Energy Drinks and High Blood Pressure
This is the age of fast life, fast food, fast cars and even fast work!
This obsession in getting everything quickly has also affected the way we treat our bodies. No
longer can we wait to become energized by eating natural resources of energy and strength. We need
a quick fix and take energy drinks or energy bars to give our bodies the instant boost it needs.
Unfortunately, this quick energy given to the body can leave some lasting effects on it.
Initially people relied on a strong cup of coffee or tea
to give them the energy boost. The caffeine found in these drinks woke up many people first
thing n the morning. However, the caffeine intake nowadays is fulfilled by energy drinks like
the Red Bull (which contains 80 mg of caffeine in an 8.3 oz can) and Rockstar (containing 160 mg
caffeine in the 16 oz can). According to experts, 200 mg to 300 mg is a moderate amount of
caffeine and not harmful. However, 500 mg to 600 mg of caffeine is a massive amount to be taken
in and can cause insomnia, restlessness, tremors and irritability.
Studies on the effects of caffeine intake on blood pressure have not been very
conclusive. For some people, caffeine can cause a temporary spike in blood pressure while some
experience a decrease in blood pressure. Some research also suggests that some people can develop
tolerance to increased blood pressure by consuming caffeine regularly. Since most energy drinks
contain less than moderate level of caffeine, as long as a healthy individual does not over drink,
he should not worry.
As far as people who are predisposed to or already have hypertension are
concerned, the American Heart Association advises them to take caffeinated drinks in limited
amounts. Their warning is based on a study that was conducted on 15 healthy young participants by
the Wayne State University in 2007. The participants were monitored while consuming an energy drink
daily for 7 days. It was observed that on Day 1, there was an average 7.6 percent increase in
the participants’ heart rate. On day 7, there was an increase of 11.6 percent. Even though the
researchers admitted that “the increases in heart rate and blood pressure weren't enough for
something to happen acutely, but a person on hypertension medication or who has cardiovascular
disease may not respond as well", the AHA cautioned people about the consumption of energy
These energy drinks do not just contain caffeine but also proclaim to have other
ingredients that increase energy and alertness. One such ingredient is taurine. It is known to
strengthen cardiac contractility and help regulate heartbeat. Besides these, the energy drinks also
contain ginseng, niacin, inositil and glucuronolactone. The problem with all these ingredient is
that there is no sufficient researches or findings that prove either their positive or negative
effects. Whatever hype there is about the benefits of energy drinks in most cases is spread around
by the drink manufacturing companies.
the effect on blood pressure of drinking alcohol in
combination with energy drinks.
Health experts do have any documented proofs about the effect on blood pressure
of drinking alcohol in combination with energy drinks. Despite this, most of them agree that taking
energy drinks with alcohol will probably not have any good results.
The most serious health concern related to the drinking of energy drinks even in
moderation is the amount of sugar contained in them.
Just like cola, energy drinks also high in sugar content
and an occasional drink will not be as hazardous to health as regular drinking. People who
consume to many energy drinks for a long time, will have problems like tooth decay, diabetes and
The research done on the effects of energy drinks do not give us any specific
answers. Thus, AHA advises people who are predisposed to health problems to take such drinks in
moderation or to abstain from them altogether since there are other healthier ways of getting