Caffeine is not your friend. Sure, it might give you that “pick up” in the morning, but it’s not doing your health any favors. Dr. Fuhrman’s colleague Jeff Novick, MS, RD explains:
“After drinking a cup of coffee, blood pressure can rise up to 5 or even 10 millimeters of mercury,” said Dr. Charalambos Vlachopoulos from the Cardiology Department of the Henry Dunant Hospital in Athens, Greece. Increases of this magnitude can increase a person’s risk of suffering from a stroke or a heart attack.
Elsewhere, Dr. M. O’Rourke and colleagues at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, Australia, presented data at the 22nd Congress of the European Society of Cardiology linking caffeine consumption with alterations in the aorta, the main artery supplying blood to the body. Their study showed that caffeine led to a loss of aortic elasticity and raised blood pressure. The elasticity of the aorta is linked to heart function and coronary blood flow.
In a Finnish study reported in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, Dr. Maarku Heliovaara of the National Public Health Institute in Helsinki and colleagues found that people who drank four or more cups of coffee each day had twice the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, compared with people who drank less coffee.
Now, new research has determined that teenagers who drink energy drinks—which are LOADED with caffeine—are more likely to engage in “risky” behavior
. Tara Parker-Pope of The New York Times
In March, The Journal of American College Health published a report on the link between energy drinks, athletics and risky behavior. The study’s author, Kathleen Miller, an addiction researcher at the University of Buffalo, says it suggests that high consumption of energy drinks is associated with “toxic jock” behavior, a constellation of risky and aggressive behaviors including unprotected sex, substance abuse and violence.
The finding doesn’t mean the drinks cause bad behavior. But the data suggest that regular consumption of energy drinks may be a red flag for parents that their children are more likely to take risks with their health and safety.
“It appears the kids who are heavily into drinking energy drinks are more likely to be the ones who are inclined toward taking risks,” Dr. Miller says. The American Beverage Association says its members don’t market energy drinks to teenagers. “The intended audience is adults,” says Craig Stevens, a spokesman for the group. He says the marketing is meant for “people who can actually afford the two or three bucks to buy the products.”
Makes sense to me. Isn’t gambling with your health one of the biggest risks you can take?