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Manhattan Cardiology

One of our Cardiologists and co-founder of LabFinder, Robert Segal, MD, was interviewed by WebMD to discuss the Effects of Energy Drinks

He’s quoted as saying:

“If you’re studying for an exam and have to pull an all-nighter a few times a year, it’s probably OK” to have one, says cardiologist Robert Segal, MD, founder of Manhattan Cardiology. But most energy drink fans don’t save them for special occasions, and users don’t always stop after one can (or concentrated “shot”), either.

A key problem, says Segal, is that most energy drinks contain far more caffeine than a standard cup of coffee. An 8-ounce cup of joe has about 100 mg of caffeine. While some energy drink brands may contain a similar amount, others have more than 350 mg per can or shot.

“In small to moderate amounts, caffeine is good,” because it can boost your mood and help you feel more alert, says Segal. “In large amounts, it leads to a decrease in the blood vessels’ ability to dilate. If they constrict and narrow, your blood pressure goes up. If blood vessels are constricted and blood can’t get through, it can cause heart attacks, brain attacks — aka strokes — and damage to other vital organs.”

“The FDA really hasn’t looked at each product, so a lot of the evidence is anecdotal, but when you mix caffeine, sugar, ginseng, guarana, taurine, etc., it definitely adds up to more potential for bodily harm,” says  Segal.

Cocktails that use energy drinks have gotten more popular in recent years. “Alcohol has depressive effects on the brain, and energy drinks have stimulating effects,” says Segal.

View the original piece placement on WebMD.