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The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

Energy drink usage as a stimulant is on the rise among adolescents and young adults. While these drinks have positive energizing effects, they pose significant health concerns. This paper examines the adverse cardiovascular effects of energy drinks and the components that could possibly be responsible. Analysis was conducted by reviewing and comparing many studies available in this area of research. Studies of energy drinks in general and energy drinks versus drinks containing caffeine alone were analyzed. Additionally, this review investigated studies of the specific ingredients in energy drinks such as caffeine, taurine, guarana, and sugar. This review found that energy drinks cause varying degrees of adverse cardiovascular effects when consumed in specific dosages. While the highest levels of consumption led to arrythmias, syncope and death, lower levels led to increased QTc interval and increased blood pressure. Longer lasting effects of energy drinks, such as possible energy-drink induced hypertension, were also uncovered. The effects of energy drinks were deemed greater than those caused by caffeine alone. When analyzing energy drinks’ ingredients, caffeine, sugar, and guarana were found likely responsible for the adverse effects of energy drinks, while the effect taurine was less convincing. Overall, while energy drinks were found to be safe in small and infrequent amounts, significant public health concerns were related to increased and habitual use.

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