Drinking alcohol with an energy drink is more dangerous than drinking alcohol alone, according to a new study.
Researchers found college students tended to drink more heavily, and become more intoxicated, on days they used both energy drinks and alcohol, compared with days when they only drank alcohol, according to Science Daily.
The study included 652 college students, who answered questions about their consumption of energy drinks and alcohol during four two-week periods. They also explained any negative consequences they experienced from consuming both products.
Energy drink manufacturers in the United States are no longer allowed to make high-caffeine drinks with alcohol, but young people are mixing their own drinks, such as combining Red Bull and Jägermeister liquor.
The researchers warn that drinking alcohol with energy drinks pose physical risks, such as blacking out and alcohol poisoning. The trend also exposes the community to young adults who are “wide awake drunk” after a night of drinking.
The study appears in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
“Our findings suggest that the use of energy drinks and alcohol together may lead to heavier drinking and more serious alcohol-related problems,” Megan Patrick of the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research said in a news release. “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.”
A study published last year found combining caffeinated energy drinks with alcohol can lead to risky sex for college students. The study of 648 students, published in the Journal of Caffeine Research, found 29 percent of sexually active participants said they had alcohol mixed with energy drinks in the past month. During their most recent sexual encounter, about 45 percent had a casual partner, 44 percent said they did not use a condom, and 25 said they were drunk.