Single energy drink can prove harmful, new study suggests

By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), says that a single energy drink can prove harmful to healthy teens.

Researchers gave test subjects a fake energy drink and a real one and monitored the changes they experienced after.

The fake energy drink contained the same amount of sugar and almost the same amount of calories, but lacked the natural stimulants a real energy drink contains, such as: caffeine, the amino acid taurine, and extracts of guarana seed, ginseng root, and milk thistle.

The study showed that young adults had a 74 percent increase in blood levels of the “fight-or-flight” hormone norepinephrine; more than double an average 30 percent increase in norepinephrine that the same participants experienced when they consumed the energy drink.

The study found that the young adults also experienced a significant rise in blood pressure after consuming the energy drink.

Lead researcher Dr Anna Svatikova, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota said that, “The worry is that if these responses are seen in healthy young people, perhaps the effects of energy drinks may be more pronounced in people who already have high blood pressure or arrhythmias, leading to more heart attacks and strokes.” 

According to the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), energy drinks can contain up to five times more caffeine than a typical cup of coffee.

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