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California Briefing / Los Angeles

Fire crews warned on energy drinks

September 04, 2009|Ari B. Bloomekatz

On the cover of the daily "Incident Action Plan" for the Station fire is an unusual warning: "No energy drinks."

Even though firefighters expend a tremendous amount of energy, officials said high levels of caffeine in many energy drinks can be dangerous.

"It's been a concern," said Nathan Judy of the U.S. Forest Service. "When they drink those things, it dehydrates them."

Judy said that during a previous fire some years back, a firefighter consumed four cans of Red Bull in one day and went into diabetic shock. Since then, fire officials have warned crews to re-energize in other ways, he said.

Paul Yoffee, a spokesman for Red Bull, said there are no medical findings that connect someone drinking four cans of Red Bull and going into diabetic shock.

"There are no dangers or drawbacks associated with the consumption of Red Bull, and we are confident in the safety of our product. . . . We absolutely agree that people need to hydrate themselves, as Red Bull is a functional drink and not a thirst-quencher."

-- Ari B. Bloomekatz

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