What an Energy Drink Does to Your Heart and Stress Levels

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It’s no secret that energy drinks aren’t the healthiest beverage choice out there (if you need a refresher, here’s what happens in your body in the hour after swigging an energy drink). But new research shows that the drinks do more than raise your energy levels — they may also make your body more stressed by raising your stress hormone levels.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic had 25 healthy adult volunteers drink one can of Rockstar energy drink and one can of a noncaffeinated placebo drink within five minutes, in random order, on two separate days over the course of two weeks. The researchers found that consuming an energy drink significantly raised participants’ blood pressure and stress hormone levels and increased cardiovascular risk.

More research is needed and there are still a variety of factors to explore when it comes to what popular energy drinks do to the body, researchers warned. But while many say energy drinks are fine in moderation, and similar to drinking another caffeinated beverage (such as coffee or tea), nutritionist Karen Ansel tells Yahoo Health that’s “way off target.” She points out that sweetened energy drinks go down easier than bitter coffee or tea, making people more likely to chug them mindlessly. They also contain high levels of sugar. (And we all know how unhealthy that is for us!)

Rely on energy drinks as a pick-me-up? You’re better off reaching for other, more natural sources of caffeine (may we recommend matcha?) — or getting to the root of why you’re so tired in the first place

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