But first, this public service announcement.
If your organization doesn’t already have a policy on energy drinks, you should do the research and develop one. I had long been skeptical of energy drinks because I know that anything that artificially enhances body function always comes with consequences, especially if it’s overused. It’s no different than any prescription drug that supplants the body’s failed functions. There are always side effects. With heat stress or any other kind of stress, the body gets tired, which is how it tells you that it’s exhausted and needs rest to repair itself. If we artificially stimulate the body to ignore those signals, the outcome is not just bad – it can and has become deadly.
In the years of the energy drink boom, I was a contractor. On two occasions, I had healthy 20-somethings helicoptered to hospitals from remote areas after they collapsed and displayed symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. Both instances occurred in over 100-degree work environments. On each occasion, at the paramedics’ request, we looked for and found a cooler full of energy drinks. The victims couldn’t answer questions, but the paramedics had already seen the symptoms and needed to know if that was what they were dealing with.