According to a new study conducted by the researchers at Mayo Clinic, energy drinks may lead to an increased risk of cardiac events, especially among those who are not used to caffeinated drinks. Lead author Anna Svatikova, M.D., Ph.D., cardiovascular diseases fellow at the Mayo Clinic said “We know that energy drink consumption is widespread and rising among young people. Concerns about the health safety of energy drinks have been raised.”
In previous studies, Dr. Svatikova and her team had proved that energy drinks augment the resting blood pressure; however, this new study analyzes their impact on caffeine-naïve individuals. All the participants of the study reported their habitual caffeine intake. Those who consumed less than 160 mg per day, which is approximately one cup, were considered as caffeine-naïve. The study included 25 healthy young adults between the ages of 19 and 40. All of them were given either a can of a commercially available energy drink or a can containing a placebo concoction.
The blood pressure and heart rate were assessed before and after 30 minutes of consumption. A prominent elevation in blood pressure was observed in all those who consumed an energy drink as compared to those who did not. For caffeine-naïve participants the rise was found to be dramatic. Their blood pressure increased more than double the amount of increase in the group which received placebo concoctions. Dr. Svatikova mentioned “Now we are seeing that for those not used to caffeine, the concern may be even greater. Consumers should use caution when using energy drinks because they may increase the risk of cardiovascular problems, even among young people.”