Energy drinks have been paired with alcoholic beverages almost since their inceptions. These drinks, which are often carbonated and sugary, also contain high amounts of caffeine and B12, which make them a potent force for energy.
Many people who recreationally consume alcohol may consume alcohol alongside energy drinks because it helps them reached the desired effect of being able to continue dancing and celebrating for longer periods of time. New studies have revealed that when consumed alongside alcohol, energy drinks actually increase the amounts of alcohol that a drinker wishes to consume.
Drinking Behaviors of Energy Drink Consumers
A recent study, conducted by the Center for Research on Aging, Health and Well-Being at the Australian National University in Canberra looked at the ways in which energy drinks impacted a person's desire to drink alcohol. To do this, participants were given a cocktail that consisted of vodka and either a non-caffeinated mixer or an energy drink.
Both drinks were flavored so that the presence of an energy drink was not detectable in either. After consuming the cocktail, participants completed a survey that assessed their desire to continue drinking more alcohol.
This survey was administered both before and after drinking either the energy drink or the control substance, and was then used to measure the degree to which desire for more alcohol changed after drinking the first drink. In the study, individuals who had consumed the caffeinated drink reported that they enjoyed the cocktail they were drinking more and that they desired more of it.
Sugar Consumption Related to Desire to Continue Drinking
While caffeine seems to certainly play a big role in the effects that energy drink consumption produces, researchers believe that part of the answer to what makes energy drinks create a desire to to consume more alcohol lies in the sugar content in energy drinks. The more sugar a drink has, the more likely it is that a person who consumes it will feel a stronger desire to consume more alcohol.
Increasing The Chance of Alcoholism
Many medical experts are cautious about the combination of alcohol and energy drinks together. There may be serious dangers associated with combining the two beverages, not only because of the possibility for increased consumption, but also because the stimulant effect of energy drinks and the depressant effect of alcohol can be potentially dangerous when combined.
Energy drinks have been shown to impact the way a user's body metabolizes alcohol. Both types of substances also have opposing effects on the human cardiovascular system. Individuals who frequently drink alcohol and energy drinks together may also be at a risk for suffering from alcoholism because they may become accustomed to drinking while feeling the peak effects of caffeine.
As this happens over the long run, a drinker may develop higher and higher tolerance for alcohol, and thus find themselves increasingly chemically dependent on it.
Other Harms Posed By Alcohol and Energy Drink Consumption
There are a number of risked associated with mixing alcohol and energy drinks and the behaviors that can result from this. Drinkers who mix alcohol and energy drinks are at a higher risk for engaging in dangerous behaviors like driving or engaging in acts of violence.
This is yet another reason that mixing alcohol and energy drinks seems like a recipe for disaster of some sort. Alcohol is a dangerous drug, and should be consumed with much responsibility and caution.
Any time a person over consumes alcohol, they put their health and safety at risk.