In the past 20 years one of the most popular beverage categories has exploded from non-existence to a billion dollar industry.
The sugary, carbonated beverages have become one of the most popular kinds of drinks on the planet.
Now, researchers are warning that just one of them could possibly harm you. And that drinking lots of them could one day lead to serious health problems.
While energy drinks are often considered dietary supplements, they’re not necessarily helping anyone’s health. Researchers suspect high levels of caffeine and other stimulants could affect veins and arteries negatively which would lead to oscillations in function (from positive to compromised).
The role they play on cardiovascular health is being tested constantly, and researchers at the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston have gathered sufficient evidence to support the claim that these kinds of drinks can lead to negative health consequences.
In their study the researchers studied 44 young, healthy participants.
The subjects were free of most major health problems, were in their 20s and did not smoke with any regularity.
Before they tested how energy drinks affect the subjects the took measurements on the subjects’ endothelial (blood vessel) function at baseline.
Then they compared them to how after they consumed 24-ounce energy drink.
After 90 minutes they noted the subject’s had had poorer artery flow-mediated dilation than they had before consuming the energy drinks.
“Artery flow-mediated dilation indicates blood vessel health.
At baseline, it was about 5.1 percent in diameter, on average.
Following energy drink consumption, this measurement fell to 2.8 percent in diameter.
The researchers explain that this indicates acute impairment of blood vessel function.
The authors of the study speculate that the impairment of vascular function may result from a combination of substances typically used in energy drinks, including caffeine, taurine, sugar, and herbal stimulants.
Dr. Higgins and his team explain that it is still unclear whether energy drinks are safe to consume, and in what quantities. They add:
‘As energy drinks are becoming more and more popular, it is important to study the effects of these drinks on those who frequently drink them and better determine what, if any, is a safe consumption pattern.’ “
Perhaps it may be better just to stick with caffeine from coffee and tea based on these findings…