Can just one energy drink harm blood vessels?
The consumption of energy drinks is getting more popular. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) has conducted a research on energy drinks and findings show that these rank among the most popular dietary supplements in the United States. The biggest consumers of these are men aged 18 to 34. Nearly one-third of teens between 12 and 17 years are regular consumers of energy drinks.
People tend to use energy drinks a lot during exercise and sports in the hope of better performance. However, they have quite a detrimental effect. Sports and exercise necessitate maximum blood flow so oxygen can reach the cells quickly. Energy drinks actually decrease the vessels' diameter and this impacts blood flow and oxygen delivery. In fact, it increases the burden on the heart and brings down the oxygen supply for the heart.
Studies show the devastating impact of energy drinks
The American Heart Association quoted the results of a study on energy drink consumption recently. Scientists at the McGovern Medical School in Houston had selected a group of 44 young and healthy medical students in their twenties for the study. All of them were non-smokers. At the start of the study, they were tested for baseline endothelial function (or blood vessel function) parameters. They were later tested again after 90 minutes post drinking one 24-ounce energy drink.
The results were checked. Participants had acute impairment in vascular function after taking just one drink. During the initial check, blood vessel dilation was around 5.1 percent in diameter. Post the 90- minute period and one drink later, vessel dilation dropped to 2.8 percent in diameter.
The consequences are that reduction in blood vessel size can restrict blood flow and oxygen delivery. This ultimately pushes up the risk of high B.P., stroke, coronary heart disease, rheumatic heart disease and other vascular diseases.
People who must avoid energy drinks
Energy drinks must not be taken by children. Those below 18, pregnant or breast-feeding women, caffeine-sensitive individuals, stimulant consumers, caffeine-based drug users and people with heart disease should avoid these.