A Single Energy Drink Might Harm Blood Vessels — Study

Written by Dr. Joseph Mercola

The dangers of energy drinks will be the center of research presented in meetings November 12 in Chicago, where the American Heart Association will discuss findings that show how the drinks affect blood vessels. According to Health24, the researchers measured the internal diameter of blood vessels before and after study subjects drank an energy drink, and found the diameter was “dramatically smaller” afterward.

Researchers said the drinks are not intended for children or women who are breastfeeding. Those already taking other stimulants or caffeine-based drugs, or who have heart disease should also refrain, they added.

Energy drinks have been controversial since they were introduced more than 10 years ago. The basis of what they offer is a shot of high-dose caffeine bottled in a sugar-sweetened drink. Purportedly, the drinks give you a quick, high energy boost while quenching your thirst. But between the overdose of instant, concentrated caffeine and the sugar-dense liquid, there is nothing healthy about these drinks.

Put plainly, consuming large quantities of caffeine in energy drinks can have serious health consequences, particularly in children and teens, whose neurological systems are still developing. The sugar alone can put your insulin levels out of whack. But, worse, since the drinks’ introduction, there have been reports of caffeine toxicity, stroke, anxiety, heart arrhythmia and even death — proving that the latest research is a supplement to what we already know, rather than breaking news.

Fortunately, there are natural options for gaining lasting energy without the risks that energy drinks pose — and they don’t come with a dose of concentrated sugar or the sudden slump you get once the drinks’ caffeine wears off. For example, sometimes when you feel a little tired, rather than reaching for energy in a can or even in a cup of coffee, a brisk, short walk is all you need to perk you up — if you try this, I’m pretty sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

If you’re regularly tired, then you need to address what’s causing your exhaustion, beginning with whether you’re getting good sleep each night. You would be amazed at how much more energized you feel if you learn to optimize your sleep time. My article, “Sleep — Why You Need It and 50 Ways to Improve It,” will give you a comprehensive list of things you can do to get back on track and full of energy.

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