How is that energy drink affecting your heart?

Drink too much, and your heart can literally race.

You may want to think twice before you reach for that caffeine-loaded energy drink.

A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that drinking 32 ounces of energy drinks in an hour resulted in abnormally fast heart rates and higher blood pressure for several hours.

“Abuse of energy drinks can adversely affect your heart rhythm, which can be serious,” explains Dr. Imran Sheikh, electrophysiologist at Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay, WI. “Caffeine is the likely culprit. It is best to be on the safe side and not abuse any caffeinated products.”

Dr. Sheikh offers some alternatives if energy drinks are your go-to:

  • Green tea: “Just be sure to keep an eye on nutritional labels, if you’re buying your green tea pre-made,” warns Dr. Sheikh. “It can be crammed full of unnecessary sugar.”
  • Ginger root tea: It’s good for your immune system and digestion, and may help you maintain energy levels.
  • Protein shakes: If you don’t have enough protein in your diet, you may feel sluggish and tired. Consider reaching for a protein shake. Don’t know where to start? Check this out.
  • Coffee: It gives you caffeine in less-potent doses. Just be sure to limit yourself to one to three 8-ounce cups per day.
  • Water or coconut water: Dehydration leads to fatigue. Plus, it’s difficult to get tired when you have to make several trips to the bathroom throughout the day.
  • Smoothies: Smoothies rich with things like spinach, bananas and yogurt are great for boosting your energy naturally.

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