Commercial diving work can be intensive, so it’s not surprising to think that workers might rely on supplements to stay mentally engaged with their work. It’s telling that the Water Welders website lists “stimulants” such as coffee, energy drinks and candy, under its list of expenses for this position, alongside rent, food, and insurance. The source also references the inherent stress in the job, caused in part by the sometimes lonely and dangerous working conditions.
However, is too much of a reliance on energy supplements potentially harmful? In a recent video interview from ADCI TV, Dr. Brian Bourgeois mentions the problems that can arise when divers turn to these outside sources for a boost.
According to Dr. Bourgeois, energy use and dietary supplements seem to be more prevalent among younger divers, who may pick up these habits before they begin their diving career. This is a special concern for this demographic because using these substances may affect the body over the long-term as they gain more experience.
The two major risks of energy drink usage Dr. Bourgeois discussed included cardiac problems and dehydration. These are not exclusive: because energy drinks are a stimulant, they could promote both increased urination (and therefore less water in the body) along with irregular heart activity.
“Certainly the dehydration aspect raises someone risk of decompression sickness or of problems associated with diving and off-gassing,” he said. While these substances are legal in many cases, he adds that using them is “certainly not recommended, and it’s not under our current recommendations.”
Diving insurance can provide financial aid when dangers occur during a mission, whether it involves welding or other high-risk activities.