Caffeine Energy Drinks?

Interesting article on the BBC website this morning about energy drinks, and finishes with a warning that

"The impact on people with heart disease is also unknown.However, the research team advises that children and people with an irregular heart beat should avoid the drinks."

Now for me it's not a problem in that I never had a taste for them, had one drink once or twice, but I do see a lot of people now swigging them 2 or 3 times a day and considering the caffeine and taurine content I wonder is this another potential reasone we are seeing such a big rise in A Fib?



30 Replies

  • Interesting article Ian,

    Over the years I played football these drinks were part of the warm up! On a Saturday we would have many an energy drink and all kinds of powders at half time to give you that boost. If it was a midweek game I struggled to get to sleep some nights, as I was still "Buzzing". On a Sunday we needed at least two to pull us round due to having a beer or two, too many the night before. Probably not the best concoction I know and if I'm honest I think it was mostly psychological, but I personally think it contributed to my AF.



  • Hi Ian - Thanks for making us aware of this article. I wonder how many other drinks or additive laden food have this effect on we AF folk!! Personally, I'm terrified of having any drink which contains artificial additives as I know doing so can trigger my paroxysmal AF. Having had a successful cardioversion almost two weeks ago I'm even more strict about this now - even sat at a party drinking water last weekend. Sob, sob!!

  • I know that when I used to do a lot of motorway driving I used to drink that glucose drink a lot but when Red Bull came along I switched to that and found that a can every 100 miles was the norm. When my arryhthmia nurse found out she went ballistic since which time I haven't touched the stuff. I have read reports which state that there is no link with caffeine and AF but others may not agree. Let's be honest if we lead our lives properly we shouldn't need them anyway. My lads always seem to have a can of one of the drinks around especially after a night out so we are probably storing up a load of problems for the future. At least it isn't that evil aspartame. Never drink diet anything!!!!

  • Just so I know Bob

    My caffeine free diet coke, is really bad for me?

    What the heck do I switch to?


  • Hi Ian, sorry about that but I discovered all the nasty things about aspartame about 15years ago. Google it! Amazing that with the FDA knowing all about it in USA and countless law suits it is still permitted. Frankly I still recall Woody Allen's "Sleeper" when in the future they were laughing about how in the 80s they thought fat was bad for you. Butter is better than re-constituted fish and veg oil so maybe sugar isn't so bad after all. I can't live without it!


  • sobbing a bit here because I love my caffeine-free diet coke too! I don't think they do a caffeine-free full fat version...

  • Hi Ian


    Recently the pharmacist told me to drink 2 glasses of water for every drink I had containing caffeine - and I was only discussing tea!


  • Hang on

    No caffeine free coke, no tea, no red wine.

    Water just doesn't really grab me in the same way, I mean I like my soft drinks ice cold and preferably out of a can.

    Not going to be a fun Christmas is it :(


  • Hang on Ian - No-one has mentioned not having your red wine!!

    Stopping all artificial sweeteners cured my permanent irregular pulse. I had to search for soft drink alternatives but I can recommend Belvoir Ginger Cordial which has no nasty additives, does have sugar mind but that is better than artificial sweeteners. I buy mine in Sainsburys and its about £3 a bottle. They do a range of other cordials too, but I love the ginger. Please don't drink that nasty additive laden coke.

  • At work my daughter and her friend have just switched to drinking water only and more of it. She tells me the difference in how they feel so much better is amazing.

  • OK OK I get the message, a few glasses of red wine is fine, but then boring tasteless water.

    Grumble grumble... :(

  • Try putting a slice of lemon in your water. The stuff you drink I mean! lol

  • Bob, you did make me laugh with that one - thanks, Walter.

  • I spent many years clubbing on vodka red bull and would have 8-10 vodka red bulls in a night. It is interesting that this may be part of my problem, unfortunately one can not turn back the clock.

  • It's amazing how long you can make 2 glasses of red wine last thus avoiding the boring water. Ok maybe largish glasses!! Having the water in between the wine makes it feel like it's lasting longer! I'm an expert. I keep thinking I will give up altogether but can't find a drink to replace it with . It's hard keeping to the recommended limit of 14 units. Hey ho that can be my project for next year.....maybe.

  • As a Muslim never tasted wine but still having same problems as all of you having

    Actually I stopped using sugar few years back and on a sweeteners which may trigger my problem somehow

    I stopped using it based on Jean advise and I'm using brown sugar , which added two kilos to my weight recently

    I believe I can accept that if it will reduce my irrethemia problems

    Never like those caffeine drinks at all the concept is not logic , I usually take vitamin C for energy and refresh


  • Well I only EVER drink water, no caffeine, no alcohol, no fruit juices, nothing, zilch - and I have raging AF, make of that what you will.

  • Very interesting Ian. I note the article mentions Taurine as well as Caffeine, although the emphesis seems to be on the caffeine. I had started taking Taurine + L-arginine following a US study that said that the researchers had found that the two together had terminated AF in quite a high percentage of patients. I am certainly not taking them at the dose rate the article mentioned. So far no difference in my permanent AF although some strange ECG's using the AliveCor monitor. What feels like "missed beats" aren't really, the ecg trace shows an inverted and much lower amplitude beat. I think it is time I went back to see the EP Cardio to discuss the ecg's.


