When exercising or playing sports, many people including children or drink energy drinks. While the drink is advertised to give you energy, it is narrowing blood vessels, reducing the amount of oxygen delivered to each cell.
Dr John Higgins, a medical professor at McGovern School of Medicine, said: " Many children have a habit of drinking energy drinks when exercising, when they need to maximize artery function ."
Physical activity requires the highest blood flow, so oxygen can reach the cells as quickly as possible. But energy drinks cause blood vessel diameter to shrink, limiting blood flow and oxygen supply.
" This causes the heart to work harder while the amount of oxygen supplied to the heart decreases. It may explain why there have been cases of children having cardiac arrests after drinking energy drinks ," said Dr. Higgins. explain more
" This drink is not for children ". In addition, people under the age of 18, pregnant or lactating women, people who are sensitive to caffeine, those who are taking caffeine sensitive drugs or those with heart disease should also stay away from energy drinks. warning.
Energy drinks have been banned for sale to children under 18 in the UK.
To support his argument, Dr. Higgins recruited 44 volunteers to participate in a study. They are all non-smoking medical students. All are healthy in their 20s.
Each volunteer was then asked to drink a 24 ounce can of energy drink (710 ml). Its effect on vascular lining cells, called endothelial cells, is what Dr. Higgins is aiming for.
The function of these cells was tested by him at three times: before the volunteers drank energy drinks, immediately after drinking and again after 90 minutes. The dilatation of the artery is measured by ultrasound.
As a result, Dr. Higgins found that 90 minutes after the energy drink was consumed, the diameter inside the blood vessels of the volunteers was significantly narrowed.The effects may be temporary, but drinking energy drinks too often will increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
This negative effect may come from caffeine, taurine, sugar and other herbs found in energy drinks, Dr. Higgins explained. Taurine is an amino acid that is advertised to help boost energy. Initially, it was extracted from cow semen - hence a new energy drink company named them Red Bull.
According to Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale-Griffin Center for Disease Prevention Research, " overall endothelial cell function is a strong indicator of cardiovascular disease risk." .
That means energy drinks have the potential to have major consequences for your health, especially blood vessel and heart disease.
Dr. Katz adds that the sugars and stimulants present in energy drinks do not actually offer particular benefits.
" There are better ways to boost energy, such as getting up and exercising a bit," he suggested. " Because energy drinks do not offer significant benefits, they should be rejected even when the potential risks are low."
In fact, many researchers have warned against the dangers that can occur when we drink energy drinks and it is not small.
A 2016 study in the journal BMJ Case Reports reports the case of a 50-year-old man with hepatitis. This man has symptoms of pain, vomiting and dark urine.
After performing some initial tests, the doctors could not find the cause of the infection. It turned out that he drank up to 4-5 cans of energy drink a day, within 3 weeks before the symptoms appeared.
Another study in the same year published in the journal Pediatric Emergency Care found that 76% of teens who drink energy drinks had a headache at least once in 6 months. 47% said they could not control their emotions and 22% reported shortness of breath.
Energy drinks have also been linked to neurological and stomach problems. In some countries around the world such as the United Kingdom, booster countries have been banned from being sold to children under 18.
In the United States, campaigners are also requiring warning labels for energy drinks and high-sugar drinks in general, similar to tobacco products.