In news that will be a great disappointment to any of you that like a few ‘double voddie red bulls’ of a night out, experts are a warning of the dangers that mixing booze with energy drinks may bring. Due their value for money and strength, drinks such as vodka red bull and TVR’s are a staple of many students across the country but there are serious implications for your health. Although this may not be the best student news that Young Academic has brought you of late, make sure you read on to ensure you are not putting yourself at risk.
Be wary of mixing spirits with energy drinks and if in doubt…get a taxi!
‘Don’t mix your drinks’ is a warning that has long been issued to young people, usually with regard to cider, beer and spirits. This time, scientists are urging you to avoid mixing alcohol with high energy drinks due to effects on your heart rate and the fact that it may encourage drink driving.
“The effects of these drinks, when combined with alcohol, could have disastrous consequences” said Hunter Abbott, Managing Director of AlcoSense. “A strong concentration of Caffeine and sugar in these drinks can effect a drinker’s perception and mask their awareness of the influence of alcohol. This in turn could lead to unintentional drink driving when the person feels they’re sober again – but really is not.”
Drinks manufacturers have been defending high energy drinks such as Red Bull or Rockstar in the face of growing controversy about their health effects. Concern has been expressed about both the caffeine content and high doses of sugar in some energy drinks. A 500ml bottle or can of some energy drinks may contain as much as 14 teaspoons of sugar or the caffeine equivalent of four cola drinks. “With the addition of alcohol people may feel sober when they are not” added Mr Abbott.
Studies in America, where more research has undertaken on the impact of energy drinks, has shown that the drinks reduce the visual symptoms of drunkenness but not the underlying drunkenness itself. 17.8% of drink drive convictions take place the morning after drinking when people assume that they are free of the effects of alcohol. Caffeine stimulation can create the illusion of being more alert then the person really is. “This fools young people into thinking they are unaffected by the alcohol at the same time as the energy rush gives them a greater feeling of confidence – a potentially lethal combination” warns Mr Abbott.
Certainly an interesting read guys, but is surely worth remembering that if you are in any doubt whatsoever – don’t drive! One double spirit and mixer is likely to send you over the limit so if you are planning a well deserved night out with your pals, get a taxi or designate a driver.