A Randomized Trial of Cardiovascular Responses to Energy Drink Consumption in Healthy Adults | Cardiology | JAMA | JAMA Network
[Skip to Navigation]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
Burrows  T, Pursey  K, Neve  M, Stanwell  P.  What are the health implications associated with the consumption of energy drinks? a systematic review.  Nutr Rev. 2013;71(3):135-148.PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Goldfarb  M, Tellier  C, Thanassoulis  G.  Review of published cases of adverse cardiovascular events after ingestion of energy drinks.  Am J Cardiol. 2014;113(1):168-172.PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Sepkowitz  KA.  Energy drinks and caffeine-related adverse effects.  JAMA. 2013;309(3):243-244.PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Higgins  JP, Tuttle  TD, Higgins  CL.  Energy beverages: content and safety.  Mayo Clin Proc. 2010;85(11):1033-1041.PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Jennings  JR, Kamarck  TW, Everson-Rose  SA, Kaplan  GA, Manuck  SB, Salonen  JT.  Exaggerated blood pressure responses during mental stress are prospectively related to enhanced carotid atherosclerosis in middle-aged Finnish men.  Circulation. 2004;110(15):2198-2203.PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Flaa  A, Eide  IK, Kjeldsen  SE, Rostrup  M.  Sympathoadrenal stress reactivity is a predictor of future blood pressure: an 18-year follow-up study.  Hypertension. 2008;52(2):336-341.PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Research Letter
November 17, 2015

A Randomized Trial of Cardiovascular Responses to Energy Drink Consumption in Healthy Adults

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
JAMA. 2015;314(19):2079-2082. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.13744

Energy drink consumption has been associated with serious cardiovascular events,1-4 possibly related to caffeine and other stimulants. We hypothesized that drinking a commercially available energy drink compared with a placebo drink increases blood pressure and heart rate in healthy adults at rest and in response to mental and physical stress (primary outcomes). Furthermore, we hypothesized that these hemodynamic changes are associated with sympathetic activation, which could predispose to increased cardiovascular risk (secondary outcomes).

We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover pilot study. The trial protocol is available in the Supplement. Twenty-five healthy volunteers aged 18 years or older, who were nonsmokers, free of known disease, and not taking medications, were recruited by word-of-mouth from the local community. Each participant consumed a can (480 mL; 16 fl oz) of a commercially available energy drink (Rockstar; Rockstar Inc) and placebo drink within 5 minutes, in random order on 2 separate days, maximum 2 weeks apart. The placebo drink, selected to match the nutritional constituents of the energy drink, was similar in taste, texture, and color but lacked caffeine and other stimulants of the energy drink (240 mg of caffeine, 2000 mg of taurine, and extracts of guarana seed, ginseng root, and milk thistle).