Public Release: 

Just 1 energy drink may boost heart disease risk in young adults

Abstract 116 (Room W207)

American Heart Association

Drinking one 16-ounce energy drink boosts blood pressure and stress hormone responses in young, healthy adults, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2015. These changes could conceivably trigger new cardiovascular events.

Researchers studied 25 healthy young adults with no known cardiovascular risk factors. Each drank one 16-ounce can of a commercially available energy drink or a sham drink in random order on two separate days. Researchers measured participants' blood pressure and blood levels of norepinephrine before and 30 minutes after drink consumption. Norepinephrine is a "fight or flight" chemical that increases blood pressure and the heart's ability to contract and it modulates heart rate and breathing in response to perceived stress.

Researchers found that in addition to increases in blood pressure after consuming the energy drink, participants' norepinephrine levels increased more than twice as much when compared to those who drank the sham drink. Specifically, norepinephrine levels increased by almost 74 percent after the energy drink consumption, versus by 30 percent after the sham drink.

Researchers said their findings suggest increases in blood pressure and stress hormones could predispose otherwise healthy, young adults to increased cardiovascular risk.

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Note: Actual presentation is 4:45 p.m. ET, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015.

Additional Resources:

  • Life is Why Family Health Challenge
  • How to get Energized without an Energy Drink
  • For more news from the AHA's Scientific Sessions 2015 follow us on Twitter @HeartNews #AHA15.

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

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