Energy drinks have certainly had there share of controversy. New research points to serious heart function effects from too much caffeine. Interestingly, Starbucks coffee contains 76 milligrams of caffeine per 100 milliliters. That means a Starbucks coffee has more caffeine than that given to the test subjects in this study. Whether you’re drinking excess coffee or energy drinks this study is an eye opener.
German doctors presenting at the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago said there is growing concern due to the lack of regulation of energy drinks. “Usually energy drinks contain taurine and caffeine as their main pharmacological ingredients,” Dr. Dörner said. “The amount of caffeine is up to three times higher than in other caffeinated beverages like coffee or cola. There are many side effects known to be associated with a high intake of caffeine, including rapid heart rate, palpitations, rise in blood pressure and, in the most severe cases, seizures or sudden death.”
The number of emergency room visits in recent years due to energy drink consumption nearly doubled from 10,068 to 20,783, according to the Radiological Society of North America. The study presented used cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, to measure the effects of the drinks on heart function.
Energy drinks increase heart contractions and know we have hard evidence they also change the body’s heart functions. Continuous and prolonged consumption of energy drinks with caffeine can lead to heart complications and may put these people at risk. Doermer said that the side effects associated with continuous caffeine consumption can include palpitations, increase in blood pressure, increase in heart rate, seizures or worst of all-sudden death.
However, according to a Forbes article, the details of the study also show that the energy drinks the researchers gave their subjects contained 32 milligrams of caffeine per 100 milliliters. This is less than the average Starbuck coffee.
The group of Doermer also clarified that they still need to determine how long the effect of the energy drinks last. This is because the researchers admitted that they have shown that energy drink consumption can have a short-term impact on the heart and further studies are now needed to determine its effect long-term as well as its effect on people with known heart disease.