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Can Energy Drinks Make Your Heart Beat Abnormally?

Do you buy energy drinks for your children or drink them when you’re working out? New evidence shows these drinks may boost your blood pressure, and they can also affect your heartbeat.

A recent study found that healthy adults were more likely to have an abnormal heartbeat and high blood pressure after drinking an energy drink. Researchers also assessed the response to other drinks that contained the same amount of caffeine as the energy drinks.

The findings, reported in the Journal of the American Heart Association, raise concerns and unanswered questions.

So, what exactly do energy drinks contain that has such an impact on your body?

“The big thing that jumped off the page for me was the 108 grams of sugar,” says cardiologist Daniel Cantillon, MD. “Energy drinks are very sugar-enriched and obviously have health implications.”

Also disturbing, Dr. Cantillon says, are the unknown effects of ingredients in the drinks’ proprietary blends.

What about energy drinks and children?

There are more than 500 energy drinks on the market. Drink makers claim that they will help you perform better, physically and mentally.

Ingredients vary, but most energy drinks contain caffeine, sugar and proprietary blends of ginseng and other herbal and chemical ingredients.

The drinks are popular with teens and young adults. Men between the ages of 18 and 34 are the largest consumer group.

Earlier studies and reports link energy drinks to cardiac arrhythmia in children. So, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children and adolescents avoid them.

One study found that children younger than age 6 account for more than 40 percent of the emergency calls to poison centers that relate to energy drinks.

New study raises concern for adults

For the latest study, researchers recruited 18 healthy men and women, ages 18 to 40, on a U.S. Air Force base. The men and women drank a 32-ounce energy drink or a caffeinated control drink. Both contained 320 milligrams of caffeine. Then, after a 6-day washout period, they switched drinks.

Researchers detected blood pressure and heartbeat abnormalities after participants drank the energy drinks. They did not see these ill effects after drinks that contained caffeine only.

Dr. Cantillon sees a need for more research regarding energy drink safety among adults with chronic health problems, and he advises caution.

“We really need further studies to understand the safety of energy drinks,” he says. “Energy drinks are probably OK for healthy individuals, but I don’t endorse energy drinks for anyone.”

He warns consumers to use caution when buying dietary supplement products. They are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and thus are “not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease,” he says.

What about caffeinated drinks?

While the amount of caffeine used in the study — 320 milligrams — is high, the dosage is within a safe range, Dr. Cantillon says.

Most doctors consider daily doses of up to 400 milligrams (the equivalent of about four cups of brewed coffee) harmless for most adults without chronic health problems, he says.

If your drink contains caffeine, it can be easy to overdo it when you’re hot and thirsty after a game or when you’re exercising.

Possible effects of caffeinated drinks include alertness, palpitations, agitation, heartburn and diarrhea. And, because it’s a diuretic, caffeine makes your body lose water.

So, caffeinated drinks don’t really quench your thirst.

“I’m a fan of plain old water,” Dr. Cantillon says. “Water will get the job done.”

SOURCE: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2017/06/energy-drinks-and-your-heart-study-raises-red-flag/


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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.

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