Drinking energy beverages mixed with alcohol may be riskier than drinking alcohol alone
Energy drinks mixed with alcohol, such as Red Bull and vodka, have become trendy. While this consumption has been implicated in risky drinking practices and associated accidents and injuries, there is little laboratory research on how the effects of this combination differ from those of drinking alcohol alone. A recent laboratory study, comparing measures of intoxication due to alcohol alone versus alcohol/energy drink, has found that the combination of the energy drink enhanced feelings of stimulation in participants. However, the energy drink did not change the level of impairment for impulsive behavior. These findings suggest that energy drinks combined with alcohol may increase the risks associated with drinking.
Results will be published in the July 2011 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.
"Young people are now drinking alcohol in different ways than they have in the past," said Cecile A. Marczinski, assistant professor of psychology at Northern Kentucky University and first author of the study. "Classic mixed drinks such as rum and coke have been replaced with mixed drinks that use energy drinks instead, such as yagerbombs and Red Bull and vodka."
"We have sales data showing that energy drinks have gained in popularity, and we know anecdotally that this practice is popular, but we have little data on objective and subjective responses that support growing concern about the safety of mixing energy drinks with alcohol," said Amelia M. Arria, director of the Center on Young Adult Health and Development at the University of Maryland School of Public Health.
Marczinski concurred. "While consuming energy drinks with alcohol is thought of as a risky drinking practice, the laboratory evidence demonstrating this is quite limited," she said. "In fact, most of the evidence that consuming alcohol/energy drinks is risky comes from epidemiological studies that have reported an increased risk of accidents and injuries associated with their use. However, those studies do not address the key confound that risky drinkers, who are prone to drinking heavily anyways, are just attracted to these drinks since they are trendy. Our study was designed to demonstrate that alcohol/energy drinks are pharmacologically distinct from alcohol alone and are adding to the risks of drinking."
Marczinski and her colleagues randomly assigned 56 college student participants (28 men, 28 women), between the ages of 21 and 33, to one of four groups that received four different doses: 0.65 g/kg alcohol, 3.57 ml/kg energy drink, energy drink/alcohol, or a placebo beverage. The participants' behavior was measured on a task that measures how quickly one can execute and suppress actions following the dose. Participants also rated how they felt, including feelings of stimulation, sedation, impairment, and levels of intoxication.
"We found that an energy drink alters the reaction to alcohol that a drinker experiences when compared to a drinker that consumed alcohol alone," said Marczinski. "A consumer of alcohol, with or without the energy drink, acts impulsively compared to when they had not consumed alcohol. However, the consumer of the alcohol/energy drink felt more stimulated compared to an alcohol-alone consumer. Therefore, consumption of an energy drink combined with alcohol sets up a risky scenario for the drinker due to this enhanced feeling of stimulation and high impulsivity levels."
"To reiterate," said Arria, "the investigators found that the presence of an energy drink did not change the level of impairment associated with alcohol consumption." It did, however, change the perception of impairment.
"The findings from this study provide concrete laboratory evidence that the mixture of energy drinks with alcohol is riskier than alcohol alone," said Marczinski. "College students need to be aware of the risks of these beverages. Moreover, clinicians who are working with risky drinkers will need to try and steer their clients away from these beverages."
Provided by Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research
- Energy drink use may lead to alcohol dependence Nov 16, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Study shows energy drink 'cocktails' lead to increased injury risk Nov 04, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Poll says drinking frequency on the rise Aug 02, 2006 | not rated yet | 0
- Alcohol, energy drinks add up to higher intoxication levels, increased driving risk Feb 10, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Non-alcoholic energy drinks may pose 'high' health risks Jan 26, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke in early childhood are more likely to grow up to physically aggressive and antisocial, regardless of whether they were exposed during pregnancy or their parents have a history ...
Health 2 hours ago | 1 / 5 (1) | 0
Most elite athletes consider doping substances "are effective" in improving performance, while recognising that they constitute cheating, can endanger health and entail the obvious risk of sanction. At the same time, the ...
Health 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Authorities are investigating rice mills in southern China following tests that found almost half of the staple grain in one of the country's largest cities was contaminated with a toxic metal.
Health 6 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
The warning images Brussels proposes to include on tobacco packages in order to reduce consumption do not make the desired impact on smokers because they only find some of them really unpleasant. So, if the ...
Health 7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Ten years after the Iraq war of 2003 a team of scientists based in Mosul, northern Iraq, have detected high levels of uranium contamination in soil samples at three sites in the province of Nineveh which, coupled with dramatically ...
Health 7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Researchers at USC have found that a class of pharmaceuticals can both prevent and treat Alzheimer's Disease in mice.
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Variation in the gene MUC5B among patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis was associated with improved survival, according to a study published online by JAMA. The study is being released early online to coincide with i ...
11 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
As many as 35 percent of Mexican young adults may have a genetic predisposition for obesity, said a University of Illinois scientist who conducted a study at the Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosί.
14 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
A study of veterans at high risk for developing lung cancer shows that low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) can be highly effective in helping clinicians spot tiny lung nodules which, in a small number of patients, may indicate ...
8 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Among patients with acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) requiring hospital admission, a 5-day glucocorticoid treatment course was non-inferior (not worse than) to a 14-day course with regard ...
8 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
African-Americans are less likely than whites and women are more likely than men to have had a prior diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) regardless of their current disease severity, according to a new ...
9 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0