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No Need to Panic: Study Proves Energy Drinks Boost Heart Function
Further Studies Needed
While Dr. Cameli emphasized on the positive effects of energy drink on heart function, he noted that energy drinks may raise the risk of cardiometabolic diseases. He also encouraged the medical community to conduct further studies on the frequent consumption of energy drinks. “Future studies need to focus on whether such benefits persist after long term consumption of energy drinks, and what the effects are of consuming these drinks during physical activity,” Dr. Cameli was quoted saying. “It will also be important to determine which of the effects are induced in patients with cardiac disease to further our understanding of the potential benefits or risks of energy drink consumption," he said. Dr. Cameli announced the results of the study at the European Society of Cardiology 2012 Congress in Munich, Germany.
A separate unpublished study done by University of Bonn also proved that healthy adults who consumed energy drinks exhibited higher heart contractility rates an hour later, Food Navigator USA reported. The study was spearheaded by Dr. Jonas Dorner who unveiled the results of the study at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America. Data from the study revealed that people who drank energy drinks were found to have an increased peak strain and peak systolic strain rates in their heart’s left ventricle after an hour. The study also noted that there was no significant change in the heart rate, blood pressure and the amount of blood released by the left ventricle of the volunteers’ heart.
The study, however, caused quite as stir in the industry and elicited a statement from Monster, a big player in the sports drink and energy drink industry, which claimed that the study was “misleading” and “alarmist.” Monster also said that the study only “confirms that Taurine helps heart function without changing blood pressure or heart rate—something scientists have already known for decades.” Dr. Dorner defended himself, explained he did not make any claims that raised heart contraction rates should be a cause of concern for people who consumed energy drinks. He also noted that negative effects of the drink are yet to be proven and that the study does not prove any ill effects of consuming energy drinks nor discount the health benefits of energy drinks. The issue stemmed from a press release published by the Radiological Society, according to Food Navigator USA. Dr. Dorner was quoted in the release that the study sheds light on “concerns” about the “potential adverse side effects of energy drinks on heart function” especially among teens and young adults. Dr. Dorner also said in the release that few regulations on energy drink sales exist. He also warned children and people with arrhythmias to avoid consuming energy drinks.
Growing Energy Drink Market
According to Research and Markets’ Global Energy Drink 2014-2018 forecast, the global sports and energy drink market will expand at a CAGR of 13.8 percent during the period between 2013 and 2018. Research and Markets also noted that the natural and organic healthcare trend will continue to shape the future of the industry. Research and Markets also believe that the entry of “natural ingredient-based energy drinks” will positively affect market growth, according to the research firm’s press release.
On the other hand, stricter government regulations may pose a challenge to the sector’s growth, the study said. Several reported deaths linked to energy drinks have prompted regional governments in America and Europe to ban some energy drink brands. As a result, government bodies in the said regions had to develop stricter policies to protect the health of consumers.
Meanwhile Markets and Markets forecasts that worldwide demand for sports and energy beverages will post an annual growth in excess of 10 percent up to 2016. Like Research and Markets, the research firm lists increasing health awareness as one of the factors that will boost the sector’s market growth. Further Research and Markets also predicted competition to become more intense in the industry. Energy drink companies need to expand their product lines to include diet and sugar-free drinks that target women and health-conscious customers. Small industry players like Energy-X (http://goenergy-x.com/), Viso, and Scheckters got in on the trend early. Energy-X uses natural green coffee bean caffeine and B vitamins in its flavorless energy mixer, ‘The Juice ‘, to boost energy; Viso uses organic sugar cane and a variety of passion fruits; and Scheckters uses organic vegetable and fruit extracts. Scheckters also use spring water for its sports drinks. Some energy drink companies have also diversified into creating other product lines (i.e. personal care products) that offer consumers the energy-boosting benefits of energy drinks. For example, Energy-X has also established itself in this area with its line of energy lip balms and flavored gums.