It is fashionable in our community for young adults to consume alcohol mixed with energy drinks especially when in company of friends or in company of girls they intend having a good time with. You see such guys buying bottles of lager beer and cans of energy drinks proudly displaying them on the table and joyously mixing the two before gulping them down. This trend is becoming more popular in recent time. But has anyone ever ask whether it is a healthy thing to do?
While its great to have a pint or two of beer or take a can of energy drink when needed, is it a good idea mixing these two or drinking them together?
I stumbled upon a study done in the University of Michigan by a group headed by Megan Patrick, a professor at the Institute of Social Research in the University. It was noted that in spite of a ban by FDA on pre-mixed alcohol/caffeinated drink combo, students do buy the two and mix just like what obtains in our environment. The study set out to find correlations if any, between drinking this combo and increased risk of alcohol related negative effects.
The findings were interesting.
“We found that college students tended to drink more heavily, become more intoxicated, and have more negative drinking consequences on days they used both energy drinks and alcohol compared to days they only used alcohol” said Prof. Patrick
She further said “It is important for consumers to be aware the mixing energy drinks with alcohol…. may lead to more serious alcohol-related consequences”
Patrick went on to explain that people who combine these drinks are combining the stimulant effects of caffeine and the depressant effects of alcohol and this makes them feel less drunk than they actually are.
This is where the problem is. When you don’t realise you are as drunk as you actually are. Masking intoxication leads to more consumption and more intoxication with all its attendant risks. Such risks like drunk driving, thinking you are super strong when you are in fact all your reflexes are depressed, etc.
So our advice is that you make it a rule of thumb not to mix energy drinks with alcohol and not to drink the two on same occasion. Better still not to drink the two on same day.
Drink responsibly, stay safe.
B) Dr. Stephen Lipshults