The Prevalence of Caffeine Use in [US] Military Populations

Research Paper Title

Caffeine Use among Active Duty Navy and Marine Corps Personnel.


Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) indicate 89% of Americans regularly consume caffeine, but these data do not include military personnel.


This cross-sectional study examined caffeine use in Navy and Marine Corps personnel, including prevalence, amount of daily consumption, and factors associated with use. A random sample of Navy and Marine Corps personnel was contacted and asked to complete a detailed questionnaire describing their use of caffeine-containing substances, in addition to their demographic, military, and lifestyle characteristics.


A total of 1708 service members (SMs) completed the questionnaire. Overall, 87% reported using caffeinated beverages ≥1 time/week, with caffeine users consuming a mean ± standard error of 226 ± 5 mg/day (242 ± 7 mg/day for men, 183 ± 8 mg/day for women). The most commonly consumed caffeinated beverages (% users) were coffee (65%), colas (54%), teas (40%), and energy drinks (28%). Multi-variable logistic regression modelling indicated that characteristics independently associated with caffeine use (≥1 time/week) included older age, white race/ethnicity, higher alcohol consumption, and participating in less resistance training.


Prevalence of caffeine use in these SMs was similar to that reported in civilian investigations, but daily consumption (mg/day) was higher.


Knapik, J.J., Trone, D.W., McGraw, S., Steelman, R.A., Austin, K.G. & Lieberman, H.R. (2016) Caffeine Use among Active Duty Navy and Marine Corps Personnel. Nutrients. 9;8(10), pii.E620.




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