Beware: This is what energy drinks can do to your heart!

As it turns out, this isn't the first time such a case has been reported.

Zee Media Bureau

New York: Energy drinks are a beverage that are highly popular among today's youth. They are also used as a source of fuel for those who are fitness-crazy before a workout session.

They may do wonders for your energy-levels and give you a boost while keeping you active and on your toes, however, a recent case report might give you a rude awakening.

As per the report, in the Journal of Addiction Medicine ( the official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)), the high levels of caffeine in energy drinks may lead to cardiac complications.

As it turns out, this isn't the first time such a case has been reported. It simply adds to previous reports of adverse cardiovascular events related to consuming energy drinks, including abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) or improper beating of the heart, whether irregular, too fast or too slow.

In this case, a 28-year-old patient was seen in the emergency department after developing vomiting with blood.

On examination, the only abnormality (other than obesity) was a very fast heart rate -- about 130 beats per minute.

An electrocardiogram revealed an abnormal heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation: a common type of arrhythmia that can lead to serious complications if sustained. Further tests showed no other heart problems.

The reason? Consumption of two cans of energy drinks per day – for a total caffeine content of 320 milligrams – plus two or three beers.

With medications, the atrial fibrillation resolved over 48 hours. Endoscopy showed a tear of the stomach and esophagus, probably caused by forceful vomiting. The patient was sent home in stable condition. At one year's follow-up, he had no further symptoms of arrhythmia.

Although several factors might have contributed to the patient's atrial fibrillation, the researchers said, "We believe that energy drink consumption played a key role."

Marketed as "nutritional supplements," these beverages are not subject to the caffeine limits on soft drinks, or to the safety testing and labeling required for medications.

"We suggest that arrhythmia could be a complication of energy drink consumption," wrote Maryam Sattari of University of Florida, Gainesville and lead author of the report.

(With IANS inputs)