  • Hi,

    I read this research too - I have lone AF. I am on the high doses of T & A and apart from some troubled sleep (which I have now resolved by taking the second dose at tea-time rather than at bed-time I see no adverse effects.

    I think (I may be kidding myself) that my heartbeat (which is 24x7 irregular, I don't get periods of AF) is less irregular than it was I have ecg data that shows that the difference between the longest beat and the shortest is less (=beats are more regular). I am waiting for an ecg check at my local GPs to see if the profile of the heart beats has changed.

  • I have studiously been avoiding aspartame for the last 4 years then this morning I looked on the back of my bottle o calcium tablets ( 2 a day prescribed for osteoporosis ) and guess what ? Yes..... aspartame is one of the ingredients . I might as well go drink a can of diet coke !!

  • It's a good job we have all developed a good sense of humour is all I can say.

  • Hello all

    So nice to know you all read side affects of meds and drinks. I have fount that if I have a few pieces of chocolates is start to feel like I have had a sugar rush. So I don't have any. And I have been taking anti histamine tables for years not for hay fever but because I get dust allergy and get hives some time. And the 2 times I got AF was after taking the table and going to bed. So when I looked at the side affects all of them as palpertations irregular heart beat and very fast heart beat. So I went to my doctor who has given me some old ones now but before I take it I get all worked up and paranoid. But. I only take one now if I need it not every day. May be 1 once a week. So it's good to read side affects, but people thing I am going mad looking to much in to things. But nice to know here we are all doing just that.

  • Hi all, not sure about all of this. I think we all have our own triggers that differ with others. I have never had an episode after red wine (sometimes quite a lot, not recommended though!) but caffeine is definitely suspicious. Have dieted most of my life, therefore, have consumed quite a lot of sweeteners in various forms and wouldn't like to go back to using sugar as I covet the 2.5 I stone have lost (taken a whole year) and feel much better for. MSG definitely a no no. In a perfect world we could all live a very healthy life but it would be a very boring one. I think we just have to listen to our own bodies and try to note if we have done anything different when we have an attack. In my case it just comes and goes when it likes whatever I do.

    All the best wishes to you all, keep regular (I mean the heart!)

  • Very interesting reading all the comments, especially with regard to caffeine. I drank very strong black coffee from the age of 16 until 55 when I discovered that it was the caffeine which had been giving me sleepless nights for a number of years and it was around this age when I had my first a/f attack. I have drunk only caffeine free tea and coffee since, which allows me to sleep better, but I still find even chocolate can keep me awake and trigger a/f which is a real problem for me as a chocoholic. Not sure if caffeine was a factor in starting my a/f but it certainly aggravates it. Am due for a first ablation at the end of Decmber, but despite the outcome I will still be avoiding caffeine as much as possible in my life.


  • I had no particular problems with caffeine or chocolate until my fairly recent diagnosis of PAF but now I have to really watch! I can manage one coffee in the morning and now drink water or infusions various during the rest of the day. Chocolate has become a real problem, which was NOT part of my life-plan!

  • Coca Cola is a definite no-no for me. Alcohol is also a problem so I am now tee-total. I use Ribena when out cycling as a replacement for energy drinks. Socialy I am into tomato juice with Hendersons Relish, and trying apple juices and mango juice etc. Can you become a fruit juice snob?

  • From Sheffield of course!!!!

  • I Still think its different with everyone. Have always drunk coffee and although now drink decaff, I can drink caffinated with no problems.

    I also am a chocoholic, ~I use it as a calming down thing, if ~I get really het up or cross a few bits of chocolate works wonders and have never found it affected my af. Just as well really as although I dont mind stopping coffee no way will I stop the chocolate. lol

  • I read a bit about the Taurine + L-Arginine and am still interested I following up on those studies. Someone correct me if I got this wrong, but isn't Taurine used in a sedative type of way, ie as an antidote to adrenalin, whereas caffeine is a stimulant? Putting them together in an energy drink has always puzzled me???

    Personally I rarely drink alcohol or caffeine and usually suffer if I do although I miss them dreadfully. At home I will drink a dry white or a red grape juice with sparkling water to 'Feel' as though I am having a drink. I agree about the ginger beer, great, ginger ale with dash of lime is very refreshing and people think I am drinking whiskey, another favourite is elderflower, preferably sparkling, a dry apple juice...

    Come on guys the list is adventurous!

    Any other improvements on water?

  • Drinks:Read the article Ian - I still think your body will tell you if you should drink it, I used to like a few glasses of white wine, now when I put it to my lips and have a sip I can't drink it. Definitely eliminating coffee for me, I used to drink around 5 cups per day, now have one in the morning, and use De-cafe a lot..Teas are a mystery though, Hawthorn is wonderfully calming for me, I always feel good when I drink this one, but Licorice tea for me is a no no.

    I have found I can drink a small Brandy - but its expensive - next best one for me is a good quality sweet sherry. One drink before bedtime is something I look forward to, I went through all the depressing moments of "not having" but have learnt the hard way, that Water is the best one ever. In Australia, everyone seems to swig it from the bottle which they take with them as it gets quite hot, so I don't feel out of it'. I do my slurping in my car though.

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