Effects of energy drinks on economy and cardiovascular measures.
J Strength Cond Res. 2016 Jul 5. Epub 2016 Jul 5. PMID: 27386963
Willard W Peveler
The use of energy drinks among athletes has risen greatly. Caffeine and taurine are the two primary performance enhancing ingredients found in energy drinks. The number of emergency department visits involving energy drinks doubled over the last 5 years. Reviews of the health complications have highlighted adverse cardiovascular events. The literature reveals that caffeine is known to moderately increase blood pressure and heart rate. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of three different energy drinks on cardiovascular and performance measures. Fifteen recreational runners completed five trials. The first trial consisted of a graded exercise protocol. The four remaining trials consisted of 15 min economy trials at a treadmill speed consistent with 70% of subject's VO2max. An hour prior subjects ingested one of three energy drinks or a placebo. HR, BP, VO2, and RPE were recorded during the 15-minute trial. Means for dependent measures were compared using repeated measures ANOVA. Fifteen minute systolic BP readings were significantly lower in the placebo trials (156.93± 15.50) in relation to the three energy drink trials (163.87 ± 13.30, 166.47 ± 13.71 and 165.00 ± 15.23). There were no significant differences in diastolic BP and HR. There were no significant differences found in VO2 or RPE measures. Ingestion of energy drinks demonstrated no change in VO2 orRPE during the economy trials. The findings show no performance benefits under the conditions of this study. However, there does appear to be a significant increase in systolic blood pressure.