Energy drinks combined with alcohol were available for purchase until 2010 when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration determined that the combination was harmful. However, the popularity of energy drinks combined with alcohol continues to rise. There are several risks associated with energy drinks combined with alcohol, including a greater chance of binge drinking than with alcoholic beverages alone.
Researchers from the Alcohol and Energy Drink Research Laboratory at Northern Kentucky University invited 13 males and 13 females to attend six sessions that involved drinking alcohol and energy drinks, alone and in combination. On each test day, participants received one of six possible doses: 1) vodka + decaffeinated soft drink, 2) vodka + medium energy drink, 3) vodka + large energy drink, 4) decaffeinated soft drink, 5) medium energy drink, and 6) large energy drink. After each session, the participants rated their desire for alcohol and their breath alcohol concentration was measured.
Results showed that alcohol alone increased the subjective “desire for more alcohol” compared to placebo doses. Energy drinks combined with alcohol increased the desire for more alcohol beyond that observed with alcohol alone. In summary, this study provides laboratory evidence that energy drinks combined with alcohol lead to a greater desire to drink alcohol than the same amount of alcohol consumed alone.
- Psychoscience.am (3 May, 2016). Alcohol addiction + age = anxiety ∨ antisocial behaviour.
- Cecile A. Marczinski, Mark T. Fillmore, Amy L. Stamates, Sarah F. Maloney (2016). Desire to Drink Alcohol is Enhanced with High Caffeine Energy Drink Mixers. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.