Have you ever heard of vodka Red Bull? Energy drink cocktails that combine alcohol with energy drinks are very popular with nightclub goers because they give them the stamina to dance into the wee hours of the night. However, a study in which 4,000 American students were surveyed reveals that those who drank these kinds of cocktails doubled their risks of encountering problems, compared to people who only drank alcohol.
Energy drinks typically contain considerable concentrations of caffeine and other stimulants such as ginseng or taurine. They are highly popular in nightclubs, especially when they are combined with vodka. The problem is that these stimulants actually mask the feeling of drunkenness…but this does not mean intoxicated individuals make better and smarter choices! Hence, researchers noted that the university students who drank energy drink cocktails were more susceptible to injure themselves, to require medical attention, or to get into a vehicle driven by a person under the influence of alcohol. These young adults were also twice as likely to run into trouble during sexual encounters: they doubled their risk of taking advantage of someone sexually, or of being pushed into having sex by another person.
In addition, revellers who combined energy drinks and alcohol drank 36% more alcohol than their peers every night they were out, and they also drank more often.
Although the stimulants in energy drinks mask the symptoms of drunkenness, individuals actually get just as drunk! Consequently, it usually takes longer for people who have ingested stimulants to realize that their motor skills, their visual reaction time and their judgement are impaired by alcohol, along with all the risks drunkenness involves.
Energy drinks contain stimulants, and all stimulants are associated with riskier behaviours. So think twice before combining alcohol and energy drinks to avoid finding yourself in precarious and embarrassing situations!