image courtesy:Science News Journal

Mixed drinks have always been a popular way to make a good weekend a great one. Just recently a new mix is getting a lot of attention for its unexpected and dangerous attack on unsuspecting students looking for a good time.

Scientists found the brain reacts in similar ways to caffeinated energy drinks, like Red Bull, mixed with alcohol as they did to cocaine.Mixing energy drinks with alcohol alters the activity in the adolescent brain,which lasts into adulthood, they found.

In general, mixing energy drinks and alcohol is a bad idea.Because the negative side effects of energy drinks and the negative side effects of alcohol are going to interact and hit you at the same time.  This type of intoxication makes the drinker believe that they are much more sober than they really are which sways them to drink more in order to feel the exhilaration of a good “buzz.”

Evidence shows that if you combine alcohol and energy drinks you can experience physical and psychological side effects,more so than if you drank alcohol on its own. This includes heart palpitations, problems sleeping, feeling tense or agitated.This is a result of the high volume of caffeine in energy drinks.

According to the researchers alcohol mixed with energy drinks,(AmED) use is increasingly popular across North America, with mixing a Red Bull and vodka being a common example. These types of beverages can also be bought as premixed drinks from liquor stores.

Explaining the findings, lead study author Audra Roemer, M.Sc. said, “The stimulant effects of caffeine mask the result that most people get when they drink. Usually when you’re drinking alcohol, you get tired and you go home. Energy drinks mask that, so people may underestimate how intoxicated they are, end up staying out later, consume more alcohol, and engage in risky behaviour and more hazardous drinking practices.”

Roemer did point out that there is a lack of research in this area, and wide variability in the studies analysed. More research is now needed in order to confirm the team’s findings, with Roemer adding that, “Hopefully that will bring more answers.

The research we’ve done so far points to an increased risk of injuries with the use of AmED that could be a serious public health concern.”


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