Ask Dr. Nandi: Can energy drinks make your heart beat abnormally?

Energy drinks are very popular with sales raking in billions of dollars - but how healthy are they? 

A recent study found they could affect your heart and blood pressure. 

I love hearing from our Facebook fans and today I asked them if they’ve experienced any side effects from these energy drinks. 

Christina Nader from South Lyon responded and said: “I get REALLY sick when I drink them...even just one does it. Heart palpitations, chest pain, nausea, dizziness, weakness. It’s terrifying!”

Now Christina’s side effects are not uncommon. But everyone will react differently because there are hundreds of energy drinks and the ingredients vary. 

The makers of these drinks say they’re to help you perform better - but they may do more damage than you think. 

A recent study compared an energy drink to coffee. Now both beverages had the same amount of caffeine, but only the energy drink caused high blood pressure and heartbeat abnormalities. 

Why is that? 

It could be because many of these energy drinks also contain a lot of other stimulants like guarana, taurine, and l-carnitine. These are typically not harmful when used alone, but together they can negatively affect your nervous system and may cause health issues.

Nushu Thea from Highland, MI posted, I “Used to drink Monster, now just a Red Bull once in a while. I Get jitters and energy crash.  Dr. Nandi, energy drinks are supposed to perk you up so why would they cause crashes?"

Well we’re all familiar with sugar crashes and many energy drinks are sugar-enriched. 

They can contain extremely high amounts as much as 27 teaspoons in one can. 

What’s concerning is that these crashes may drive you to reach for another energy drink. And that could put you over the safety limit the FDA recommends, which is 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. 

If you’re reaching for these drinks to give you more energy, I really recommend you take a look at your lifestyle.

Make sure you’re eating healthy and getting enough sleep and exercise. These are great ways to safely boost your energy levels.

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