Energy Drinks and atrial fibrillation in young adults

Clin Nutr. 2018 Jun;37(3):1073-1074. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2017.05.002. Epub 2017 May 6.


The present paper evaluates the association between Energy Drinks (EDs) and occurrence of atrial fibrillation (AF) in young people. Data from three clinical cases of AF after EDs consumption are reported. All patients presented with palpitations, nausea and anxiety. ECG showed AF with high ventricular response (135-170 bpm range frequency). Anamnestic record reported a high consumption of EDs during the previous 8 h from the onset of AF. In one case ED was associated with a moderate quantity of alcohol. Patients were successfully cardioverted both spontaneously and after pharmacological treatment. After cardioversion: the ECG and echocardiogram appeared normal in all patients; the toxicological tests and the laboratory analyses resulted negative. Our experience suggests that larger consumption of EDs, especially when combined with alcoholic beverages, could act as a trigger in the development of AF in young patients. This action may be caused by the synergic effect of caffeine and other substances present in EDs. Following the increasing consumption of EDs in young people, we suggest a careful attention to cardiac complications.

Keywords: Atrial fibrillation; Caffeine; Energy Drinks; Young patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / therapeutic use
  • Atrial Fibrillation / drug therapy
  • Atrial Fibrillation / etiology*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Energy Drinks / adverse effects*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Propafenone / therapeutic use
  • Saline Solution / therapeutic use
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents
  • Saline Solution
  • Propafenone