Peveler, W. W., & Sanders, G. (2016). Effects of energy drinks on cardiovascular and performance measures. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 48(5), Supplement abstract number 260.

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This study determined the effect of three different energy drinks on cardiovascular and performance measures during economy trials. College adults (N = 15) completed five trials on five separate days with at least one day recovery between trials. The first trial consisted of a graded-treadmill protocol to determine VO2max. On the four remaining trials each S was required to blindly ingest one of three energy-drinks or a placebo-drink one hour prior to their exercise. Next, each S completed 15 minutes of treadmill exercise at a speed consistent with 70% of his or her VO2max. Trials were conducted in a counterbalanced order. Heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen uptake, and rating of perceived exertion were recorded during the treadmill-exercise trials.

Fifteen-minute systolic blood pressure readings were found to be significantly lower in the placebo trial when compared to the three energy-drink trials. There were no significant differences in diastolic blood pressure or heart rate between any conditions. There were also no significant differences in VO2 or rating of perceived exertion measures between the placebo and the three energy-drink conditions.

Implication. Ingestion of energy-drinks pre-exercise demonstrated no increase in sub-maximal performance factors (VO2 or rating of perceived exertion) for 15 minutes of treadmill exercise. Energy drinks did not affect the sub-maximal exercise task. Systolic blood pressure was elevated in all three energy-drink trials.

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