Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences

First Advisor

William A. Kehoe

First Committee Member

Sachin A. Shah

Second Committee Member

Linda L. Norton

Third Committee Member

John C. Livesey


Many studies have investigated the effects of energy drinks on cardiovascular parameters. These studies were typically conducted with high volume (32 ounces) energy drinks and have demonstrated association with QT prolongation and blood pressure elevation after consumption. Currently, there is inconclusive evidence with lower volume energy drinks. This study intends to evaluate the effects of the largest commercially available energy drink can (24 ounces) in the United States on cardiovascular parameters compared with placebo arm. A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover trial was conducted over 2 separate days with a minimum of 6-day wash out period. Healthy volunteers between the age of 18 and 40 randomly consumed either a 24 oz energy drink or 24 oz placebo control drink on different days. Subjects were required to fast overnight and refrain from products containing caffeine or alcohol 48 hours prior to each study day. ECG, peripheral and central BP, heart rate, and augmentation index were measured at baseline, 1, 2, 3, and 4 hours post-consumption. Primary endpoints were average maximum change of corrected QT (QTc) interval and peripheral systolic blood pressure (pSBP) from baseline. The study enrolled 20 participants with a mean age of 23±5 years. The maximum baseline-adjusted difference of QTc interval was significantly higher in the energy drink arm than the placebo arm (13.68 ± 12.71 vs 4.20 ± 8.80 ms, respectively, p = 0.007). The maximum baseline-adjusted difference of pSBP was significantly higher in the energy drink arm compared to placebo (11.10 ± 5.24 vs 6.08 ± 7.07 mmHg, respectively; p= 0.006). Maximum baseline-adjusted difference of central diastolic BP and systolic and diastolic BP were also statistically significantly higher in the energy drink arm. This study demonstrated that a single, 24-ounce can of an energy drink can significantly prolong the QTc interval and raise pSBP.





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