Second Nature Care Blog

The Bull Sees RED

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 28, 2017 10:27:50 AM / by Isadora Guggenheim






Energy Drinks - The Bull Sees Red

You can have your Red Bull or other high-volume energy drink to try to dredge up some energy, but this will not compensate for a poor diet and lack of sleep. It might make you feel more productive at a price. These drinks are linked to more heart and blood pressure changes compared to a controlled drink with the same amount of caffeine. 

According to a small crossover study of military personnel on Travis Air Force Base in California and published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, participants in the energy drink arm had higher changes in corrected QT intervals which measures cardiac repolarization compared to those who drank caffeine drinks 2 hours after baseline.

If you have high blood pressure or any underlying cardiac condition you might want to avoid consuming these energy drinks. While caffeine might be safe in moderate doses - energy drinks can cause short-term serious side effects in those with underlying cardiac issues.

Even after 6 hours of drinking the energy drinks systolic blood pressure was significantly elevated as compared to the caffeine arm. There may be other ingredients beside the caffeine that impact on blood pressure. There needs to be broader research to rule out a "chance" finding and to see what the effect of energy drinks is on cardiac repolarization, QT intervals and peripheral blood pressure.

It would be wise to do a full cardio work-up before introducing high energy drinks. Our patients are now doing The Boston Heart Health test to get an inside view of their cardiac profile. We focus on stabilizing blood sugar levels with a whole foods diet, improving sleep hygiene and promoting daily exercise for better cardiac support. Reducing stress and supporting adrenal function is critical to normal physiological function and this can be accomplished with yoga, meditation, massage and nutraceuticals like: Adrenal Essence, Adrenal Manager and AdrenaMax. There are many quality products from Xymogen for heart health - Cardiac Essentials, NiaVasc, N.O.max ER, Xcellent E, 5 MTHF and CoQmax Ubiquinol are just a few nutraceuticals that neutralize free radicals and toxic superoxides which create systemic inflammation.

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For more information about this study:

Source Reference: Fletcher E, et al "Randomized controlled trial of high-volume energy drink versus caffeine consumption on ECG and hemodynamic parameters" J Am Heart Assoc 2017; DOI:10.1161/JAHA.116.004448.

Topics: Heart Health

Isadora Guggenheim

Written by Isadora Guggenheim

Isadora Guggenheim, ND, RN, MS, CNS LMT, owner of Second Nature Naturopathic Care, LLC
For all appointments: Tel: 845 358-8385 Fax: 845 358-2963