Energy Drinks: Worth the Risks?

Energy Drinks: Worth the Risks?

Mackenzie Thompson

by Mackenzie Thompson

Life Saver, AMC

posted on Feb 28, 2014, at 9:50 pm


THE HUMAN HEART, the central and most dynamic organ in our bodies, exerts nonstop throughout the entirety of our lives. A heart is one of the most imperative structures, yet in society today, heart health is often taken for granted or simply neglected. The world’s pace is rapidly accelerating, and the need for speedy productivity calls for quick and easy energy.

Nowadays, energy drinks are often the preferred source of a quick energy boost instead of the once typical coffee or cola. With an astounding three times the amount of caffeine and taurine compared to coffee, energy drinks give a long lasting high of vigor and drive. Although these popular drinks may seem like a worthy idea, the newly discovered harmful health effects contradict what people once thought. Energy drink companies are making billions of dollars with the growing number of energy drink consumers, yet aspects of the companies and their products remain unregulated and largely unrestricted. New research has been conducted, promptly warning users and health professionals about the dangers these drinks have on the human heart.

The Radiological Society of North America recently presented the research found at their annual meeting. One of the study authors, Dr. Jonas Dörner, made a statement regarding the demographics of energy drink consumers. Contrary to belief, teens and young adults are not the only age group consuming these threatening beverages. In 2013, a report was released from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration revealing the skyrocketing increase of double the number of energy drink-related emergency department visits. The side effects of the hazardous pick-me-ups include rapid heart rate, palpitations, rises in blood pressure and sometimes seizures or death.

In the ongoing study, researchers measured and observed the effect of energy drinks on heart health utilizing cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). They tested both male and female participants before and an hour after they consumed an energy drink that contained 400 mg of taurine and 32 mg of caffeine. The results revealed an amplified peak strain and peak systolic strain rates in the left ventricle of the heart, which has the essential task of receiving oxygenated blood from the lungs and pumping it to the aorta. Energy drinks also impact the cardiac contractility of the heart, especially endangering those with cardiac arrhythmias. The effects of energy drinks on heart health remain an ongoing study, but it is obvious that the list of potential dangers with the consumption of large amounts of taurine and caffeine are risky and unsafe.

To read the full article, visit Medical News Today

About Mackenzie

Mackenzie is a lover of world travel, photography, design, style and Chinese cooking. She is passionate about working towards a purpose, recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Media and Marketing, and is currently residing in Manhattan.

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