Enjoy energy drinks? They can cause heart problems 90 minutes after drinking

Some of us have already made energy drinks a part of our regular morning routine, but this isn't necessarily more effective than coffee.

 Energy drinks (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Energy drinks
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Sleepless nights and great fatigue sometimes mean pulling out the big guns to function, such as downing a double shot of espresso or an energy drink.

Some have already made the blue can part of their morning ritual, but experts say you should avoid this seemingly innocent habit.

This is because one can of an energy drink may lead to constricted arteries and thus may increase the risk of blood vessel blockages that cause heart attacks and strokes. This, within an hour and a half alone.

Study warns us of the dangers

A team of researchers from the University of Houston in Texas wanted to examine whether energy drinks, which are becoming more and more popular among young people, affect the health of consumers negatively.

These facts are even more concerning when you consider the fact that teenagers and children usually drink these drinks without supervision or restriction. To this end, the researchers made sure that all the volunteers who participated in their study were in their 20s, non-smokers and without previous health problems.

 Cup of coffee (credit: INGIMAGE) Cup of coffee (credit: INGIMAGE)

The team, led by Dr. John Higgins, demonstrated that the combination of ingredients in the drink - caffeine, taurine, sugar and other herbal ingredients - could harm the lining of the arteries and veins of consumers.

Although the drinks contain only 80 mg of caffeine per 100 ml, the amount which is equivalent to three cans of Coke or one cup of instant coffee, after 90 minutes from the moment of drinking, the blood vessels of most of the subjects narrowed considerably.

According to the researchers, this narrowing of the blood vessels can cause serious impairment of their function.

Energy drinks are bad in numerous ways

This isn't the only negative impact of energy drinks. They can also harm the stomach lining if one drinks a can during a time in which drinking is at a minimum such as at a party. This, in turn, increases the rate of dehydration.

The study is not the first to point to the connection of energy drinks to health problems. Previous studies have indicated that they may cause heart, nervous system and digestive problems.

Another study found a link between energy drink consumption and other unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking and high consumption of sugary drinks. Between 2007 and 2014 in the US alone, there was a 100% spike in the number of emergency room calls as a result of complications from drinking energy drinks.