January 29, 2014

Negative Side Effects of Energy Drinks: Blood Pressure

Filed under: blood pressure — Tags: , — drwatson @ 7:53 pm

Negative Side Effects Of Energy DrinksEnergy drinks are consumed on a daily basis by many people. From Red Bull to Monster to less popular brands, it seems that new energy drinks are being created every single day. Some energy drinks have had much controversy surrounding them, like Four Loco and 5 Hour Energy, while others, like Red Bull and Monster, have gone relatively unscathed. Regardless of the brand or the controversy surrounding it, new studies have shown that there are negative side effects of energy drinks, surrounding cardiovascular health.

Energy Drink Side Effect 1: Increased Heart Rate

The main cause for concern when it comes to energy drink consumption is the increased heart rate. Cardiologists measure something called the QT interval, which is a measure of the electrical system of the heart that indicates heart’s rhythm. QT intervals were increased by as much as 10 milliseconds per energy drink consumed, which has doctors extremely concerned. While 10 milliseconds may not seem like a large increase, for the heart’s rhythm, it is. Since many people who consume energy drinks have two to three or more per day, and increasing QT by 30 milliseconds is enough to cause potentially life-threatening heart arrhythmias, doctors believe that, in light of this new study, energy drink consumption can lead to arrhythmia, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, heart disease, and even death.

Energy Drink Side Effect 2: Heart Rate and Blood Pressure

Any time you increase the heart rate, you will experience increased blood pressure. Think of your veins as garden hoses. If you pulse water through at a steady and consistent pace, it will flow rather well and the pressure inside the hose will remain stable. However, if you pulse water through very rapidly, this causes more water to be pushed through, causes the pulse generator, in your body’s case the heart, to work harder and causing the resulting pressure to be greater. This increased blood pressure combined with the arrhythmia created by the ingredients in energy drinks can lead to heart attack, heart disease, or death.

Energy Drinks Have No Guidelines

What is also unsettling is that energy drinks are not subject to guidelines imposed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on other products, like soft drinks. A can of soda normally has about 70 mg of caffeine. However, since most energy drinks are sold as dietary supplements instead of food, they can contain between 160 and 500 mg of caffeine per serving, or more. Combine that with the taurine and other chemicals in the products and the health implications could be disastrous.

Overall, doctors say that balance in everything, including energy drinks, should not pose any threat to your health. However, the amount of energy drinks a person consumes can easily add up to a dangerous situation for his or her heart and overall health. Limiting the amount of energy drinks you consume can help to mitigate any health impacts, but to be safe, water, tea, and other types of drinks that are not chemically infused and that don’t contain exorbitant amounts of caffeine are the best way to go.

October 8, 2009

How to Lower High Blood Pressure

Many people don’t realize how bad high blood pressure can be for your body, and even more don’t know how to lower high blood pressure even after they know they have it. High blood pressure can lead to early damage of the blood vessels and heart. This can cause strokes, kidney problems, and heart disease.

Because high blood pressure does not normally present any sort of symptoms it is important to get you blood pressure tested regularly. There are ways though that you can help keep your blood pressure down and decrease the risk of any potential outcomes of high blood pressure.

  • Don’t smoke cigarettes or use any tobacco product.
  • Try to lose weight if you’re overweight
  • Moderate intensity exercise 30 to 60 minutes, 4 to 7 days per week
  • Limit how much sodium you eat.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
  • Eat foods containing enough potassium, calcium and magnesium.
  • Avoid fat and cholesterol.
  • Try relaxation techniques

There are also medications that can be taken to help lower your blood pressure. Medications are important and you may need to take them, but switching your lifestyle habits will make you healthier and if you don’t have high blood pressure may save you from developing it in the first place.


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