(Steven Reinberg/ HealthDay) — Caffeine-laden energy drinks are popular, but they might make your blood vessels less efficient, a small study suggests.
These drinks — sold as Monster and Red Bull, to name two — have been linked to heart, nerve and stomach problems, researchers say.
“A lot of young kids use energy drinks when they exercise, a time when you need your arterial function to be at its top,” said lead researcher Dr. John Higgins. He’s a professor of medicine at McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.
Exercise and sports require maximum blood flow so oxygen can get to cells quickly, Higgins said. Energy drinks that reduce the vessels’ diameter, in effect, restrict blood flow and oxygen delivery, he explained.
“It’s more work for the heart and less oxygen supply for the heart. This could explain why there have been cases where kids have had a cardiac arrest after an energy drink,” he said. (…)