According to recent media reports, the United States military is sharing its concerns about the dangers for service members who drink excessive amounts of energy drinks.
The official science blog of the Pentagon has a post detailing the “serious harm to [the] body” and the health risks for troops in the field who rely on these drinks as stimulants.
A study was conducted at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research that reportedly determined troops fell asleep on duty more often when they drank multiple energy drinks per day.
Data from the study focused on more than a thousand Marines and soldiers actively serving in Afghanistan seven years ago. Almost 43 percent of the military personnel who were deployed during those years drank at least a single energy drink every day. Close to 14 percent drank a minimum of three per day.
According to the report, consuming energy drinks can bring about negative side effects like illness- and stress-related sleep disruptions and involuntary sleeping while on guard duty and during briefings.
This is just the latest in a long line of stimulants supplied to the front lines over the past decades in an effort to keep them alert while deployed overseas. Past service members may recall being given instant coffee and caffeinated chewing gum, but this generation of troops prefers energy drinks.
A popular brand, Rip It, lists on their website that their product was “tested on the battlefield and is a favorite of our troops.”
It doesn’t take a quantum leap to figure out that if it can be harmful to service members, the public at large could also be at risk. Whenever unsafe products are on the marketplace and consumers get ill or injured, the possibility of product liability litigation arises.
Source: CNN, “Army warns of new threat: Energy drinks,” Ryan Browne, Dec. 30, 2016