Energy drinks may raise heart disease risk in young adults: study

Rochester, MN – Drinking one 16-ounce energy drink can considerably increase blood pressure and stress hormone responses, potentially raising the risk of heart disease over time, according to a study from Mayo Clinic.

Twenty-five healthy participants with an average age of 29 randomly drank either a 16-ounce energy drink or a placebo drink on two separate days, with at most two weeks between those days. The placebo was similar in taste, color and texture to the energy drink, but did not contain caffeine and other stimulants – including ginseng, taurine and guarana – found in the energy drink.

Norepinephrine – a stress hormone chemical – increased nearly 74 percent in participants after they consumed the energy drink, compared with a 31 percent increase after drinking the placebo. Such an increase could make even healthy individuals susceptible to a heightened risk of heart disease, according to a press release.

Average blood pressure increased by 6 percent after the energy drink and 1 percent after the placebo, the researchers found.

The study was published online Nov. 8 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.