Many people enjoy energy drinks for that quick boost of energy they provide. However, these drinks can have some negative impacts on your health and heart.

Energy drinks are very easy to get, and many people drink them without thinking about how they might affect their health. With the rise in popularity of these drinks, knowing about these potential heart risks is important. This is especially true for people with heart problems or high blood pressure.

Find out how energy drinks affect your heart and learn tips to safely increase your energy.

How do energy drinks affect your heart?

Energy drinks can affect your heart in several key ways. They may change how your heart cells function, possibly causing your heart to beat faster or in an irregular manner. You can think of this as causing your heart to sprint without a warm-up. This is crucial because such changes can lead to serious heart conditions, especially for people with existing heart issues.

The combination of high caffeine and other stimulants in energy drinks can lead to increased heart rate and blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Both of these are risk factors for heart disease. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) also notes that too much of these drinks can lead to heart rhythm disturbances and other health issues.

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What energy drink ingredients, like caffeine, should I watch for?

When consuming energy drinks, it's crucial to be aware of certain ingredients that may impact your health:


Caffeine is the primary stimulant in energy drinks. Too much caffeine can lead to heart palpitations, increased heart rate, and high blood pressure.


Combined with caffeine, taurine can amplify stimulant effects, potentially increasing heart rate and blood pressure.


This contains additional caffeine, which might not be listed separately. The total caffeine content increases with this ingredient.


A popular herbal medicinal product, this ingredient is considered generally safe. However, research on safety and effectiveness is limited. Some herbal supplements may also interact with prescription medications. Check with your health care provider before consuming ginseng.


High levels of sugar can contribute to obesity, a risk factor for heart disease, and can cause spikes in blood sugar levels.

B vitamins

Although B vitamins play an essential role in supporting many bodily functions, energy drinks often contain more than we should have. Too many B vitamins raises the risk of toxicity, especially for those with impaired liver or kidney function.

Artificial sweeteners

Used as a low-calorie sugar alternative, they can be associated with heart-related health risks.

Tips for healthy energy drink use

If you do consume energy drinks or need an energy boost, there are some things you can do to stay safe and protect your health.

  • Know what's inside: Understand the ingredients in your energy drink to help you make better choices. Some ingredients might not be good for your heart.
  • Look for other energy boosts: There are healthier ways to feel more awake. Getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and staying hydrated can all help you have more energy.
  • Pay attention to how you feel: If you notice that energy drinks make you feel jittery, anxious, or unusual in any way, it might be best to stop drinking them. Instead, find another way to boost your energy.
  • Check with your health care provider: If you're not sure whether energy drinks are safe for you, especially if you have heart issues or high blood pressure, talk to your health care provider.

Make healthy choices to help boost energy

While energy drinks might seem like a quick solution for tiredness, they come with potential risks that should not be ignored. It's always best to choose healthier ways to boost your energy and keep your heart happy and healthy.

Remember, taking care of your heart by making smart choices today can help keep it strong for the future. For additional health information and resources, check with trusted health websites like the CDC and NIH.

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This blog was written by UC Davis Health dietetic intern Merve Oguz and reviewed by Haley Kanada, a UC Davis Health registered dietitian.