Why One Energy Drink Means Trouble for Your Blood Vessels

Turns out that drinking an energy drink doesn't give you wings.

energy drinks shelfAlexandr Medvedkov/Shutterstock

Desperate times call for desperate measures, especially when you really need an energy kick. While energy drinks promise you the kick you need to get through the day, there can be a downfall to knocking back even just one of these highly-caffeinated drinks—and it has nothing to do with your waistline.

According to John Higgins, M.D., M.B.A., of McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in Houston and his team, the combination of energy drink ingredients caffeine, taurine, sugar, and other herbals has an effect on blood vessel function. While this may not have an impact on an individual short-term, it could have a long-term effect on heart health and function, according to a report in Science Daily. Here’s what really happens to your body when you use energy drinks.

In this study, which was recently published by the American Heart Association, Higgins and his team studied 44 non-smoking, healthy medical students in their 20s by testing their endothelial function before each of the students drank a 24-ounce energy drink. They were then tested again 90 minutes later. According to Higgins, tests showed that vessel dilation had significantly dropped after consuming the beverage—from 5.1 percent to 2.8 percent.

“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,” authors noted.

Dragging? Here are 50 healthy ways to get more energy.

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