Can High Caffeine Energy Drinks Cause An Enlarged Heart?

Question

Asked by Barbara

Can High Caffeine Energy Drinks Cause An Enlarged Heart?

A young man, 17 years old, drown in our pool. He knew how to swim. He was swimming and playing with my younger daughter who, at that time, wass 9 years old. There was no alcohol or other drugs. there were responsible adults xswimming nearby. There was no noise, no nothing. The autopsy showed that while the death was a drowning becasue of the water in his lungs, his heart was also substantially enlarged. The young man played allot of competative high school basketball and drank Red Bull energy drinks. Could the drinks have caused his heart to enlarge?

Answer

Barbara,

Thanks for your question. Caffeine products themselves should not cause heart enlargement. However, if there is an underlying cardiac problem, caffeine, especially in high doses, can, in some cases, potentiate symptoms of a heart condition. This is because the caffeine is a stimulant which can raise the pulse rate, making the heart work harder.

I hope this has been helpful.

Martin Cane, M.D.