Drinking alcohol with energy drinks has become very popular, but the combination actually has damaging effects and could lead to serious problems.
Special cocktails and other beverages made with energy drinks may be great for giving you energy to stay up all night and be the life of the party, but what these drinks are actually doing is masking the effects of alcohol.
This tricks a drinker into thinking that they are less drunk than they really are, leading them to consume larger quantities of alcohol than their bodies can handle. Energy drinks also contain a lot more sugar, calories, and caffeine than any regular alcoholic drink. The effects of consuming these types of drinks also create unpleasant physical and emotional experiences.
Energy drinks have been steadily growing in popularity since 2006. Experts say that since their introduction, the drinks have enjoyed a 12% growth every year. In addition to being consumed on their own, energy drinks have begun to crop up in mixed drinks served in clubs, bars, and other social settings.
There have also been specialty premixed alcoholic beverages introduced to the market that contain energy drinks. Some of these have aroused controversy due to their high sugar and caffeine content, as well as their ability to get drinkers intoxicated faster.
Overall the effects of combining alcohol and energy drinks are not positive. These effects include:
- making it easier to consume more alcohol more quickly, leading to risky behavior.
- physical side effects such as heart palpitations, sleep disturbances, feelings of irritability and anxiousness.
- making it easier to consume large quantities of caffeine, which lead to feelings of panic.
- introducing large amounts of sugar and calories into the body, which contributes to weight gain and even obesity, and even raising the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- an overall higher risk of developing long and short term health problems.
The most concern has been aroused over the fact that these drinks are leading its consumers to become drunker than they normally would and then engaging in risky activities. This is because the ingredients in energy drinks trick the brain into a state that researchers have dubbed "wide awake drunk".
Instead of feeling the normal sedative effects of the alcohol, you get the energizing effects of the caffeine and sugar in the energy drink. The energetic feeling is simply masking the effects of the alcohol, which is still taking place in the body.
Although you may feel awake and alert, your judgement, coordination, and ability to balance yourself are being impaired by the alcohol. This means that risky behavior like getting into a fight, driving recklessly, or putting yourself into a dangerous situation is more likely to happen.
The physical effects of these drinks also increases. Because alcohol on its own leads to sleep disturbances, consuming it with caffeine only doubles the effect. Both caffeine and alcohol take some time to be processed in the body, so their effects are often long lasting.
Energy drinks are still quite new, so there is still a lot of research to be done on how they affect their consumers. The long term effects of these drinks is still relatively unknown, but there have already been reports of them causing seizures, stroke, and even unexpected death in those who drink them in large quantities. Avoiding these drinks altogether may be the best option for your health.