The energy of a caffeine drink is popular, but it can make your blood vessels more effective, a small study shows.
These bugs – sold as Monster and Red Bull, to name two – were associated with heart, unequal and stomach problems, say researchers.
"Many young children use energy drinks when exercising, the time when you need an arterial function to be at the top," said lead researcher Dr. John Higgins. He is a professor of medicine at McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.
Exercise and sport require maximum blood flow, so oxygen can quickly reach the cells, Higins said. Energy drinks that reduce the diameter of the vessels actually limit the flow of blood and the delivery of oxygen, he explained.
"It's more heartbreaking and less supply of oxygen for the heart, which could explain why there have been cases where children had a heart failure after an energy drink," he said.
In addition, people often hear energy drinks so they have the full effect in one hand and this could be dangerous, Higins said.
"These drinks are not for children," Higins warned. In addition, people under 18 years of age, pregnant or breastfeeding women, people who are sensitive to caffeine, those who take stimulants or caffeine-based medicines or those with heart disease should keep away from energy drinks, he added.
There is no proven benefit
The study included 44 healthy non-smoking medicine students in their 20s. The researchers tested the effect of an energy drink of 710 ml on cells that placed blood vessels called endothelial cells.
The function of these cells was tested before and after the participants consumed an energy drink, and again 90 minutes later. The researchers looked at the arterial dilation dilatation – ultrasound measurement that is an indication of overall blood vessel health.
After 90 minutes, the internal diameter of the blood vessels tested was significantly lower, on average, than before, they found the investigators.
This negative effect on blood vessels can be associated with energy drink ingredients such as caffeine, taurine, sugar and other herbs, researchers have said. Taurine's amino acid is accentuated as an increasing energy and is originally extracted from bull seeds – hence the name Red Bull, researchers said.
According to Dr David Katz, director of the Iale-Griffin University of Iale Research Center for Prevention, "the function of the endothelium is a strong indicator of cardiovascular risk."
However, Katz said: "This is a small study looking only at acute effects and can not be considered as evidence that energy drinks hurt the cardiovascular system over time."
What has been said, the combination of sugar and stimulus in these drinks has no proven benefits, added Katz.
"There are far better ways to stimulate energy, such as standing and getting exercise," he suggests. "In the absence of reliable benefits, even a low level of risk is unacceptable."
"Drink is safe"
A spokeswoman for the lobbying group representing many energy drink makers said drinks are safe.
"The main energy drinks contain about half of the caffeine-like coffee-like coffee of similar size and have been widely studied and confirmed for consumption by the security authorities around the world," said Villiam Dermodi, a spokeswoman for the American Drinking Association. "Nothing in this preliminary study counts this well-established fact."
The findings of the study were scheduled for a presentation on November 12 at a meeting of the American Heart Association in Chicago.
Research presented at meetings is usually considered preliminary until it is published in the journal.