Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks NOT a Good Idea...

4SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/28/2008 4:56 PM   :  81 comments

See More: soda, health, fatigue,
It’s Friday night, you’re tired after a long, hard week, but you really want to go out with your friends and do a little partying. The solution: mix your alcohol with an “energy” drink like Red Bull or Monster. It’s the new way to have your alcohol but stay awake and party all night, too.

Not a good idea, according to 11 State Attorneys General, including California Attorney General Jerry Brown, who recently announced an agreement with Anheuser-Busch Inc. that requires the company to discontinue production of all alcoholic energy drinks (AEDs), including its two current brands -- Tilt and Bud Extra. Similar negotiations are going on with Miller Brewing Company.

The problem, according to these State AG’s and many others, is that mixing alcohol with drinks high in caffeine or other stimulants not only keeps you from feeling the sedative effects of alcohol that normally tell you when you’ve had enough, it also masks many of the other effects as well--like impaired judgment, slower reflexes, and lowered inhibitions. You feel “normal” even though you’ve had quite a bit to drink, and that makes you more likely to keep on drinking, to the point that you may become a danger to yourself and others. Studies have shown that students drinking alcohol combined with caffeine were twice as likely to be involved in automobile accidents than those drinking alcohol alone.

This isn’t really a “new” problem. Back in my day, we used to drink rum and Coke to achieve the same effect. Irish coffees were pretty popular, too. But these days, energy drinks are much more popular and easy to find--they’re in every convenience and grocery store. And they’re quite a bit more potent than a regular soft drink.

A little bit of alcohol can be fine, maybe even healthy, but it can be hard enough to stop after one or two as it is. Who needs something that can make it even harder?

What do you think? Do you use energy drinks as mixers? Do you think it affects how much you drink? Is it a good idea to ban alcoholic energy drinks?


Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
 

NEXT ENTRY >   Is it a Cold or Just Allergies? How Do You Know the Difference?

Great Stories from around the Web

Comments

  • 81
    This is stupid. This is the era of the "nanny-state" and "no responsibility." Apparently, adults are no longer able to make their own decisions and we must regulate away every possible issue. There's no talk of educating people to make the right decisions. No talk of moderation or responsibility.

    Mixing alcohol and caffeine? Illegal. Soda machines? Illegal. Sugar substitutes? Illegal. Sugar? Illegal.

    Freedom to make our own decisions? Illegal. - 2/14/2012   3:28:39 PM
  • 80
    Energy drinks, in general, are being used far more frequently than is healthy. Alcohol is already an established problem for many people. Put them together and they become lethal. My daughter's friend decided to mix the two and, at 18, was dead in a head-on collision. He got behind the wheel of his car, feeling alert and fine, and couldn't even see.

