Energy drinks may make you five times more likely to have a stroke, as experts warn caffeine-packed pop could be fuelling a record rise in diagnoses of irregular heartbeats
- Energy drinks could be fuelling a record rise in diagnoses of irregular heartbeats
- Just one energy drink daily could trigger arrhythmia, an abnormal heart rhythm
- At least half a million people may be unaware they have the ‘silent killer’ illness
Juggling a busy job and family life, Mark Horsman relied on a daily combination of eight cups of coffee and three cans of Red Bull to keep him going.
For three years, the construction manager from Brighton thought nothing of it. But one day, after downing two cans in a row, he was suddenly struck by a terrifying ‘booming’ sound coming from his heart.
Mark, 52, thought he was about to die. ‘It was absolutely terrifying,’ he says. ‘My heart was beating very fast, then would miss a beat and then it would “boom”.’
Mark’s GP later explained that he was experiencing an extra, or ectopic, heartbeat – and it was a result of his excessive caffeine and energy drink habit.
Mark is thought to be one of the many people whose genetics make them more susceptible to the effects of caffeine. And he’s far from alone. Experts are now warning that caffeine-packed energy drinks could be fuelling a record rise in diagnoses of irregular heartbeats, one of Britain’s biggest killers.
Just one energy drink daily could trigger arrhythmia, an abnormal heart rhythm which increases the risk of stroke five-fold.
Recent figures from the British Heart Foundation revealed that the number of people diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation (AF), the most common cause of arrhythmia, has soared by almost five per cent in just a year: in 2017/2018 there were 1,324,067 people diagnosed with the condition, nearly 60,000 more than the previous year.