November 9, 2015 — Young adults who consume just one energy drink per day could experience spikes in blood pressure and stress hormone levels.
The study was published in JAMA by researchers at the Mayo Clinic who were investigating hormone and cardiovascular effects of energy drinks.
In the study, 25 healthy subjects (aged 18 or older) drank a 16-oz can of Rockstar on one day, and a placebo drink on another day. Researchers measured blood pressure, heart rate, and blood levels of caffeine, glucose, and norepinephrine.
Rockstar contains 240-mg of caffeine, 2000-mg of taurine, and herbal extracts. The placebo was formulated to match Rockstar, minus caffeine and other stimulants.
When the volunteers drank Rockstar, they experienced a 6.2% increase in systolic blood pressure, compared to 3.3% for a placebo. Average blood pressure increased by 6.4% compared to 1% for a placebo. Norepinephrine levels also increased by 74% compared to 30.9% for a placebo.
The authors of the study concluded:
“These acute hemodynamic and adrenergic changes may predispose to increased cardiovascular risk. Further research in larger studies is needed to assess whether the observed acute changes are likely to increase cardiovascular risk.”
Earlier this year, the same team of Mayo Clinic researchers published another study linking consumption of energy drinks to increases in blood pressure, raising concern about cardiovascular side effects.
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