Energy drinks ‘increase stroke risk by 500%’ as ‘irregular heartbeats soar’

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Energy drinks could increase a person’s risk of having a stroke by 500% as addictions are causing a rise in irregular heartbeats, claim experts.

Shocking figures from the British Soft Drinks Association reveal the volume of energy drinks consumed in the UK increased from 463 million litres in 2010 to 679 million litres in 2017.

Founder and CEO of The Arrhythmia Alliance, Trudie Lobban, said: “You wouldn’t necessarily have to have a faulty heart to suffer from arrhythmia – stimulants containing caffeine can trigger it.

“Six or seven coffees a day could do it, but these energy drinks carry a really high risk.”

Mark Horsman, 52, spoke about his “terrifying” experience of arrhythmia, which left him thinking he was about to die.

The construction manager from Brighton consumed around eight cups of coffee a day and three cans of Red Bull to keep him going.

After downing two cans of Red Bull in a row, he described how he felt a “booming” sound and beat coming from his heart.

Consumption of the drinks could lead to a 500% increase in a person’s stroke risk (Image: Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF)

He said: “It was absolutely terrifying. My heart was beating very fast, then would miss a beat and then it would “boom”.

A GP diagnosed Mark with an extra, or ectopic, heartbeat – as a result of his excessive caffeine and energy drink habit.

Mark immediately cut out all energy drinks and caffeine and said he thinks the drinks “should be banned”.

He added: “I feel so much better. I didn’t realise what it was doing to me, and to my health, until I stopped.

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“I think they should be banned. I don’t touch caffeine at all any more.”

The UK market for energy drinks is now worth a staggering £2 billion a year.

It is thought the rise in energy drink consumption is linked to a rise in arrhythmia – an abnormal heart rhythm which increases the risk of stroke five-fold, reports the Mail Online .

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