NewsUkraine: Energy drinks become the new currency and a lifeline for soldiers on the front lines

Ukraine: Energy drinks become the new currency and a lifeline for soldiers on the front lines

New currency on the front. It's about popular drinks.
New currency on the front. It's about popular drinks.
Images source: © Getty Images | 2022 Global Images Ukraine

5:02 PM EDT, June 10, 2024

Energy drink sales have skyrocketed during the war with Russia in Ukraine. The military constantly consumes these drinks, which help soldiers maintain concentration for extended periods. On the front line, these drinks are the best gifts and even, as Meduza reports, a kind of currency.

As "The New York Times" emphasizes, in Ukraine, after the start of the full-scale war with Russia, the production and consumption of energy drinks has sharply increased—military personnel use them as a substitute for coffee. In the advanced energy sector, they have even become akin to currency.

After the war, energy drink production became "one of the few bright spots in the Ukrainian economy." Since then, sales have increased by almost 50 percent.

The most popular are cheap local varieties, such as Non Stop and Pit Bull, but imported brands like Red Bull, Monster, and Hell also sell excellently.

New varieties and flavors, such as cotton candy, cactus, and even cannabis, regularly appear on the market.

Many brands targeted at the military receive "patriotic" slogans and names, such as "Volia," which translates to freedom and will. The labels are designed in wartime colors. Some manufacturers supply relatively small amounts of their drinks to the front line free of charge each month.

The war in Ukraine: energy drink instead of coffee

The popularity of energy drinks is explained by the fact that a standard can contain about 100 milligrams of caffeine, the same as a cup of coffee. However, as "The New York Times" notes, coffee requires hot water, and heating it is difficult.

When you have to walk three, four or seven kilometers. And you’re carrying 40 kilograms of gear. And you’re covered in sweat. And you haven’t eaten much or slept in three days. If you don’t drink this stuff, where are you going to get the energy for that final push? - we read in the article.

Ukrainian military drinks energy drinks always when they wake up, go on patrol, or before a battle.

Some soldiers told the newspaper that they would prefer to take energy drinks into battle over bread. Others claim that energy drinks have become the de facto currency on the front line. "Energy drinks in the army are not just a drink but the most popular gift," one soldier told the "NY Times."

However, drinking too much caffeine leads to health problems among military personnel. One of them told the "NY Times" about the death of a colleague, which could have been related to energy drinks: his body was found in the bathroom with a can of the drink in his hand. The deceased, who had heart problems, drank up to ten energy drinks a day.

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