Cardiovascular and autonomic responses to energy drinks—clinical implications

Kiran R. Somers, Anna Svatikova

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


There is an increasing consumption of energy drinks both in the United States and worldwide. The components of these beverages are sometimes unclear but commonly include caffeine, sugars, taurine, and B-vitamins. Young people, particularly those engaged in sports, studying, and in the military are especially likely to be consumers of energy drinks. While limited data are available regarding their autonomic and hemodynamic effects, current literature suggests that energy drink consumption is accompanied by increases in blood pressure, sympathetic drive, and also in QT prolongation. There are no systematic long term studies identifying consequences of frequent energy drink consumption. However, multiple anecdotal reports implicate energy drinks in adverse cardiovascular events including atrial fibrillation, ventricular arrhythmia, myocardial infarction, and sudden death. Events such as atrial fibrillation may even occur in otherwise healthy subjects with structurally normal hearts. It is likely that these cardiovascular outcomes are triggered by the hemodynamic, autonomic, and electrocardiographic responses to energy drink consumption. What remains unclear is how concomitant use of other stimulants such as amphetamines and nicotine may interact to potentiate neural and circulatory responses and cardiovascular consequences when combined with energy drinks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number431
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Autonomic function
  • Blood pressure
  • Caffeine
  • Catecholamines
  • Energy drinks
  • Sympathetic activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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