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Why energy drinks boost your risk of having a killer stroke
author:Terri-Ann Williamssource:New York Post 2022-02-17 [Health]
We all like to indulge in fizzy drinks, but experts have warned some popular beverages could increase your risk of a stroke.

Making sure you have a healthy diet is a key way that you can prevent strokes.Getty Images


A stroke is a serious medical condition whereby blood supply to the brain is cut off.

They are a medical emergency and if you think you are having a stroke then you need to seek help immediately.

Experts have said that there are ways you can prevent a stroke and the NHS highlights that exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, not smoking and sticking to drinking no more than 14 units of alcohol a week will help.

Keeping a healthy diet is key and there is one element of it that can be significant when it comes to strokes.

A study published in the European Society of Cardiology found that energy drinks – which have high levels of caffeine, can lead to a number of adverse conditions.

The experts explained that these include angina, cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and even sudden death.

Caffeine consumption is considered safe for most people but energy drinks contain large amounts of this.

If too much of the stimulant is consumed then it could lead to an uptick in your heart rate.

Rheumatologist Rula Hajj-Ali from the Cleveland Clinic said: “Energy drinks have megadoses of caffeine and sometimes other stimulants.

“We find that some people who use them come into the hospital with stroke or severe brain hemorrhages.

“These are typically young, otherwise healthy people in their 30s and 40s.”

Many people use energy drinks to get through the day and experts have previously warned that our addiction to energy drinks is fuelling a rise in diagnoses of irregular heartbeats – one of the biggest killers in Britain.

Just one energy drink is enough to trigger arrhythmia, an abnormal heart rhythm which increases the risk of stroke five-fold.

The number of people diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AF), has climbed in recent years, the British Heart Foundation says (BHF).

In 2017/18 there were 1,324,067 people diagnosed with the condition, nearly 60,000 more than the previous year.

At least half a million people may have the “silent killer” condition but be unaware of it.

For some even the recommended four to five coffees a day may be too much, experts warn.

Research from the University of Texas also previously found that just one energy drink is enough to cause heart problems by narrowing your blood vessels.

Narrowing arteries increases the risk of blockages – which cause heart attacks and strokes.

Scientists led by Dr. John Higgins at the University of Texas in Houston said: “As energy drinks are becoming more and more popular, it is important to study the effects of these drinks on those who frequently drink them and better determine what, if any, is a safe consumption pattern.”

They singled out caffeine, taurine, sugar and other herbal ingredients – warning they damage the lining of arteries and veins.

Other research has found energy drinks can trigger nasty side effects like headaches and seizures, as well as rapid heartbeat.