“Death in a can” is how one expert describes energy drinks, as medical professionals and studies warn these types of beverages are a “heart killer” that can cause cardiac problems, blockages, attacks, and strokes.
A spokesperson for the Heart Foundation is warning that energy drinks can severely affect your heart health over time, the New York Post reported.
Hannah Drake, a spokesperson for the Heart Foundation, says consumption of energy drinks has been linked to high blood pressure, irregular heart rates, and stroke, among other health conditions.
Drake warns that people who consume energy drinks should pay attention to the total amount of caffeine, not the fluid ounces in serving sizes.
One cardiologist called energy drinks “death in a can.”
A study by researchers led by Dr. John Higgins at the University of Texas in Houston found evidence that consumption of energy drinks could cause blood vessels to narrow and increase the risk of blockages that cause heart attacks and strokes, the New York Post reported.
Specifically, the researchers believe that drinks containing high doses of caffeine, taurine, and sugar can cause damage to the lining of arteries and veins.
The researchers used ultrasound to measure the vessel dilation of study participants before and after guzzling an energy drink. Vessel dilation was 5.1% in diameter beforehand and shrank to just 2.8% – reduced by nearly half – after consuming the energy drink.
All of the study volunteers were non-smokers in their 20s with no previous history of health problems.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) a healthy limit of caffeine consumption per day is 400 milligrams. This equates to roughly four cups of coffee.
Coffee: (8oz) 95 mg
Cola: (12oz) 29 mg
Tea: (8oz) 26 mg
Research shows negative impacts from large doses of caffeine and sugar, two of the primary ingredients found in numerous energy drinks. Here is a list of some of the energy drinks with the highest levels of caffeine, as well as the levels in some of the most popular energy drinks, courtesy of caffeine informer.
Red Bull: (12oz) 111 mg
Rockstar: (8oz) 72 mg
Monster Energy: (1 serving) 86 mg
Vault: (8 oz) 47 mg
Amp energy drink: (1 serving) 74 mg
5-Hour Energy: (1 serving) 157 mg
Hyde Xtreme: (12oz) 400 mg
BreinFuel: (12oz) 360 mg
Spike Hardcore Energy (16oz) 350 mg
Wired X344 Energy Drink (16oz) 344 mg
Loud Energy Drink (16oz) 320 mg
Redline Xtreme Energy Drink: (8oz) 316 mg
Java Monster (15oz) 300 mg
Bang Energy (16oz) 300 mg
Rockstar Thermo (16oz) 300 mg
Rockstar XDurance (16oz) 300 mg