Are Energy Drinks Causing Heart Attacks?

Gabriela Vizueth, Reporter

Energy drinks are very popular among children, athletes, and even people that just want a boost of energy, but what is actually in an energy drink? Energy drinks include a mixture of caffeine, sugar, herbs, and other ingredients that can actually do more bad than good.

Studies at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston have proven that just having one energy drink can cause blood flow problem within the arteries and can lead to serious or even life threatening heart problems. They tested blood vessels in 44 healthy students and then gave them each a 24-ounce energy drink. The results showed that only 1/2 an hour later the blood vessels had become much narrower making it harder for blood to flow through.  This is not the first time that questions about the effects of energy drinks and heart health have been brought up. A study from 2016 proved that energy drinks can raise your blood pressure which can greatly increase the risk of a heart attack or even a stroke even on healthy athletes.  A year later, a study from 2017 proved that they can increase your heart rate along with other extremely dangerous heart conditions, even in young people. Although it still isn’t completely clear as to why they have such a harmful effect on the heart but some scientists believe it is a mixture of the different ingredients. It doesn’t just seem to be the caffeine either. Energy drinks contain ingredients, such as herbal stimulants, that aren’t regulated by the FDA. These ingredients can mix with the germs in a person’s gut and create TMO (trimethylene N-oxide) which can make the blood more prone to clotting, and also harder for the heart to pump efficiently.

Instead of having an energy drink try doing one of the more natural ways to get a boost of energy and recharge your body:

  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Take a quick 20 minute nap
  • Drink lots of water
  • Exercise
  • Eat small amounts of food more often
  • lower your stress
  • Have caffeine in the form of coffee, tea, and other foods

If you feel like you have experienced any health problems that may have been caused by energy drinks please contact your doctor.