Alcohol and Energy Drinks

Individual response to caffeine and other stimulants vary from person to person. If you are going to make the choice to mix alcohol and an energy drink or purchase an energy drink that already contains alcohol, you should know how this combination will effect you.

A mix of alcohol and Caffeine can be a dangerous combination if you don’t know what you are getting. Listed are some potential risks that can arise when mixing alcohol and caffeine or drinking a pre-canned, mix of the two.

  • Both are diuretics which can cause sever dehydration.
  • Mixed, cause a greater likelihood of hangovers.
  • Using alcohol and caffeine together cause a masking of the intoxication level.
  • Can cause a tendency to drink for longer periods of time due to the stimulant keeping one awake, which contributes to higher intoxication levels.
  • Increase risk of complications by ingestion of a heavy depressant and a heavy stimulant to the body.
  • Mixing the two can boost heart rate and blood pressure which increases the risk of heart rhythm problems. Use of alcohol and energy drinks has been linked to cardiac arrhythmia, increase risk of alcohol poisoning, and in a few cases death.

So what does this mean?

  • Your body does not experience the fatigue that warns you that you had enough to drink which can lead to dangerous levels of alcohol consumption.
  • The stimulant effect can give a person the impression that he or she is not impaired which increase the likelihood of driving under the influence or engaging in other activities which might need full coordination.

How does the caffeine in these types of drink compare to rum and coke or Irish coffee?

A measured standard drink of rum and coke contains 30-40 mg. of caffeine.

Red bull with one shot of vodka contains 80-160 mg of caffeine due to the added stimulants.

One Joose or Four Loko is the equivalent of 3-5 standard drinks with 180 mg. of caffeine due to other stimulants.

Added Stimulants to be aware of:

  • Caffeine (typically the amount of 2 1/2 cola drinks)
  • Guarana (caffeine-like stimulant from Brazil)
  • Taurine (stimulant)
  • Ephedrine (stimulant banned by the NCAA)
  • Bitter Orange Extract or Citrus Aurantium (stimulant banned by the NCAA)
  • Green Tea (stimulant)
  • Kola Nut (stimulant)
  • Ma Haung (stimulant)
  • Ginseng (stimulant)
  • Ginkgo Biloba (stimulant)
  • Mate (caffeine like)
  • Kava Kave (traditional Polynesian sedative)