• A Deadly Mix: Why You Should Not Mix Energy Drinks with Alcohol

    According to a study done at the College Alcohol Abuse Prevention Center, most college students have been found to be mixing alcoholic beverages with energy to achieve a euphoric effect; hence drinking, without getting drowsy. According to the Centers of Disease Controls and Prevention, this has been consumed by 31 percent of 12 to 17 year old youngsters and 34 percent of those whose age range from 18 to 24 years old. Since energy drinks have flourished in markets today, youth have had greater chances of using such drinks for leisure aside from using them simply as body energizers. In records, Red Bull is the most popular and widely sold out energy drink in souk today. Other energy drinks like Venom, Adrenaline Rush, 180, ISO Sprint, and Erektus only come as second but still pose high sale in supermarket and department stores.

    In truth, the idea of mixing alcohol with energy drinks, although it keeps one awake and alert throughout the night is never a good idea, according to a new study published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Mixing vodka and other liquors with Red Bull which contains 80 mg of caffeine per can, actually hinders the body’s checks and other sensory receptors to detect fatigue despite the effects of alcohol which typically includes mental impairment, tiredness, and drowsiness. This makes a drunken person feel energetic the whole night but may suffer from the adverse effect of severe hangover the following day.

    How Alcohol plus Energy Drinks Work in the Body

    It should be noted that energy drinks also contain several stimulants like ginseng, taurine while alcoholic beverages is a primary depressant; hence, blending the these two  would send mixed messages to the brain causing relative adverse effects . This is further elaborated in a study by Cecile Marczinski, a psychologist at Northern Kentucky University which explains how drinking liquor with an energy drink removes the built-in check in the body as one negative impact of overindulgence.

    According to Marczinski, drinking alcohol itself brings up feeling of happiness but drinking overtime may cause the body to shut down which caused one to start feeling drowsy and more sedated. It brings up fatigue which serves as cue that the body has had enough alcohol. However, with the presence of caffeine in energy drinks, physical alertness is further increased.  In her study though, alcoholic beverages with energy drinks have far greater effects than drinking caffeine alone with alcohol. With positive alcohol testing through alcohol testing kits, this effect eventually shows within 45 minutes of non-stop intake.

    In another study by Steve Clarke, director of the College Alcohol Abuse Prevention Center, he explains how energy drinks affect health especially when combined with alcohol.  In his study, he explains that the energy drink controls the natural way of the body to feel this fatigue instead the drunken person may continue to feel alertness which lures him to drink more and more alcohol beyond the body’s limit. Alcohol plus energy drink cause body dehydration, that is why a person who have had such experience feels the worst hangover the morning after. This makes a person suffer from severe headache and nausea, and worst heart problems due to the unrealized fatigue brought by the intense euphoric effect of energy drink and alcohol.

    Dangers of mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks

    According to National Institute of Health, high levels of caffeine boost up heart rate and blood pressure which when mixed with alcohol may eventually cause palpitation, which starts up heart rhythm disorders or any related cardiac disorders.

    The following are the hazards of mixing alcoholic beverages with energy drinks to a person.

    1.    Energy drinks do not have any effect on the metabolism of alcohol by the liver; hence, will not reduce any alcohol related hazards and will still produce positive result using the breathe alcohol detector.

    2.    Energy drinks masks the depressant effect of alcohol leading to further abuse of alcohol beverages throughout the night which may lead to several related crimes and road accidents.

    3.    A person who drinks alcohol mixed with energy drinks have been found to be three times more sexually active than those who drink normally. This has been found to be one of the reasons behind people who take sexual advantage in parties or while driving alone with other female colleagues.

    4.    Drinking alcoholic beverage with energy drinks, increases risks of heart failures and sudden death.

    5.    Drinking alcoholic beverage with energy drinks or Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages triggers impulsive and often risky behavior which is the root cause of various crimes and other negative incidents.

    What is Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages?

    Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages or CABs are alcoholic beverages with ready mixed contents of caffeine and other stimulants. They are either based from malt or distilled spirits and typically have higher alcohol contents, particularly beer which accounts from 5 to 12 percent on CABs. There are as many as 25 CABs sold out in the market today through direct selling or websites. One example of CAB is the Four Loko which was created by three students at Ohio State University in the name of Chris Hunter, Jeff Wright, and Jaisen Freeman. The drink basically exhibits the same effect as of mixing a few bottles of beer with a Starbucks’ coffee.

    The following; however, are reasons why drinking Four Loko has been greatly discouraged by the Food and Drug Administration:

    1.    Drinking Four Loko leads to several health risks such as irregular heart beat which can cause heart attack or carjack arrest as well as alcohol poisoning.

    2.    One shot of Four Loko is equivalent to several shots of natural beer but while the latter has caffeine, it may exhibit delayed drunk feeling.

    3.    Four Loko contains 660 calories along with sugar and carbohydrates which contributes to weight gain.

    4.    Four Loko has higher level of intoxication in a short of time compared to other beverages; hence, causes one to develop risky behaviors that lead to life-threatening situations.

    Alcohol Testing on Youth

    According to records, alcoholism on youth, especially high school students have been steadily high since 1991 to 1999. Although it had decreased to 42 percent in 2009, there still have been reports of episodic heavy or binge drinking.  Alcohol testing on youth helps heath care professional estimates the risk level for every individual to alcohol related problems. This in turn allows them to prepare necessary briefing and interventions to the patients involved. The alcohol testing can be used in three different yet easy options to test whether or not a teenager have been into drinking alcohol for the past few hours or days. The alcohol testing kits basically detect alcohol presence on the saliva using the saliva alcohol test kits or through breath by using the breathe alcohol tester. These types of test have been approved by DOT and have been sold out in market since 1987. Following the principles of alcohol biomarker, the alcohol testing kits have been proven to be accurately and reliably helpful in detecting alcoholism on youth. Today, the new federal cut-off of ethanol in the body such as ethyl alcohol and booze should be 0.02 mg/dl.

    http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/cab.htm

    http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/alcohol-abuse/news/20100212/dangerous-cocktail-energy-drinks-alcohol

    http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/HealthIssues/1043185105.html

    http://healthland.time.com/2011/04/18/why-alcoholic-energy-drinks-are-dangerous-its-not-just-the-caffeine/

    http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/alcoholdrug/index.htm

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