Before you reach for that energy drink this afternoon, you may want to consider an alternative. A recent report shows drinks may be a danger to your heart.
Last week’s study in the Journal of the American Heart Association found caffeinated energy drinks raise the blood pressure and alter the heart’s electrical activity. While the elevation is “generally considered mild,” says study author Sachin Shah, it is enough to cause alarm.
Shah is a professor of pharmacy at the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at the University of the Pacific. He also says these drinks can have adverse reactions with medications that consumers may be taking for specific types of conditions or heart diseases. If you have other heart conditions, consuming energy drinks with heart-related medications leaves you open to increased risk of a fatal arrhythmias.
People tend to grab energy drinks because they are sold as a healthy alternative to coffee and are marketed as containing “all natural” vitamins and minerals.
Globally, the energy drink market is expected to reach over $61 billion by 2021. Most energy drinks contain high levels of caffeine, added sweeteners, B vitamins, guarana, amino acids and L-carnitine.
The World Health Organization still says energy drinks “may pose danger to public health,” the American Academy of Pediatrics maintains children “should not consume” them. The American Beverage Association stand firm in the safety of energy drinks.
You should talk with your doctor about whether or not energy drinks pose a risk for you.
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About the Author: Aisha K. Staggers is a writer, lecturer, political analyst and literary agent. She appears weekly for “Staggers State of Things” on the Dr. Vibe Show. Her work has been published by Paper Magazine, AfroPunk, The Spool, GREY Journal, MTV News, HuffPost, Blavity, Atlanta Blackstar, For Harriet, New York Review of Books and a host of other first-run publications and syndicated outlets. Find her on Twitter @AishaStaggers. For more of her work, check out her page here!