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Do Energy Drinks Raise Blood Pressure?

by Dr. Sharon Orrange on November 18, 2015 at 3:11 pm

Energy drinks with huge amounts of caffeine are everywhere: Red Bull, Rockstar, Monster Energy, Full Throttle, and more. They aren’t just loaded with caffeine. These drinks also contain sugar, dyes, preservatives, amino acids, vitamins and sometimes herbs, which may be why the caffeine in energy drinks is thought to cause more harm than it does from coffee. They also tend to be consumed more quickly.
So are energy drinks getting a bad rap or is the concern legit? Well, a new JAMA study found that Rockstar raised blood pressure, and the results are impressive.
What did the study show?

  • The upshot: Researchers documented a significant increase in blood pressure and catecholamines in a group of young, healthy adults who consumed one can of Rockstar.
  • How do we know? Multiple measurements were taken 30 minutes after folks drank the Rockstar. Consuming one 480 ml can of Rockstar energy drink, which contains 240 mg of caffeine, increased systolic (the first number of your blood pressure) blood pressure 6.2% and diastolic blood pressure (the second number of your blood pressure) by 6.8%. Just from one can!
  • Adrenaline (norepinephrine) levels were also significantly affected after drinking Rockstar—they increased a whopping 73.6%.

Do the other energy drinks do the same? Probably. More studies are needed, but this is food for thought for sure.
Dr O.

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