In 2017, a teenager from South Carolina collapsed during the school day and was rushed to the hospital. He did not survive. According to the coroner, his autopsy could have been a mystery, since he was a healthy young teenager. However, his friends had informed the authorities that the boy drank a dangerous amount of caffeine during lunch. The caffeine finally stopped his heart. In 2015, the World Health Organization labeled energy drinks as a danger to public health. This child consumed more caffeine than most in a day, but can energy drinks cause heart problems?
Energy drinks increase the heart rate.
Energy drinks are loaded with caffeine and sugar. Some energy drinks contain up to 500 milliliters of caffeine. (For reference, a cup of coffee contains approximately 100 milliliters). When you consume an energy drink, your heart rate and blood pressure take approximately 10 minutes to begin. The average heart rate is 60 to 100 beats per minute. A person’s heart rate is unique to them, so the amount that is affected by an energy drink varies. But if you constantly experience rates of more than 100 beats per minute while consuming energy drinks, you should stop using them.
Approximately one hour after consuming an energy drink, your energy levels will begin to decrease. Depending on your activity, this may cause you to consume an additional beverage. However, the levels of caffeine in your system are still very high. Drinking another beverage can increase those energy levels, but it will put twice as much caffeine in your body, which your liver is already working hard to break down.
A new study says that energy drinks can damage blood vessels
In addition to increasing his heart rate, WebMD reports that a new study shows that energy drinks could damage your blood vessels, even after drinking just one. The study was small; it only included 44 young healthy students of 20 years. The study verified the health of blood vessels before and after students consumed energy drinks. 90 minutes after consuming the drink, the researchers saw that the health of the students’ blood vessels was much worse than before they consumed the drink. The researchers attributed the difference to the ingredients of the energy drink: high levels of caffeine, high sugar, taurine and certain herbs.
Consuming an energy drink before exercising can be dangerous.
Many young people consume energy drinks before exercising. But this new study sheds light on the dangers of doing so. As you exercise, your body becomes more exhausted and needs more oxygenated blood to function properly. When the function of the blood vessels is not the best, it means that oxygenated blood has more difficulty traveling through the body. If this happens, the body is not getting what it needs to keep up with such a hard training, so the heart must work harder to try to pump more and blood throughout the body.
Over time, the cardiovascular system can suffer permanent damage due to the consumption of energy drinks. However, experts point out that this study is small, which means that it can not be used as definitive proof that energy drinks will damage the cardiovascular system. More research is needed, but it is a disturbing discovery.