Wed | Sep 19, 2018

Stay away from energy drinks!

Published:Monday | February 13, 2017 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey
Nola Phillpots-Brown, senior manager administration, Heart Foundation.

Senior manager of Health Administration at the Heart Foundation of Jamaica Nola Phillpots-Brown is warning athletes and individuals to desist from consuming energy drinks as this can lead to heart disease.

Phillpots-Brown said that the Jamaican markets are being flooded with many energy drinks but is warning student-athletes to stay clear of them as this can help to cause cardiac arrest.

"The thing about energy drinks is that they can raise your heart rate and your blood pressure, and those are things that we know are not necessarily healthy for the heart," said Phillpots-Brown.

"I don't know how much actual proof we have that they have actually precipitated in terms of the energy drinks, but we in the medical fraternity do believe that they certainly help to precipitate the problems," she said.

She added that athletes and individuals often consumed these energy drinks to increase their awareness, but she said that that only lasts for a short time, and in the end, leads to the malfunctioning of the heart.

"With exercise, you increase your hormones, you increase the body temperature, and you increase your heart and blood pressure, and if you have a stimulant that is also further increasing your blood pressure and heart rate, that could increase your risk of something like a sudden cardiac arrest happening," Phillpots-Brown said.

"I don't think we have proof that these energy drinks are doing it, but it certainly makes physiological sense that they are contributing in some people," she said.




Dr Hugh Wong, director of Emergency Cardiac Care at the Heart Foundation of Jamaica, said that energy drinks carry a large amount of caffeine and, therefore, athletes should stay away from these drinks.

"You shouldn't be drinking these energy drinks because it is certainly not good for your health because there are some brands that carry as much as 500 milligrams of caffeine," said Wong.