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How bad are energy drinks for the heart?

More potent than coffee. (credit: Flickr/rynosoft)

How bad are energy drinks for the heart?

Tom Musbach

By Tom Musbach on May 11, 2012

Daily Answer is excerpted from the JustAnswer archives and features information provided from a Expert on JustAnswer:

Q: How bad is caffeine in excess for the heart? I am 26 and in the military, and I drink those Monster energy drinks every day to stay motivated and energized. I have borderline high blood pressure, but I exercise an hour and a half each day.  Also, is it normal to experience heart palpitations after consuming caffeine?

A: Multiple studies have shown that excess caffeine can raise the blood pressure for several hours. And high blood pressure is directly linked to increased cardiovascular risk. Most energy drinks such as Monster contain very large amounts of caffeine, many times more than a regular cup of coffee would have.

No, it is not normal to have heart palpitations after having caffeine. It is a sign that your caffeine is too excessive. Although, the palpitations can also be due to an arrhythmia not related to caffeine. But many times caffeine can worsen or precipitate an underlying arrhythmia.

The best thing is to avoid those energy drinks. You will feel tired and less energetic for a few days after stopping, but eventually you will be more healthy and active.

-- Answer from Dr. Singh, physician on JustAnswer.