    Does it impair your judgement? Absolutely! Is it a good idea to mix them? Absolutely not! - 4/22/2010   10:51:48 AM
  • 79
    Energy drinks are often full of caffeine. Alcohol is hard on your heart and other organs when you over do it. Why would you add caffeine to alcohol? It is your choice and I drink less than a 6 pack a year, but the US is really into over indulgence because they can be. As a whole we drink more, take more and have more (more not necessarily being a good thing) than any other country. Then we look for quick fixes to all the problems we make for ourselves. If you can't face the consequences, don't participate! - 4/18/2010   10:06:19 AM
  • 78
    The last thing this country needs is another ban or law on something that obviously should be self- regulated. There are many more serious issues in this world for law-makers to pursue - People need to be responsible for themselves. Education should be provided about the risks, but beyond that, there needs to be an end somewhere in which lawmakers try to micro-regulate & pass laws on the choices we make. I eat a lot of crap food, which has led me to gain weight. I knew that eating crap food would make me gain weight eventually, and I know that obesity leads to serious health risks, but on this train of thinking, the next step would be to outlaw crap food. Seriously? People need to take personal responsibility for the choices they make. I don't think this is what the originators of our constitution even remotely intended. - 7/18/2009   12:53:25 AM
  • 77
    I refuse to use energy drinks and I am not a fan of most alcoholic beverages. My sister goes on and on about pounding numerous "jaeger-Bombs" (jaegermaester and red bull) in one evening out. Just the idea of mixing those two makes me sick. I'd never do it and wouldn't advise anyone else to try it. Those overly-caffeinated energy drinks already cause heart attacks as it is. Why add booze to the mix? (pun not intended) - 6/12/2009   9:40:29 PM
  • 76
    I am a big fan of grey goose and red bull, so this isn't good . . . - 6/11/2009   6:50:17 PM
  • 75
    Very interesting topic! I have to admit- Mexican Coffees are one of my favorites- but I do think there is a logical argument for putting a warning on mixing stimulants with sedatives- given the stats on drunk driving alone.
    But in the end- you should consume in moderation and know your limits. - 6/11/2009   10:48:46 AM
  • 74
    I'm a bartender. I see, make and serve people these drinks almost every day. What decision is left to me as a professional though is always with ANY drink when NOT to serve someone. These make it hard to tell with people you don't know just how much they've had to drink sometimes. In my bar, we have two different portion sizes for these drinks. One is the size mentioned in another comment where you get not even half an ounce of liquor and 1/3 of a can of Red Bull for $4.50 which is what anyone that I don't know gets as a bomb/blaster drink. If it's someone I know how they react to them, have a designated driver or are staying at the motel I may or may not depending again on how that person's doing and what they order make them one of the large energy drink bombs/blasters which are a 2oz shot glass dropped in a pint glass with an entire Red Bull for like $6 or so depending on the shot. As to how they affect people differently than other drinks, I've seen it go both ways. Some people can drink them and not be too much to handle and others just really shouldn't. In the end it's up to you to determine how they affect you and whether you like them or not. And as always, a responsible server will tell you you've had enough and either not serve you or discontinue serving you if the drinks are getting the best of you. - 5/4/2009   4:00:42 PM
  • 73
    oh man this is a good article!! the ONLY time i have EVER blacked out during my 3 college years so far was when i drank this malt beverage/energy drink thing called JOOSE. it was a great drunk until i couldnt remember anything until i woke up the next morning. i also found out that i was the most popular person at the party although i dont remember ANY of it. so scary. i'm saying no to mixing.

    this is an illegal side note that i also learned the hard way. never mix pot and caffeine either. dangerous - 5/4/2009   2:53:16 PM
  • MUNCHIESO
    72
    I used to drink Tilt. Never felt a buzz from it. Now if drank the same amount of Zima on the other hand, the room spins and then a wicked hang-over. As far as outlawing it... no. Another issue that bugs me is that one has to be careful which state they buy from as the percentages and ingredients can and do change. Tilt is like having a sweet beer with caffeine...

    They should outlaw all alcohol or none at all. - 2/27/2009   12:41:18 AM
  • 71
    Does no one except me remember the days when people would give a drunks coffee in the attempt to "sober them up," and heard the expression that the result is nothing more than a "wide awake drunk?" Duh! - 1/11/2009   3:15:19 PM
  • 70
    I don't drink very often, especially now that I am trying to lose weight I would rather eat instead. I do have to agree that jager, vodka and red bull go together nicely :), but sometimes I do have the effects of drinking too much and still going like the energizer bunny, so I set a limit for myself before the night even starts because I know how much I can handle and there is a thin line between 5 drinks and 6 and I am older now I don't like to make an idiot out of myself. - 11/13/2008   4:03:42 PM
  • CLAWW855
    69
    I am so glad I read this info. My daughter doesn't "party" much, but she went with a group of friends for a bachelorette party last Friday and said she really had problems with this type of drink. She had never tried it before, Red Bull and Vodka, but went along with one of her friends. She said the effects of the drink were way more than she expected!! I will certainly advise her not to engage in this type of behavior. - 11/2/2008   9:21:21 AM
  • 68
    I don't drink alcohol OR energy drinks. But would say that when you come down from those energy drinks you crash real hard. My son best friend died because they kids was driving while tried and dranks an energy early that evening/early morning and was trying to make it home. (he was only 10 mins away from home). He went to see behind the wheel and crash. So energy drinks let along alcohol is not a great combination. - 11/1/2008   12:08:01 AM
  • 67
    I drink monster and vodka all the time. No problems.
    That and Jager bombs...again ZERO problems.

    I have not had the beer energy drinks though.

    But this article doens't say anything that makes me even consider stopping. It sounds like the people in this study don't know how to keep track of their drinking. There lies the problem. - 10/31/2008   8:08:51 PM
  • 66
    Great article. I didn't even know anything about this particular subject. Good thing I have never had an energy drink!!! Sometimes, we have a glass of wine, but not often. When we first met--28 years ago, we used to cook in the kitchen and open a bottle of wine and it was gone before dinner was done, so we opened another one and it was usually gone as we went to bed. Oh, the old romantic days when all was bliss and new!!! Let me add that this was over a 5 hour period of time and it was a total of about 5 glasses each--not large wine glasses, either!!! But, it helped me to gain 50 lbs. in 6 months--so I don't recommend it as a diet. We definitely don't do that anymore--maybe because we moved to Iowa from California and don't have friends who like to try different wines. Darn!!! - 10/31/2008   7:00:22 PM
  • SYKOTIKKITTIE
    65
    There are only two shots that I will do that include alcohol and energy drinks, usually Red Bull. Those shots are done few and far between and if I am doing shots, or drinking...I am not driving. - 10/31/2008   3:34:45 PM
  • 64
    i don't trust energy drinks. i had a shot of something and an energy drink on the advice of someone i was out with one night and vowed to never do that again. i remembered thinking 'i should be getting tired', but i was still wired. i hated that feeling of being mentally tired, but mentally wired at the same time. - 10/31/2008   8:21:08 AM
  • 63
    I don't trust energy drinks, anyway. The herbs in some of them can react with many common medications.

    - 10/30/2008   9:37:34 PM
  • 62
    I use energy drinks as mixers. I still know when I have had enough and that is what matters. - 10/30/2008   2:13:28 PM
  • 61
    I don't drink. I tried it and it is just not for me. My hubby loves his redbull and vodka. He has ADHD and I think the effects are altered for him.
    Either way All in MODERATION and I don't let him out of the house when he has been drinking. I - 10/30/2008   12:42:34 PM
  • LILIANAF
    60
    Back in my drinking days (before I had my kids) my husband and I used to meet a bunch a friends at the clubs and drink Red Bull with 151 (Puerto Rican Rum). I knew when I had too much. I could feel myself getting drunk but still have energy, so I would usually stop after 2 drinks. - 10/30/2008   12:02:06 PM
  • 59
    Isn't there some kind of mixed drink that uses Red Bull as a main ingredient with vodka or gin? - 10/30/2008   9:35:01 AM
  • 58
    I don't see a problem with alcohol because on occassion, I like to have a drink to wind down. I worked at a bar before and the managers almost insisted the bar tenders to find new deviations in which to use the energy drinks to make different cocktails. Because as long as the patrons felt they were feeling okay, they would continue to drink and wouldn't leave early. Energy drinks have become quite the money maker.

    My personal opinion is that responsibility needs to be taught by parents who have kids who are drinking. The public needs to encourage more people to become designated drivers. If you have had more than 1 drink, you need to give your keys up to someone. I think that is the biggest problem is that younger adults nowadays don't know the meaning of drinking responsibly because they are not taught this. I know when I was younger and entering into adulthood, my parents did not drink. They knew that at some point, I would be at a party with alcohol. They told me what could happen if I drank and then drive. My mom told me that if I had anything to drink to call her and she would pick me up, even after I moved out of my parents house. I know that some of my friends wouldn't call their parents because of fear of punishment for drinking, so they become stupid. Why would you punish your kids for doing the right thing for them calling for a safe ride instead of driving impaired???

    Responsibility is all that it comes down to. - 10/30/2008   9:28:56 AM
  • JAZZERCISEGENIE
    57
    Hate to admit it but I made some young adults this drink at my sons bar.It is popular and I can't imagine drinking it myself. It is called a yagarbomb. Probably did not spell it right. It is like a dare to some to be able to drink it. - 10/30/2008   8:56:49 AM
  • 56
    I THINK IF A PERSON IS SERIOUS ABOUT LOSSING WEIGHT SHOULD NOT BE DRINKING ALCOHOL IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    BECAUSE ALCOHOL DO NOT HELP IN WEIGHT LOSS. - 10/29/2008   10:08:02 PM
  • 55
    Yes, I've had this situation more than once on Friday nites...we all get together, rum & coke, the guys would drink, vodka & fresca, with red bull...there is alot of excessive drinking that occurs...woah! This is one thing I am going to have to control in order to help me with my goal - 10/29/2008   9:49:38 PM
  • 54
    I rarely ingest alcohol, and might have a glass of white wine a few times a year on special occasions. However, a few years back I used to sometimes order a rum and coke because it was easy to remember, and easy to mix. I never realized the intent was to mask the effect of the alcohol with caffeine. - 10/29/2008   9:15:12 PM
  • 53
    Interesting article. Too much of anything is bad. Too much alcohol, too much caffeine, etc. I don't think the combination is the issue - it's the quantity people drink. I have had Jaeger bombs before and Blackhaus bombs. If you're having one, it's no more than 1/4 to 1/3 of a tiny can of Red Bull (the cans are siginificantly smaller than a can of regular soda) and a tiny shot of the alcohol. But like any other beverage containing alcohol, if you're having 10, that's a big problem.
    Caffeine has absolutely no impact on me, but alcohol does and I prefer not to be drunk and I especially prefer not to put the empty calories into my body so I normally stick to my water or club soda with lime.
    - 10/29/2008   5:18:11 PM
  • 52
    I believe in banning alcohol all together. How about that? I mean, why would anyone want to put themselves in any kind of altered state of mind? It makes no sense to me. Some people can't get "into it" unless they've had a little something to drink. To me, even for the small "health benefits," it's simply not worth the effects on the mind. Sheesh, it is a terrible thing to waste! - 10/29/2008   4:55:40 PM
  • 51
    I can't claim to have ever drank anything stronger than Dr. Pepper (well, an alcoholic uncle did give me a sip of beer when I ws 4), but the effects that any drink, or combination in this case, can have seem pretty obvious - and REALLY SCARY! I found it interesting that not everyone has the effect of the energy drink's "energy" covering the "downer" symptoms of the alcohol. As many of the comments here have pointed out, sometimes the alcohol drowns the "energy", but really only on the surface, as the energy drink still has the heart beating out of control. It just sounds SO DANGEROUS!

