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Alcohol, energy drinks risky together
Sat, 16 Apr 2011 12:30:09 GMT
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Drinking alcohol and energy drinks together causes not only alcohol toxicity but also a risky mental state of reduced impulse control, and enhanced stimulation.

According to a study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, the high content of caffeine and other stimulants, such as taurine, in energy drinks negate the sedative effects of alcohol.

The blood analysis revealed similar blood levels of alcohol in those consuming alcohol alone or in combination with an energy drink, the study found.

Impaired pulse control was noted in all those who had consumed alcohol. Those who drank alcoholic energy beverages, on the other hand, perceived their behavior to be less impaired than those consuming similar doses of alcohol alone, findings showed.

"These energy drinks don't change what happens to your behavior and how drunk you feel, but it changes your perception of how intoxicated you are," said lead author Cecile Marczinski of Northern Kentucky University.

While sedation or tiredness may help stop drinking, mixing alcohol with an energy drink contributes to potentially dangerous state of mind that may result in drinking more alcohol.

“Even alcohol alone will make you feel stimulated and happy," Marczinski added. "Mixing in the energy drink makes that more pronounced. Energy drinks have tons of caffeine in them, more than mixing a soft drink in alcohol.''

"Consumers should be aware that there are safety issues here with mixing energy drinks and alcohol," warned Marczinski. "It may lead you to make poor decisions because you aren't really aware how intoxicated you are. You feel more awake, more alert."

SJM/PKH
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