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Researchers find that just one energy drink can cause heart problems

A recent study in the Journal of the American Heart Association shows energy drinks have more of an impact on the heart rhythm and blood pressure than a caffeinated drink alone.

Dr. John Phillips, an interventional cardiologist with OhioHealth, reviewed the study and summarizes the findings.

“The study looked at changes in the patients EKG and blood pressure and compared those who consumed the energy drink and those who just had a caffeinated drink. They found that a certain portion of those patients who consumed the energy drink had EKG changes and produced rhythm issues that could be life threatening.”

Dr. John Phillips

Dr. Phillips says some patients with preexisting conditions or underlying health issues could also be a greater risk for heart problems after consuming an energy drink.

“Those who are taking medications that could cause their EKG to change, those with high blood pressure and those patients who have conditions which affect their heart rhythm should avoid energy drinks entirely.”

Dr. Phillips says the study raises important awareness not only about the high amounts of caffeine in the drinks, but also of the unregulated “energy blends,” which contain stimulants the medical community doesn’t know a lot about.

If you must have caffeine, Dr. Phillips recommends reaching for a cup of coffee instead of an energy drink. He also encourages people to exercise caution with regard to how much caffeine they consume.