(HealthDay News) — Just 1 energy drink can cause potentially harmful spikes in both stress hormone levels and blood pressure in young, healthy adults, a new study presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions. 

The study, which was simultaneously published in the Journal of American Medical Association, included 25 healthy young adults aged 26 to 31 years with no known cardiovascular (CV) risk factors. Each person drank one 16-oz can of Rockstar Punched or placebo drink in random order on 2 separate days. 

Researchers measured participants’ blood pressure and blood levels of norepinephrine before and 30 minutes after each drink.

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Participants’ norepinephrine levels increased more than twice as much compared with when they consumed placebo, the researchers found. 

Blood pressure also spiked due to energy drinks. For example, mean blood pressure increased by 6.4% after energy drink consumption, compared with a 1% increase with placebo.

“As physicians, we should perhaps ask people about energy drink intake, and factor this in as we interpret their vital signs in emergency settings,” lead researcher Anna Svatikova, MD, PhD, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, told HealthDay

“For the consumers, they should use caution when consuming energy drinks, because these drinks may increase their risk of sudden heart problems, even among young people.”


  1. Svatikova A. 116 – Increase in Norepinephrine After Energy Drink Intake in Healthy Adults. Presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions; November 7-11, 2015; Orlando, FL.
  2. Svatikova A, Covassin N, Somers KR, et al. A Randomized Trial of Cardiovascular Responses to Energy Drink Consumption in Healthy Adults. JAMA. 2015;doi:10.1001/jama.2015.13744.