Energy drinks can put a strain on the heart and circulation

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Better to take breaks than drink energy drinks. The substance "taurine" contained in many energy drinks is suspected of being harmful to health.

(May 26, 2010) In our fast-paced world, many people use so-called energy drinks instead of taking meaningful breaks. But be careful, energy drinks can stress the heart and circulatory system and thus endanger health. In a press release, the President of the Professional Association of German Internists (BDI) warns against excessive consumption of beverages containing taurine. Wolfgang Wesiack: "Especially in people with high blood pressure and cardiac arrhythmias, the consumption of these drinks can worsen the symptoms considerably". Instead, you should make sure you drink enough fluids (preferably water) in everyday life, get enough exercise and take enough breaks. This is not only healthier, but also more effective for everyday work. These instructions also apply to drivers. Because the deceptive feeling of "fitness" after consuming energy drinks can have serious consequences. Drivers are then just as fit to drive as people who have drunk alcohol, warns Dr. Wesiack.

Energy drinks can put a strain on the cardiovascular system.
Frequent consumption of energy drinks can also put a strain on the cardiovascular system. Especially in people with high blood pressure and cardiac arrhythmias, taking these drinks can worsen the symptoms considerably, ”explains the internist. About a fifth complain of headaches after consuming the energy drinks, another fifth report heart pounding. These symptoms are warning signs that the cardiovascular system is being stressed. "Children, pregnant women, breastfeeding women and people who are sensitive to caffeine should avoid energy drinks."
An energy drink contains roughly the same amount of caffeine as two cups of coffee. In addition, the drinks consist of water, sugar or sweetener, color and in many drinks also taurine. So far, it has been assumed that regular consumption of taurine is harmful to health. However, no precise studies are yet available for these assumptions.

Energy drinks are also not a good idea when exercising.
Some people also use such energy drinks while exercising. But the effect is not in the drinks themselves, but in the high sugar content of these drinks. "An increase in physical performance can only be expected in a few endurance sports. In these cases, a possible energy boost is mainly due to the high sugar content," says Wesiack.

High-dose drinks even more dangerous. The Bavarian consumer advice center recently warned people with heart diseases against taking high-dose energy drinks (so-called "energy shots"). "People with high blood pressure or heart diseases should restrict the use of energy drinks and energy shots as a precaution." Spokeswoman for the consumer association. Frequent consumption of high-dose energy drinks can lead to nervousness, insomnia, nausea, headaches and impaired perception, warned the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment in January. (sb)

Photo credits: Image: Barbara Eckholdt,

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