A new study finds that young adults who consume even one Rockstar Punched energy drink a day can increase their stress hormone levels and blood pressure.
Researchers found that young adults who drank a 16-ounce can of the beverage had a 74 percent increase in blood levels of a hormone called norepinephrine — a stress hormone that regulates a person’s “fight-or-flight” response and increases heart rate. Subjects who instead unknowingly drank a fake energy drink, with the same amount of sugar and calories as the Rockstar but without the stimulants, experienced a 30 percent increase in norepinephrine.
“The worry is that if these responses are seen in healthy young people, perhaps the effects of energy drinks may be more pronounced in people who already have high blood pressure or arrhythmias,” Anna Svatikova, cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and lead author of the study, told WebMD. These symptoms could possibly lead to a heart attack or stroke in the long-term.
In June, a Los Angeles man sued the manufacturer of Rockstar beverages claiming that he had suffered a heart attack after drinking as many as four of the servings within six to eight hours.
A statement from the American Beverage Association downplayed any potential danger from the energy drink, noting that the caffeine they contain is about half that of a similar-size serving of coffee and that "The safety of energy drinks has been established by scientific research…"