Do Energy Drinks Raise Blood Pressure?
This is one of those questions that many patients and readers of Dr. Chauncey Crandall often ask…do energy drinks raise blood pressure? Well, with the soaring popularity of energy drinks, there has been an increased reporting of chest pain, which is being seen increasingly in people who wouldn’t ordinarily experience it, like those who are young.
This comes as no surprise to Chauncey Crandall, M.D., who has always believed that energy drinks are harmful to the overall cardiovascular health of the average consumer. Magdalena Szotowska, M.D., who reported on a small study at the European Meeting on Hypertension and Cardiovascular Protection 2012. Her team divided 18 volunteers into two groups, which were directed to drink one of two strengths of energy drink, one containing 120 mg of caffeine and the second containing 360 mg of caffeine, or placebo. Measurements of blood pressure and pulse rate were taken before and after.
Consumption of the energy drink containing 120 mg of caffeine didn’t significantly influence blood pressure and pulse rate compared with placebo, but the drink with the larger amount of caffeine led to a 9 mm increase in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure and also increased heart rate by five beats per minute. Also, all of those who drank the energy drink with 360 mg of caffeine developed heartbeat irregularities, anxiety and insomnia.
Her research follows on the heels of reports from doctors in emergency rooms both in the United States and elsewhere in the world who are reporting patients with chest pain, heartbeat irregularities and other cardiac symptoms following the ingestion of Red Bull and other such energy drinks, particularly if your drink it in a “chain,” fashion, one after the other.
But it isn’t only these unwelcome cardiac effects that are the sole legacies of energy drinks; another study find that drinking these beverages are tantamount to bathing your teeth in acid.
The study, published in the journal General Dentistry, examined the acidity levels in 13 sports drinks and nine energy drinks to see how the drinks would impact a tooth’s enamel. They found enamel damage after as few as five days. In addition, they discovered that energy drinks in particular caused double the amount of damage to teeth that sports drinks caused.
Thank you for reading today’s heart health post.