Energy Drink Risks - What Makes Them Dangerous?
Plenty of folks regularly drink caffeine in coffee and soda, but energy drinks are like coffee on steroids. In addition to large amounts of caffeine, they also contain high quantities of sugar and additional artificial stimulants like taurine or guarana. While you can find many of these ingredients separately in other foods, it's the combination and amount that makes energy drinks so scary.
According to clinical dietician Katherine Zeratsky from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, "Overall, the concern is that these vitamins, amino acids, and herbals are often in higher concentrations than naturally in food or plants, and the effects when combined, especially with caffeine, may be enhanced."
What Happens To Your Body After Just 1 Energy Drink?
Many experts have growing concerns over energy drink risks. And more and more studies are starting to support these concerns.
Studies have already linked energy drinks to stomach, nerve, and heart problems. In fact, one study from the University of Waterloo in Ontario found that 55% of 12 to 24-year-olds surveyed reported suffering conditions such as vomiting, chest pains and even seizures after having the drinks.
Findings from a recent study from the University of Texas in Houston shows that consuming just one energy drink can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke in 90 minutes. That's because energy drinks, even just one, narrow blood vessels, potentially restricting the flow of blood throughout the body and to vital organs.
For the study, healthy 20-year-olds classified as non-smokers drank a 24-ounce energy drink. Ninety minutes later, researchers measured the participants' endothelial function (the layer of cells lining the surface of blood vessels) and found most had decreased in size by nearly half. This type of restriction of blood vessels has been shown to be an indicator of heart attacks as arteries aren't able to fully dilate.
Other Energy Drink Risks
In addition to the narrowing of blood vessels, Dr. Higgins said energy drinks have been shown to "raise stress levels, increase heart rate, increase blood pressure, they've also been shown to make the blood a little bit thicker."
Dr. Higgins pointed to a case where a 28-year-old man drank 7-8 energy drinks before going into cardiac arrest.
"They found his arteries of his heart were completely locked up. When they were able to open them up, all the testing revealed nothing wrong with this person other than he had high levels of caffeine and taurine."
To learn more, contact Yvonne Dollard Perc at Island Healthworks. Yvonne offers phone consultations where she will develop an individualized health care program and lifestyle plan tailored to your specific needs through a personal health and lifestyle analysis.
To book your in person consultation, please call 250-468-7685!
This article is intended for educational purposes and the information contained within is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease or health problem. Please seek appropriate medical attention for any health complaints. We cannot take responsibility for your health care decisions. Our intent is only to offer health information to help you with your search for better health.