Mixing energy drinks with alcohol risky
Energy drinks lead to increased alcohol consumption, according to a new research.
While energy drinks and alcohol have been reported to be frequently co-administered, little is known about the effect of this co-administration on alcohol drinking patterns. Researchers in Canada investigated drinking patterns when alcohol and caffeinated energy drinks were combined and interviewed 72 Dalhousie students about their energy drink consumption and alcohol use. The students interviewed for the study said they consumed more than eight drinks and on occasions they mixed alcohol and energy drinks.
Seventy-six per cent of participants reported ever deliberately mixing alcohol with energy drinks and 19% reported doing so during the previous week. Compared to alcohol drinking sessions in which energy drinks were not used, participants reported drinking significantly more alcohol when it was co-administered with energy drinks. The researchers found that energy drinks basically doubled the amount that people reported drinking.
One theory from the study is that energy drinks contain ingredients that release brain chemicals that prolong the initial euphoria that comes with rising blood-alcohol levels and hold off the sedative-like effects when they fall. One problem with energy drinks mixed with alcohol is the possibility that they prevent the person from experiencing the normal cues that would tell them to stop drinking.
It was concluded that because people tend to consume more alcohol when they co-use energy drinks, it can put them at a risk for acute alcohol poisoning, increase the possibility of engaging in other risk-taking behaviours and in the longer term build up the sort of tolerance that can lead to dependence. The researchers suggested that warning labels on energy drinks do not prevent bars from selling them, and more research is needed to identify the ingredient(s) affecting the brain that leads to binge behaviours.
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