The combination of caffeine and alcohol can be a risky mixed drink, especially in a large consumption. Alcohol and energy drinks has been a popular trend in the drinking culture and even after premixed alcoholic energy drinks have been removed from most shelves or modified due to FDA’s warnings.
Side Effects of Caffeine
There are a few common side effects that can occur after consuming caffeine:
- Increased heartbeat
- Hyperglycemia: blurred vision, drowsiness, dry mouth, increased urination, ketones in urine, loss of appetite, nausea, stomachache, tiredness, troubled breathing, or unusual thirst.
- Hypoglycemia: anxious feeling, blurred vision, cold sweats, confusion, drowsiness, excessive hunger, fast heartbeat, nausea, nervousness, restless sleep, shakiness, or unusual tiredness.
- Irritability, nervousness, or severe jitters
- Nausea (severe)
- Trouble in sleeping
Side Effects of Alcohol
Here are some side effects of alcohol and it will have varying affects depending on some factors of the person and the type of alcohol:
- Slurred speech
- Upset stomach
- Breathing difficulties
- Distorted vision and hearing
- Impaired judgment
- Decreased perception and coordination
- Anemia (loss of red blood cells)
- Blackouts (memory lapses, where the drinker cannot remember events that occurred while under the influence)
Alcohol and Energy Drink Side Effects
Now after reading the effects of the two, the major concern of mixing alcohol and energy drinks is “wide-awake drunkenness”. It is when the effects of caffeine is hiding the feeling of being drunk, but does not decrease any of the alcohol’s effects. This feeling of “wide-awake drunkenness” can make the person want to consume more alcohol or worse, believing that they are able to control a motor vehicle.
Another effect of the two can be dehydration. Alcohol can make a drinker dehydrated, that causes hangovers. Caffeine in the energy drinks is a diuretic, that causes people to lose water from the body. The combination of the two can increase the dehydration and possibly making the hangover worse than just the alcohol alone.
Mixed Drinks Using Alcohol and Energy Drinks
A popular cocktail for a lot of party goers is the combination of hard liquor and energy drinks (e.g. vodka and Red Bull). They may enjoy it to give them the ability to party longer with the energy boosts.
The Wake Forest Medical Center conducted a study over cocktails using alcohol and energy drinks to study the negative effects:
- Students who drank the mixed drinks became more intoxicated and became more intoxicated twice as often.
- Students were twice as likely to be injured.
- Students were twice as likely to ride with a drunk driver.
- Students were twice as likely to be taken advantage or sexually or take advantage of someone else sexually.
Researches also believe that when drinking these mixed drinks that the high doses of caffeine can mask the human’s body natural way of letting them know that they have consumed more alcohol than they should.
Teens and Mixed Drinks
Even though it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol, it is a popular trend for teens to consume alcohol and energy drinks.
Energy drinks are already popular among teens. Energy drinks have teen-friendly names and contains a high amount of sugar and flavoring. The flavor of the energy drink can mask the harsh taste of the hard liquor, that could lead to an increase of amount and the ability to consume the cocktail faster. This could also lead to an increase of binge drinking.
Consuming alcohol alone can be dangerous, but combining it with an energy drink can only increase the risks. Alcohol and energy drinks can be a deadly cocktail. If you are suffering from alcohol addiction or know someone who needs help, please contact Bridgeway Behavioral Health by visiting: www.bridgewaybh.com.