Consuming just a single energy drink may disrupt vascular function

Desiree Burns
November 8, 2018

Higgins and his team say that the change in vessel dilation may be produced by the blend of ingredients that go into making an energy drink. These drinks - sold as Monster and Red Bull, to name two - have been linked to heart, nerve and stomach problems, researchers say. From students to fitness followers, many people use energy drinks, but a recent study suggests that just one drink may harm blood vessel. After consuming the energy drink, the blood vessel dilation was reduced, and experts revealed that it could restrict the blood flow and oxygen delivery. At the initial stage of expansion vessels averaged 5.1% in diameter. These components - usually caffeine, taurine, sugar, and other herbal components - may act on the endothelium (lining of the blood vessels) to make it constrict. That being said, the combination of sugar and stimulants in these drinks has no proven benefit, Katz added."There are far better ways to boost energy, such as standing up and getting a bit of exercise", he suggested. For example, one 12-ounce can of Red Bull contains 37 grams of sugar - the equivalent of more than nine teaspoons.

These drinks also have 80 milligrams of caffeine per 250 milliliters - about the same as 2.5 cans of Coca-Cola.

Caffeine can also cause blood vessels to contract and releases adrenaline, a hormone that can temporarily increase blood pressure.

These boosters are the most popular dietary supplement used by teens and young adults in the United States, according to data from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).

To investigate, John Higgins from the University of Texas Health Science Centre at Houston and colleagues recruited 44 healthy, non-smoking individuals, all in their 20s and tested their endothelial function before they had consumed an energy drink.

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In the last few years, scientists have been shedding light on several ill effects that energy drinks can cause.

As a result, they found acute dysfunction of blood vessels after only one drink.

The American Heart Associating in a study carried out recently, has said that consuming just one energy drink may be detrimental to blood vessel function.

And a February 2018 study from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, found that half of Canadian teenagers who consumed energy drinks reported experiencing health problems, including rapid heartbeat, nausea, and in rare cases, seizures.

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