Energy drinks may change heart rate

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A recent study has found that healthy adults who consumed energy drinks high in caffeine and taurine had significantly increased heart contraction rates one hour later.

"Usually energy drinks contain taurine and caffeine as their main pharmacological ingredients. The amount of caffeine is up to three times higher than in other caffeinated beverages like coffee or cola. There are many side effects known to be associated with a high intake of caffeine, including rapid heart rate, palpitations, rise in blood pressure and, in the most severe cases, seizures or sudden death,” radiology resident Jonas Dörner, MD, of the cardiovascular imaging section at the University of Bonn, Germany, was quoted as saying.

For the ongoing study, Dr. Dörner and colleagues used cardiac MRI to measure the effect of energy drink consumption on heart function in 18 healthy volunteers. Results of MRI performed one hour after the study participants consumed the energy drink showed significantly increased peak strain and peak systolic strain rates (measurements for contractility) in the left ventricle of the heart.

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