Energy drinks are lauded by many as a solution to fatigue. Many patients swear by energy drinks as a source of a quick boost when they need focus and attention. Unfortunately, the rate of hospitalizations due to these drinks has skyrocketed in recent years.
Energy Drinks Impact Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
Energy drinks not only carry a high dose of caffeine, they incorporate other chemicals that enhance the effects. The end result is a higher heart rate and higher blood pressure. Taurine stimulates the heart directly, causing it to pump harder, acting in the same way as adrenaline. Taurine may also raise calcium levels in the cells of the heart, causing irregular heartbeat and even cardiac arrest.
Mixing Energy Drinks May Have Deadly Consequences
Some people use energy drinks to reduce or delay the effects of alcohol consumption, allowing them to stay awake longer and to drink more. Some bars even sell shots mixed with energy drinks as a novel mix option. Alcohol, like caffeine, is a diuretic. The combination can increase kidney activity and liquid loss to dangerous levels as electrolytes are flushed out of the body.
The Down low on the QT
One small study divided a group of otherwise healthy men and women. One group was served energy drinks, and the other drank various other substances. One of the results was disturbing to heart specialists. Two hours after consuming the drinks, the study group had a significantly higher QT interval. The QT interval is a measure of part of the heartbeat’s process. Specifically, it is the time it takes for the lower chamber of the heart to recharge for the next beat. The studied group’s QT interval was 10 milliseconds higher. While that sounds insignificant, any medication which changes the QT interval more than 6 seconds must carry a warning label. The change can result in arrhythmia and lead to heart failure.
Dr. Ciuffo and the Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery Program
Dr. Ciuffo is dedicated to ensuring your heart is healthy. If you are in need of heart surgery and have any questions or how you should prepare for it, feel free to contact us at (330) 588-4676 or visit our contact page online.