Effects of Energy Beverage Consumption on Pistol Aiming Steadiness in Law Enforcement Officers

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Monaghan, TP, Jacobson, BH, Sellers, JH, and Estrada, CA. Effects of energy beverage consumption on pistol aiming steadiness in law enforcement officers. J Strength Cond Res 31(9): 2557–2561, 2017—The popularity of energy drinks (EDs)/shots (ESs) has grown steadily over the years resulting in billions of dollars of sales annually. Energy drink marketing focuses on the improved performance and alertness and a reduction in fatigue. Although caffeine comprises one of the ingredients, it is not fully known how the combination of the many remaining active ingredients affects physical performance. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a commercially available ES on pistol aiming steadiness. Subjects (N = 10) consisted of accredited police officers in the Midwest. A randomized, blinded, crossover design was used to evaluate the pistol aiming steadiness after the consumption of an ES or placebo. Pistol aiming steadiness was measured using a hole/stylus steadiness tester and laser attached to a training pistol before and 30 minutes after ES or placebo consumption. Analysis revealed that the ES significantly (p ≤ 0.05) impaired pistol steadiness, whereas the placebo yielded no significant difference in aiming steadiness. Based on these results, it was concluded that the consumption of an ES could compromise aiming accuracy and shot placement, thereby jeopardizing the health and welfare of law enforcement personnel.

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