A recent paper published in the International Journal of Cardiology has found that consumption of more than two energy drinks per day could cause fast heartbeat and palpitations.

The study was carried out by researchers from Adelaide University in South Australia. They found that more than one-third of patients under the age of 40 arriving at hospital A & E with heart palpitations had recently consumed an energy drink. They also noticed that 70% had consumed an energy drink in their lifetime, some had consumed more than 5 energy drinks in the previous 24 hours, and one reported 12 cans with alcohol.   

Lead researcher, Dr Scott Willoughby commented,

“Those patients who were heavy consumers of energy drinks were found to have a significantly higher frequency of heart palpitations than those who consumed less than one per day. And, importantly, fast heartbeat and heart palpitations were seen in energy drink consumers who were healthy and had no risk factors for heart disease. ”

Ian Musgrave, who co-authored the paper added,

“The major stimulant in these drinks is caffeine, which is generally safe when consumed at the recommended levels. However, some people appear to be more sensitive to the effects of caffeine, and the combination of ingredients in these energy drinks may pose a further threat to those who consume large quantities.”

Busutti M, Willoughby S. A survey of energy drink consumption among young patients presenting to the emergency department with the symptom of palpitations.  International Journal of Cardiology. February 1st 2016 Vol. 204, pages 55-56

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