Energy Drinks Improve Heart Function in Young Adults
Energy drinks are beverages that are taken to boost mental and physical energy. They usually contain large amounts of caffeine, taurine, sugar or artificial sweeteners, herbal extracts, amino acids and other stimulants like gingko biloba. Many concerns are being raised about the consumption of energy drinks, including an increased risk for high blood pressure and irregularities in heart rhythm.
A new study involving healthy young adults demonstrates that consuming energy drinks can exert acute positive benefits on heart muscle performance, according to Dr Matteo Cameli from University of Siena. In the current study the researchers asked 35 healthy volunteers with a mean age of 25 years to drink an amount of an energy drink containing caffeine and taurine corresponding to their body surface area (168 ml/m2). Using speckle-tracking echocardiography, an advanced technique used to assess heart function, and echo Doppler analysis, they evaluated the influence of energy drinks on cardiac performance.
They took measurements of heart rate, blood pressure, left heart function and right heart function before taking the beverage and one hour after consumption. The results of the study showed that one hour after consumption, increases in heart rate and blood pressure were observed. Improvements in left and right ventricular (lower heart chambers) function were also observed, resulting in more blood being pumped by the heart.
Dr Cameli explains that these show that energy drinks enhance cardiac contractions, thereby delivering a positive effect on heart function. He adds that the study involved young healthy individuals at rest and future studies are needed to find out whether such benefits persist after long term consumption of energy drinks, and their effects when taken during physical activity.
European Society of Cardiology. Energy drinks improve heart function, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
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