Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/06/2013 -- A study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America showed that healthy adults who consumed high-caffeine energy drinks had increased heart rate contractions one hour later. While there had previously been concerns about the effect of energy drinks on heart function, the correlation between heart contractions and consumption had never been studied.
Using MRI’s to measure effects, the study included 18 healthy volunteers between the ages of 25-28. A cardiac MRI was done prior to and after the volunteer consumed an energy drink containing taurine and caffeine, similar to the ingredients in Red Bull. The MRI’s done after consumption of the drink showed significant increases in strain rates of the left ventricle of the heart. The increased heart rate results in a rush of adrenaline, but study authors are not sure if this is a healthy rush or an adverse reaction because of the strain it puts the heart under.
Estimates say that emergency room visits related to increased heart rate or palpitations in healthy adults doubled between 2007 and 2011, causing some to call into question whether these drinks should be consumed on a regular basis.
A safer, healthier way to find sustained energy or an increase in energy is to make sure a diet is healthy overall. Whole-grain carbohydrates as well as consumption of fruits and vegetables have shown to also cause an increase in energy and overall mental alertness. Apples have even been shown to be more effective than caffeine at waking the body up in the morning.
Rather than reaching for a sugary energy drink, try consuming a fresh piece of fruit, or whole-wheat toast with nut butter, to perk up the mind and body or provide energy for physical activity. The results will provide better overall wellness, in addition to protecting and increasing heart function as well.
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