Health

Can caffeine cause life-threatening heart rhythms?

(ABC News) - As we sip our morning coffee, doctors worry about how caffeine affects the electrical system of your heart.

We know that the caffeine in coffee, tea and energy drinks makes your heart beat faster, but does it trigger your heart into a life-threatening rhythm?

New research says to drink on.

Most of the data supports the idea that caffeine is not harmful to your heart's electrical system. In a few studies, they find that regular coffee drinkers actually have a decreased risk of certain abnormal rhythms.

Related Content: Should you exercise if you have a family history of heart disease?

If coffee or tea is your drug of choice, you are in luck and in good company. If it's an energy drink, however, not so much.

While coffee and tea have been proven to be fairly safe, the research suggests that most energy drinks are slightly more risky. On top of high amounts of caffeine, they often have other ingredients that amplify the body's response to the stimulant, causing more harmful side effects.

This study recommends a maximum of about three cups of coffee. It's very important to note that caffeine can still trigger certain abnormal rhythms in some people.


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