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Adding Energy Drinks to Alcoholic Drinks Removes Body’s Warning Signal

Energy drinks are used to help increase the energy you have to do tasks, often containing caffeine, l-taurine,  and ginseng.  Alcoholic beverages exist at the other end of the spectrum, helping you relax at the end of the day.

The problem appears when the two beverage types are combined.   While that is not necessarily news, we may now have a possible reason why it is dangerous.  According to a study in Alcoholism:  Clinical and Experimental Research reported on in Time Healthline by Alice Park, a combination of an alcoholic beverage and an energy beverage, (think vodka and Red Bull,) removes any warning signal “your body has for overindulging” [1].

Normally your body signals you when you’ve had too much alcohol, (sleepy, tired).  But adding the energy drink to the alcoholic drink removes the tired signal while leaving the buzz from the alcohol.  You are still the same amount of intoxicated, but feel it much less than you would normally.  Call it turbo intoxication.  This disconnect may lead you to keep on drinking, more than you would have if you could actually feel how intoxicated you are.  This may also lead you to participate in risky behavior or to drive when you really shouldn’t be behind the wheel.

Curiously, it isn’t the caffeine that enhances by itself the alcoholic high, but the ginseng, l-taurine, and other additives combined with the caffeine within the energy drink.

Food for thought.


Suggested sources to find information about the problem are as follows:

[1] Park, Alice. “A Bad Mix:  Why Alcohol and Energy Drinks are Dangerous.” Time Healthland. 20 June 2011. 18 April 2011.

For the advanced student, the following link is provided.

[2] Bankhead, Charles. “Alcohol and Energy Drinks:  A Risky Combination.” MedPage Today. 20 June 2011. 15 April 2011.

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