A few days ago an article was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association that demonstrated that high volume energy drinks cause QT prolongation, by as much as 10ms. The QT interval is a segment measured on your ECG (those wiggly lines on graph paper). Prolonged QT interval can lead to cardiac arrhythmias and some of those can be deadly. A local news channel wanted a cardiologist to comment on the study, and WTOL came by to discuss the article, you can watch the video below.
The study was performed on an US Air Force base on 18-40 year olds with normal ECGs. Half the participants drank 2 servings of a commercially available energy drink (they didn’t mention which one) and the other half drank an equivalent amount of caffeine in carbonated water with cheery syrup. They measured QT interval, blood pressure and a multitude of other variables. The QT prolongation was the most significant finding in the energy drink group. The caffeine group had no change in QT, whereas the energy drink group did. The scientists attributed the QT prolongation to other ingredients- the taurine, guarine, L-carnitie, and the B vitamins. While we know how some of these ingredients affect QT interval (they have been studied), it seems that this particular combination of ingredients offers a significant threat to your heart.
The study was only 18 patients, 9 in each arm of the study, but it was enough to achieve statistical significance, so they did not need more participants.
Read the study Here.
Watch the video of my story below: