Energy drinks may lead to greater alcohol intake

COMBINING energy drinks with alcohol enhances the feeling of stimulation from drinking alcohol alone but does not mitigate impaired impulse control, a study shows.

Researchers tested different doses and combinations of energy drinks and alcohol among 56 US college students, finding energy drinks did not alter the behavioural impairment that comes with drinking alcohol.

“Increasing levels of stimulation with an energy drink may increase the rewarding aspects of drinking alcohol, leading to greater consumption especially when inhibitory control remains impaired by the alcohol,” the authors wrote.

Most of the evidence for energy-plus-alcohol drinks being risky comes from epidemiological studies reporting increased accidents and injuries but this study provides laboratory-based evidence that they are pharmacologically distinct, the authors say.

Ingredients in energy drinks such as taurine, glucose and ginseng, as well as the level