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Your Body on Energy Drinks

Energy drinks are one of America’s most popular dietary supplements, according to the National Institutes of Health, but that doesn’t mean they’re actually a boost for your health. There’s been a lot controversy surrounding the drinks following several recent overdoses — and even deaths — linked to the beverages. In 2014, World Health Organization researchers labeled the rise in energy-drink consumption a “danger to public health.”

So, what’s in an energy drink, and how does it affect your body?

A 2015 Mayo Clinic study, published in JAMA, examined the effects of drinking a single 16-ounce can of a popular energy drink (Rockstar Punched). Researchers conducted the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on 25 healthy volunteers with an average age of 29.

The Effects

  • 74%: The average percentage increase of the fight-or-flight stress hormone norepinephrine in study participants’ blood levels.
  • 6.2%: The average percentage increase in study participants’ systolic blood pressure.

The Ingredients

Researchers observed that the effects could be the results of the following stimulants in Rockstar Punched.

  • Caffeine: 240 mg (by comparison, a shot of espresso has about 64 mg)
  • Sugar: 62 grams (15½ teaspoons)
  • B vitamins and ginkgo biloba (additional stimulants)

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