Numerous studies have uncovered the possible adverse health effects of energy drinks, but a new study suggests that energy drinks that contain caffeine and taurine boost heart function in people who are already healthy.
The study by the University of Sienna, Italy, reported by Bloomberg.com, found that function in the left and right ventricles, which pump blood to the body, increased one hour after consuming an energy drink.
Researchers used echocardiography on 35 healthy people with an average age of 25 and found that while diastolic blood pressure rose six percent, systolic blood pressure and heart rate remained mostly unchanged. While the results appear promising for fans of the energy drinks, researchers caution that the long term effects of drinking the beverages were not part of this particular study. Over time, the effect of energy drinks on the heart is not certain.
“Future studies need to focus on whether such benefits persist after long-term consumption of energy drinks, and what the effects are of consuming these drinks during physical activity,” lead researcher Matteo Cameli said. “It will also be important to determine which of the effects are induced in patients with cardiac disease to further our understanding of the potential benefits or risks of energy-drink consumption.”
RedOrbit.com reports the study found function in both the left and right ventricles of the heart increased one hour after consuming an energy drink. W. Douglas Weaver, former president of the American College of Cardiology, points out that the drink can carry risks, and that too much caffeine can cause sweating and heart palpitations.
“People are showing up in the emergency room and doctor’s office after having these drinks and not feeling well,” Weaver said. “Now we can see some of the physiological effects.”
So if you’re looking for a heart healthy diet, don’t run out and buy a case of energy drinks just yet.