It seems like alcohol is being mixed with pretty much everything, including energy drinks. These drinks are quite popular, especially among younger people as they need to stay awake for their late night reviewing and partying, of course. Unfortunately, those who mix alcohol and energy drinks end up not knowing how intoxicated they truly are.
The Journal of Adolescent Health published a study performed by researchers at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research where it was discovered just how risky it can be to mix booze with caffeinated drinks.
Wide Awake Drunk
Mixing alcohol and energy drinks can be more risky than just drinking alcohol without combining with others. One of the biggest effects is having the feeling of being “wide awake drunk,” meaning the drinker does not have any idea about being drunk. Therefore, this mix encourages people to drink more without them realizing that their balance, coordination, and judgment are already affected.
Alcohol tricks your brain into believing that you can stay awake longer. It is possible that you will feel more alert due to the combined drinks, but this does not mean your body is not experiencing the bad effects of alcohol.
Long-Lasting Side Effects
Aside from drinking without feeling drunk, this could lead to increased physical and psychological side effects, including becoming tenser or agitated, having trouble sleeping, and even having heart palpitations. Since drinking more alcohol with the energy drinks encourages you to drink more, you will also consume very large amounts of caffeine along the process, which can also cause panic and anxiety attacks. Remember that caffeine is a long-lasting drug. When you consume it in large quantities, the effects do not just go away that easily.
As you drink more of the combination, you are taking in lots of calories and sugar, making you gain more weight and even increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The recommended daily allowance for sugar is 50g for women and 70g for men. The problem here is that energy drinks can have at least 30g. If you drink one energy drink, you are already consuming about half of the recommended daily allowance. When mixed with alcohol, which has high calorie content, you are taking in almost 130 calories.
In another study performed by the Department of Community Health at the Boston University School of Public Health, it said that caffeine and alcohol don’t necessarily pose a risk. The masked intoxication is the real problem and therefore can result to the youth to get involved in riskier activities. While tracking how much you are drinking may not be too easy, you may want to stop mixing alcohol and energy drinks to avoid the consequences.