We should all be aware by now that mixing alcohol with energy drinks is dangerous but a new study which examines the impact of the growing trend among young adults has led experts to urge parents to make their kids more aware.
In fact mixing energy drinks with alcohol is riskier than just drinking alcohol alone according to the new study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
The study which was conducted by a researcher at the University of Michigan, Megan Patrick at its Institute for Social Research and Jennifer Maggs of Penn State University found that college students drank more heavily and became more drunk when they mixed alcohol with energy drinks. The following excerpt from a post on www.parenthub.com.au explains:
“We found that college students tended to drink more heavily and become more intoxicated on days they used both energy drinks and alcohol, compared to days they only used alcohol,” said Patrick, lead author of the study.
While the U.S. no longer permits manufacturers to premix high-caffeine products with alcohol, mixed drinks such as vodka Red Bulls and Jäger bombs, made by dropping a shot of Jägermeister liquor into a glass of Red Bull, are becoming increasingly popular.
According to the researchers, the public health implications include not only physical risks to individuals from blacking out and alcohol poisoning, for example, but also exposing the community to dangerous situations in which young adults may be “wide awake drunk” after a night of partying.
The researchers, Patrick and Maggs gathered data on 652 college students over a period of 4 college semesters and analysed the data. Data collected included answers to questions every day about alcohol and energy drink consumption and about the negative outcomes derived from mixing the 2. Some of the consequences ranged from getting hangovers to landing themselves in trouble.
The researchers explained:
“Our findings suggest that the use of energy drinks and alcohol together may lead to heavier drinking and more serious alcohol-related problems,” Patrick said. “As energy drinks become more and more popular, we should think about prevention strategies for reducing the negative consequences of using energy drinks and of combining energy drinks with alcohol.”
Parents have been urged to educate their children about the risks of mixing alcohol and energy drinks. Even underage children should be made aware from now about the danger of mixing because some children drink without their parent’s knowledge and can get into even more trouble if they get into the habit of mixing energy drinks with alcohol.
Parents also need to set a good example by drinking responsibly themselves. That includes avoiding mixing alcohol with energy drinks.
In the United States around 20,000 hospital emergency room admissions have occurred because of young people mixing alcohol and energy drinks and the trend also seems to be gaining popularity in Oz.
Energy drinks are stimulants and alcohol is a depressant. The effects of the stimulant/ energy drink hides how intoxicated the person really is which prevents them from realising just how much alcohol they have consumed.
Energy drinks also contain quite large quantities of caffeine, including the caffeine obtained from guarana, which for some people could be dangerous to their cardiovascular health. This health risk is made worse when the person combines the drink with alcohol.
Ultimately energy drinks allow people to stay awake and drink for longer periods of time, often not realising how intoxicated they are, getting themselves into trouble and also jeopardising their health in the process.