A company is fearing for the health of its workers after revealing some members of staff may be addicted to energy drinks.

An unnamed progressive farming group has taken to social media asking for help, revealing a number of staff members are "drinking two to three litres of energy drinks a day".

A member made a post to NZ Farming to seek advice on how to best approach staff fearing they could encroach on their "personal life".

"We are a progressive farming group who really want to get the best from the Farm by making sure our Team are always on their A game. We have great staff who are conscientious workers. We try to focus on an area of improvement at a time," the post read.


"Our next focus is going to be on reducing energy drink consumption in the Workplace (the bloody cans are EVERYWHERE) It sounds a bit invasive but we can't help but think its an artificial stimulant that may not really be doing a whole lot of good in the long run.

"Some of the staff are drinking 2 to 3 litres of energy drinks a day which exceeds the maximum daily recommendation from the get go. How do other people feel about this? It's a discussion that we would like to have one on one with everyone but want to know whether we aren't encroaching on their personal life by bringing it up."

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Posted by NZ Farming on Sunday, 16 July 2017

A former energy drink addict who wound up in hospital told the Herald the company should do everything they can to address the issue.

"Awareness is never enough to combat addiction," he said.

"Not only are staff at risk but it sounds like it is also interfering with the housekeeping of the offices.

"If other refreshments were made more available for the workers they wouldn't resort to consuming as many energy drinks.

"Tea, coffee and water could easily be introduced to replace energy drinks. But at the end of the day you have to want to make the change and understand why you think you need an energy drink."

However, a number of people have responded to the post telling the company they believe it encroaches on their employees' personal lives.

One person said as long as the job is completed it isn't the employers' problem.

"Too right you're encroaching on their personal life. They know the daily limit I'm sure. Maybe asking them why they feel they need to consume so many energy drinks may give you a different issue to resolve?" one person said.

"Leave the boys alone if the work is done to the correct standard then what's your problem. If I was a member of your staff and you hit me with this I would be seeking new employment," another wrote.

Healthy Food Guide nutritionist Claire Turnbull said she was shocked at the high volumes of energy drinks being consumed.

She told the Herald drinks with stimulants such as caffeine, guarana, and carnitine mixed with sugar is a particularly harmful concoction.

"The two issues with energy drinks is the sugar and the stimulants are a double whammy. Together they become problematic.

"Caffeine for example takes an incredibly long time to clear from the body. If you have a caffeinated drink at 7am in the morning, there will be roughly a quarter of that caffeine still in your system at 7pm that night.

"While you may get to sleep you can wake up feeling incredibly tired when you have large amounts of these stimulants in your body which can lead to an addictive cycle with energy drinks.

"People can become reliant on energy drinks because they aren't sleeping properly. If you aren't sleeping properly you're really tired. \

"If you're really tired you need stimulants, and then the whole thing goes around in a vicious circle.

"Your body is on high alert the whole time. Psychologically we aren't designed to live like that."

The former energy drink addict, who wished to remain anonymous, revealed he used to drink 1.5 litres of energy drinks a day for three years.

He told the Herald his addiction drove him to illness, something which still impacts his day to day living seven years later.

"Without realising it I found myself consuming energy drinks just to function like a normal member of society. It became a necessity to drink three 500ml energy drinks a day just to complete my day.

"It stops becoming a pick me up and starts to become a requirement.

"After about three years of energy drink abuse I became sick, I couldn't eat without throwing up. I was sent to a specialist and had to undergo multiple tests including blood tests, gastroscopies and colonoscopies.

"I lost about 20 kilograms in the course of only a few weeks. This was when my energy drink addiction came to an abrupt stop and my recovery began.

"Seven years down the track and I still have spontaneous episodes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) which interferes with my everyday life."

The 25-year-old, who, became addicted to energy drinks at high school, said he hopes his story can help others not suffer the same consequences as him.

He said people need to take a look at themselves and pick up on any social queues before it's too late.

"Hindsight is a wonderful thing. People told me I was drinking too many energy drinks. Hell, we all used to joke about it. Nothing could prepare me for my now ongoing illness or what I went through during those three agonising months.

"If you are one of those people who thinks that energy drinks are all that work for you, you may also have an addiction.

"You didn't need them before you started drinking them, you won't need them once you remove them from your life."

How many energy drinks can you have per week?

Turnbull believes as little as possible, however she said treating yourself on occasion shouldn't cause issues.

"If you are having one a week it probably isn't going to be a problem. People drink a lot more coffee than that. But it's the combination of the caffeine and sugar in large amounts that causes the most issues."