Arrhythmogenic effects of energy drinks

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2017 Jun;28(6):711-717. doi: 10.1111/jce.13210. Epub 2017 May 2.


Energy drinks (ED) are increasingly popular, especially among adolescents and young adults. They are marketed as enhancers of energy, alertness, and physical performance. ED contain high doses of caffeine and other active ingredients. Their safety has come under question due to reports temporally linking ED consumption with serious cardiovascular events, including arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. In this article, we report 2 cases of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias in young patients after consuming ED. We also review the ingredients of ED, the physiologic effects on the cardiovascular system, and the available evidence suggesting arrhythmogenecity.

Keywords: arrhythmias; caffeine; energy drinks; sudden cardiac death.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Computed Tomography Angiography
  • Coronary Angiography / methods
  • Defibrillators
  • Defibrillators, Implantable
  • Electric Countershock / instrumentation
  • Electrocardiography
  • Energy Drinks / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest / chemically induced*
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest / diagnosis
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest / physiopathology
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest / therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / chemically induced*
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / diagnosis
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / physiopathology
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / therapy
  • Young Adult