New research argues the pick-me-up could throw her heart’s electrical activity out the whack.

You are watching: Does energy drinks cause high blood pressure


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People v underlying heart problems like high blood push or who space taking medications like antiarrhythmics or antibiotics have to be an ext cautious.

It’s 2:00 p.m., you’re already slumping, and also you have a speed workout planned ~ work. Chugging an energy drink deserve to banish fatigue and get you earlier on track for the track…right?

Not so fast. Chock full of caffeine and a mix that “natural” additives, energy drinks have actually been slammed in research and case studies before—like in this study, and also this one, and also this one, since alertness isn’t the only thing they it seems ~ to be raising.


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Now there’s one much more for the “be cautious when drinking these” pile. A small study released in the Journal of the American heart Association says that caffeinated energy drinks may raise blood pressure and also even temporarily alter your heart’s electrical system.

Researchers recruited 34 healthy and balanced people in between the periods of 18 and 40, and split them into two groups—one the consumed commercially available energy drinks of between 304 to 320 milligrams (mg) the caffeine, if the other drank a placebo beverage of carbonated water, lime juice, and also cherry flavoring.

Participants had actually 32 ounces of one of those beverages on three separate days, and also researchers measured your heart’s electrical task and blood pressure. They take it these measurements before consumption, double within the hour they to be drinking the beverage, and also four hours after drinking.

Compared to the placebo group, the power drink attendees showed greater QT intervals—the time it takes the lower chambers of your heart come prep because that a beat— also four hrs later. That’s important, because if the expression is too brief or too long, it can reason arrhythmia, a problem where the love beats abnormally.

Those in the power drink group also had a statistically far-ranging increase in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, researcher noted. The typical was 4.6 to 6.1 millimeter of mercury (mmHg) rise in systolic (the top variety of your reading) and 3.5 mmHg for diastolic (the bottom number).

Normal blood push is 120/80 mmHg. To be thought about in the “elevated” category, you’d must bump the up to just 129/81 or higher—something the can definitely seem feasible with a couple energy drinks.

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The research does have some limitations—the tiny sample size, most notably. However there’s additionally the worry of just how the ingredients may be working together to reason this outcomes they found. The researchers argued that caffeine is no the culprit, but they don’t yet understand what the function might be of caffeine linked with usual ingredients favor amino acids, sugars, B vitamins, and also guarana—a stimulant ~ above its own.

The breadth of the electrical changes is normally mild, follow to lead writer Sachin Shah, Pharm.D., professor that pharmacy exercise at college of the Pacific, thomas J. Lengthy School of Pharmacy and also Health Sciences.

But even if the results are temporary and not sufficient for one can to shock her heart, consuming a high amount like a few large cans—especially in a short period like in ~ the exact same day—should be avoided, shah said. This is specifically true for those with underlying heart problems or on certain medications.

He noted that has those v underlying long QT syndrome, hypertension, and on meds choose antiarrhythmics and antibiotics. Also, he cautioned versus energy drinks for the elderly and also young kids.

That’s no as strong a statement as the people Health Organization, which has called energy drinks a potential risk to windy health, but it may be enough to do you think twice prior to reaching for a second—or also a first—can of the absent juice.

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Elizabeth MillardElizabeth Millard is a freelance writer focusing on health, wellness, fitness, and food.
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