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48 there would be in consuming the more widely known FEDs, vitamin-laced drinks described here are being consumed each of which present significantly more caffeine. No confir- by commercial drivers; however, anecdotal evidence from matory scientific data were located on this topic. checkout clerks at three major truck stops along Interstate Route 95 noted that truck drivers appear to buy a lot of them, The company website for the 6-Hour Power vitamin sup- and "swear by them" (G. Krueger, personal communications, plement drink conveys minimal helpful information about Aug. 2009). their product. The ingredients listed on the bottle include vita- mins B-6, B-12, and C; niacin; folic acid; sodium; an energy ENERGY BOOST POWDERS, PILLS, blend of taurine; malic acid; caffeine; tyrosine; and a blend FOOD BARS, ETC. of three enzymes. In a way similar to the energy drink market, there also are available a large number of "nutritional-energy boost" food Assessment of hour power booster drinks. Although these bars, pills, tablets, powders, and so on, each being promoted vitamin-laced drinks may not harm a person if taken according as energy booster products containing herbs, vitamins, and to the directions, there is also no published evidence that they minerals. Most of these present splashy colors and advertis- have the efficacy and functional validity for safe on-the-road ing displays, and offer to increase or enhance performance usage. For this synthesis, no research reports were located (whether it be physical or cognitive performance), allevi- documenting the efficacy, safety, or cognitive effects and other ate stress, provide more energy, provide power to achieve, performance and health implications of using either the 5-Hour and so on. Energy or the 6-Hour Power "shots." The MaineWay synthesis team acquired a sampling of a Additional research is recommended on this potential dozen or more such energy boost items directly from truck alternative to the FEDs if for no other reason than they are rest stop stores along highways such as Interstate 95 from apparently now being consumed by so many commercial Florida to New York, and along Interstate 81 from Virginia drivers. Both products can be readily purchased in most drug- through Pennsylvania (Figure 2). [Note that this photo- stores and grocery stores, and at any truck stop along the graph is for information purposes and is not intended as an nation's highways. It is not known how many of the super endorsement of any kind.] These products touted, as energy FIGURE 2 A sample of psychoactive supplements found at interstate highway convenience stores.
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49 boosters, were in forms as varied as pills, powders, food refuel, visit the rest rooms, and/or to replenish convenience bars, packets of capsules, gels, energy gums, mints, can- food supplies. dies, chews, and more. Examining this sampling for their listed ingredients indicated that most claim to have combi- Assessment of vitamin energy boost products. No scientific nations and mixes of such ingredients as ginseng; guarana; reports examining or evaluating the three items mentioned vitamins A, B, C, and E; niacin; folic acid; amino acids; beta previously (i.e., vitamin-laced drinks, electrolyte replacement carotene; bee pollen; various mineral mixes; bioflavonoids; drinks, or energy boost supplements in pill or bar forms) were and so on. These products are advertised as stress control located for documentation in this synthesis. Some laboratory and power booster formulas, and boast energy-max and research on these many products may be warranted. Controlled energy-hit pickups. Most such products were prominently laboratory studies could be carried out to examine and report displayed on grocery shelves where truck drivers would be on the efficacy and safety of use of such readily available sure to see them as they frequent the establishments to products by commercial drivers.