A new study shows that energy drinks, such as Red Bull, Monster, and 5-Hour Energy, may increase blood pressure and cause erratic heartbeat.
The new study is an analysis of seven previous studies, and was presented this week at the American Heart Association meeting in New Orleans. The data showed that high energy drinks disturb the heart’s rhythm which, over time, may raise blood pressure and cause an irregular heartbeat, which can be deadly.
Energy drinks are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Caffeinated drinks, such as sodas, can have as much as 71 milligrams of caffeine per 12 ounces, but the energy drinks tout as much as 160 to 500 milligrams of caffeine per serving. This has alarmed doctors across the country, many of whom have written to the FDA arguing that energy drinks should not be allowed to have more caffeine than regular soft drinks.
The makers of energy drinks have been under closer review in recent months after deaths and serious health problems have been associated with the drinks. The 5-Hour Energy drinks have been associated with 90 incident reports including 30 serious or life-threatening reactions and 13 deaths. The FDA is also investigating five deaths linked to Monster Energy Drinks. The makers of Monster are currently defending themselves in a wrongful death lawsuit involving a 14-year-old girl who drank two Monster drinks in a 24-hour period. Red Bull drinks have also been associated with serious heart conditions.