Product News and Recalls

Energy drinks affecting service members’ stress levels

U.S. service members in Afghanistan who consume three or more highly caffeinated energy drinks a day report more problems with sleeplessness and stress, according to a new study.

According to Bloomberg, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research drew on surveys from 2010, in which a total of 988 male service members in the U.S. Army and Marine combat platoons deployed to Afghanistan agreed to answer questions about how many energy drinks they consumed.

Researchers found that 14 percent of service members surveyed consumed at least three energy drinks a day, and those respondents reported sleeping less, having more sleep disruptions from stress and illness, and falling asleep on guard duty and in briefings more frequently than those who consumed fewer.

Those who had at least three of the drinks per day were also more likely to report sleeping less than four hours a night on average.

Recently released FDA reports have linked some of the drinks with health problems and deaths. 5-Hour Energy Shots have been linked with 92 adverse events, including 33 hospitalizations and 13 deaths.

Other FDA reports have linked Monster Energy with five deaths and one heart attack since 2004. And Rockstar Inc.’s energy drinks, while not cited in any deaths, have been linked to 13 adverse event reports dating to 2006.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois has proposed imposing caffeine limits on the drinks after emergency room visits involving them jumped 10-fold from 2005 through 2009.

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