Posted on Fri, 16 Jan 15
Beyond the marketing claims, have you ever wondered what the effects of an energy drink really are? A scientific study measuring the physical effects of Red Bull show that it stresses your heart and reduces blood flow to your brain.
The marketing of so called “energy drinks” targets adolescents and young adults with claims that they increase performance, mental function and overall wellbeing, but serious health concerns have been raised about these beverages and they have been banned in some countries.
Examining the acute cardiovascular and cerebrovascular effects of the popular energy drink Red Bull a group of Swiss researchers found that cerebral blood flow started to decline immediately after 355 mL of the energy drink and remained below baseline levels for at least 120 min. The drink also raised cardiac workload and led to increases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure
This is the first time the acute effects of an energy drink on blood flow to the brain have been investigated with the researchers commenting that this “substantial” decline in cerebral blood flow “critically questions manufactures promotion about a better mental profile.”
“Energy drinks are one of the most rapidly increasing beverages promoted aggressively for their claimed beneficial effects on body and mental strength,” they said ‘but the data presented here suggest that consumption of energy drinks is potentially harmful because of the extra cardiac work load and the decreased cerebral blood flow velocity observed during resting conditions.”
Grasser EK, Yepuri G, Dulloo AG, Montani JP. Cardio- and cerebrovascular responses to the energy drink Red Bull in young adults: a randomized cross-over study. Eur J Nutr. 2014 Oct;53(7):1561-71.