Report: Energy drink gets players suspended

Report: Energy drink gets players suspended

Published Jul. 15, 2012 12:04 p.m. ET

Ten football players at a Wisconsin high school were suspended for consuming a pre-workout energy drink that, unbeknownst to them, contained a substance banned by the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, according to the Chippewa Herald.

The 10 students, all juniors and seniors at Menomonie High School, willingly showed school officials the drink — called C4 Extreme — and explained they were unaware that the drink was outlawed by Wisconsin high school athletics' governing body. The ban is a result of the substance Synephrine HCL — a stimulator most often associated with weight loss. According to the drink's website, Synephrine HCL is also supposed to increase energy, alertness and metabolism.

But the substance is a common replacement for ephedrine, which has been made illegal in several countries and is a known precursor to methamphetamine. Synephrine carries significant side effects, including vasoconstriction (blood vessel narrowing), elevated heart rate, increased risk of stroke, high blood pressure and aneurysm among other things.

Menomonie head football coach Joe LaBuda told the Chippewa Herald that the athletes spoke of using the substance on Twitter, tipping off the WIAA. But still, the players didn't realize that the substance banned. In fact, they had been told by an employee at a local GNC that it was their best option.

"They were unaware that this substance was on the WIAA banned substance list, but the product states on the label not to be consumed by anyone under the age of 18," LaBuda told the Chippewa Herald. "None of these students were 18."

LaBuda added that players were able to cut off usage right away before any "prolonged use."

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