"The first thing to break down wouldn't be your brain or your decision-making like on some much stronger stimulants, but likely your heart," Eifling said. "Of course, choosing Rip Its over water -- which people definitely did -- led to dehydration, which then could lead to some serious concentration and cognitive issues."
Not only do energy drinks dehydrate the body, they make soldiers feel full -- so they don't actually want to drink water.
"It's already a pain in the ass to get the guys to drink enough water," Riker said. "This only made it worse."
But Riker did note that it was generally the younger contingent that drank Rip It excessively while the older guys stuck to coffee. Was it a sign of maturity?
"Look, almost everyone drank it once in a while, but there were definitely the 'Rip It guys' who had the drink in one hand and a cigarette in their mouth at all times," he said. "And they probably do the same thing back at home, right?"