Cardiovascular Effects of Energy Drinks in the Pediatric Population

Pediatr Emerg Care. 2020 Jun 18. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000002165. Online ahead of print.


Consumption of energy drinks in the pediatric population is correlated with more emergency department visits and causes adverse reactions, such as neurological, psychiatric, gastrointestinal, renal, and cardiovascular effects. These cardiovascular complications include increased cardiometabolic risk with high intake of sugar, short-term blood pressure increases and a decrease in cerebral blood flow due to the caffeine content, increased or decreased blood pressure from taurine, unmasked cardiac conditions, such as channelopathies, and atrial and ventral fibrillations. Cardiovascular complications can also arise when energy drinks are mixed with pharmaceutical drugs, such as amiodarone, potent CYP1A2 inhibitors, warfarin, digoxin, or corticosteroids. Combining energy drinks with alcohol also precipitates adverse cardiovascular events, posing a risk to the health of children and adolescents. This review further explores the ingredients in energy drinks and their mechanism of action in causing these cardiovascular complications.