Energy Drinks Increase Stroke Incidence


  • According to a study at the University of Texas, energy drinks pose higher health risks than coffee and can raise the risk of strokes five-fold.
  • One 250ml serving of energy drink contains 80mg of caffeine equivalent to a 60ml espresso.
  • Taurine, sugar and caffeine found in energy drinks have been reported to damage the linings of arteries and veins leading to blockages.

Our addiction to energy drinks is stirring up an increase in diagnoses of irregular heartbeats, according to experts. Just one can of your Red Bull can increase the risk of stroke five-fold.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cause of irregular heartbeats which happens to be the biggest killers in Britain. A rise of 5 percent in a year in the number of people diagnosed with AF was reported by the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

More and more people drink caffeinated drinks, with at least 600 million liters consumed yearly. A 250ml serving of an energy drink contains roughly 80mg of caffeine per liter. This is twice as much as a regular cola drink but equivalent to a 60ml espresso.

However, new research from the University of Texas, Houston, revealed that one energy drink is enough to cause heart problems such as abnormal heart rhythm called arrhythmia. This condition narrows arteries which cause risks of blockages leading to heart attacks and strokes.

Led by Dr. John Higgins, the scientists targeted caffeine, taurine, sugar and other herbal ingredients that damage the lining of blood vessels. Other studies have similarly found that such beverages can also elicit headaches, seizures and palpitations.

To date, coffee has been used by most risk assessments as a reference to estimate the effects of energy drinks on health, warned Prof. David Hammond from the University of Waterloo, Canada.

However, these energy beverages carry a higher health risk. It could be because of the different ingredients they contain that is different from coffee. In addition, it may also be due to how they are consumed which often comes with alcohol and physical activity.

An estimated 20 percent of the population is found to be sensitive to caffeine, so one drink may be enough to put the heart at risk, says Professor Nicholas Linker of the British Society of Cardiologists. Increased risk of ‘stimulant-linked’ arrhythmia affects those who mix energy drinks with alcohol and tobacco, which is different from the heart-rhythm problems associated with aging.

Source: The Sun

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