best option.
“We do not yet fully understand all of the ingredients in these energy beverages,” he says. “We know that they contain high levels of sugar and caffeine, but each brand also includes its own proprietary blend of other non-nutritive stimulants such as ginseng, guarana and taurine.
“If you are in the habit of consuming energy drinks, please drink in moderation. If you feel you’re having a reaction to your energy drink of choice, contract your health care provider for guidance.”
Dr. Vinay Mehta sees patients in Green Bay and Two Rivers. Call 920-288-8311 in Green Bay or 920-793-6550 in Two Rivers or request an appointment online