A new study conducted among individuals serving in the U.S. military shows that troopers may endanger their safety by consuming large quantities of energy drinks infused with high doses of caffeine. According to the U.S. military health officials, energy drinks have become the beverage of choice for the troops which relied heavily on them during their service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Because it is cheaper than other popular brands such as Redbull or Monster, and contains same or higher doses of caffeine, Rip It became an essential supply for the men and women fighting wars abroad starting with 2000. According to an infantry officer, Tim Hisa, who has been in the service for approximately six years, some individuals worried more about their energy drinks supply than food. Also, Tim Hisa describes the energy drinks as mission essential with soldiers keeping track of their ammunition, water bottles, and Rip It cans.
Dr. Patricia Deuster, head of the Consortium for Health and Military Performance, says that consuming 200 milligrams of caffeine or more per day could have serious effects on the soldiers’ health. So far, several individuals have admitted consuming one energy drink a day while on duty. However, there are reports stating that some consume up to three energy drinks a day or even more.
Even though less popular, Rip It energy drinks contains 100mg of caffeine, guarana seed extract infused with caffeine, and 26g of sugar per a regular eight-ounce serving. Data pulled by a team of scientists from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in 2010 during “Operation Enduring Freedom” shows that 45 percent individuals serving in the military at the time consumed at least one energy drink each day, while 15 percent admitted to consuming three or more energy drinks daily.
According to the findings, soldiers who abused energy drinks displayed difficulty paying attention or even staying awake during guard duty or briefings, while other individuals’ ability to make crucial decisions in life or death situations was severely impaired. Ultimately, Dr. Deuster recommends women to consume even less than 200mg of caffeine a day, because they get higher concentrations due to their small sizes.
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