    I do agree, however, that people need to be responsible to make these decisions on their own - without government control! - 10/29/2008   2:47:17 PM
  • 50
    Yes, ban the dangerous combination! We have enough fools who drink too much and get behind the wheel and attempt to drive. We don't need "speed" added to our alcohol. It's hard enough to realize when we're impaired without a false sense of "okay-ness". - 10/29/2008   12:36:12 PM
  • 49
    I'm guilty myself of drinking Red Bull and Vodka when I was in college but then I read more and more about how bad it is for the body. I drank so much when I was younger that I cannot even stand the smell of Red Bull or any other energy drinks. With all the information that is out on the harmful effects of energy drinks and alcohol it's amazing the number of bars that still serve it. The next question, are energy drink companies going to be limited on who they can market their product to and where? - 10/29/2008   12:20:23 PM
  • 48
    Since caffeine is a drug would you take caffeine pills and then down a shot of alcohol? Just because you are drinking your drugs doesn't make it a better choice than someone who does illegal drugs. Stupidity isn't illegal so go ahead but don't complain later that no one told you what the long term consequences would be. - 10/29/2008   12:15:04 PM
  • 47
    I dont drink. Energy drinks nor alcohol. It's difficult for me to drink even water of juice. It's just not something I enjoy....except tea or cocoa. I enjoy those when I have them. - 10/29/2008   11:27:16 AM
  • 46
    In my former life, pre-illness onset, I have mixed tequila with red bull and yes it does keep you from realizing how intoxicated you are. However, I was responsible enough that I knew not to drink & drive but obviously not everyone can set responsible limits for themself. I do not think that they should be banned. People need to grow up and make better choices. - 10/29/2008   11:06:21 AM
  • STEPFANIER
    45
    In college, my friends and I drank Jager bombs--a shot of Jagermeister dropped into a pint glass filled with a half-can of Red Bull. We also drank Red Bull and vodka quite often. Now I think, "Ew!" That's so unhealthy. I'd wake up the next day with a jittery feeling I couldn't shake. Heart attack in a glass, we called them. I stick to wine and beer these days, and I try to drink in moderation. Whether it's true or not, I feel healthier not drinking liquor with all those sugary, carbonated mixers. Blech! - 10/29/2008   11:04:21 AM
  • 44
    oh no!! i drink Tilt because i don't like beer and liquor is tooo much for me (and i don't like fruity drinks)! Now what am i suppose to drink!?! So now i'm going to have to drink liquor and get just a drunk as i would if i drank too much tilt cause i couldn't feel it's effects. No. It doesn't make sense to punish the responsible people!! - 10/29/2008   10:49:35 AM
  • 43
    My husband and many of my friends love Sugar Free Red Bull and vodka. I think it tastes awful so never drink it. But I can tell you first hand they can drink all night long and never get tired. The key is we are responsible adults and NEVER drive after drinking, regardless of what we are drinking or what we are mixing it with. - 10/29/2008   10:42:29 AM
  • KELRAYE78
    42
    I'm sorry. I just had to comment again. I think a lot of people who are reading this are getting the wrong idea. (Click on the highlighted word "AGREEMENT" in this post.) Anheuser Busch was not forced to pull anything from the market. They did it willingly to set a healthy example for other companies and to show that they too were concerned about the dangerous effects that these drinks can have, after criticism not only from state AGs, but also health professionals who warned about the effects of too much caffeine, sugar, and sodium as well as the stimulant's effect on alcohol consumption. I don't think that the intention of this article was to promote thought about government regulation or even personal responsibilty, but more to encourage people to think about the health effects of these kinds of drinks, both energy drinks and the combination of energy drinks and alcohol. Sure, people shoud be allowed to make their own choices, but we must ba able to make INFORMED decisions. - 10/29/2008   10:40:21 AM
  • 41
    Alcohol + energy drinks is a great way to up your tolerance because it lets you drink more and more - a fast forward to alcoholism in my experience. - 10/29/2008   10:40:10 AM
  • 40
    Comedian Katt Williams joked that he once drank Drambuie which is a coffee liqueur mixed with vodka. It's very high in caffeine and he said he was drunk from the vodka but couldn't pass out because of the caffeine! I've seen drink recipes at drinkmixer.com that combined Red Bull and several types of liquor. I was tempted to try one called Pimp Juice but decided not to. After reading this article I'm glad I didn't. - 10/29/2008   10:36:15 AM
  • CFMOMMY02
    39
    My father is a recovering alcoholic and my mother is allergic to alcohol. This is not something that really concerns me, but more so my friends. I'm going to take this information to them. Hopefully I can help at least one of them. - 10/29/2008   10:35:26 AM
  • 38
    It's always struck me as a sort of "speedball lite", which doesn't seem like a good idea... - 10/29/2008   10:24:09 AM
  • 37
    Meanwhile, there are literally millions of people out there happily chasing their cocktail with a line of blow, and a taxpayer funded attorney is worried about beer energy drinks?
    It amazes me what minutiae people can focus on. How about they let adults make their own choices? - 10/29/2008   10:21:37 AM
  • 36
    Good bad or otherwise...I am against letting the Government control or take over any more of my freedoms! But I personally never do not drink and drive ever. - 10/29/2008   10:16:26 AM
  • LIFES*2*SHORT
    35
    I don't drink alcohol OR energy drinks. So... I guess I am safe. LOL - 10/29/2008   9:59:35 AM
  • 34
    I have always believed that it is bad to mix the two! I stand pretty firmly behind this theory. - 10/29/2008   9:51:42 AM
  • JULIEANNARTIST
    33
    I can see both sides of this. We live in the United States- it is supposed to be a free country. But everyday, more and more freedoms are being controlled or taken away. I just heard on the radio today that an animal rights activist is up in arms because a pizza place is serving frogs legs on a pizza. I don't know the whole story- but it used to be a delicacy, gourmet food. Why should we ban a restuarant from serving it? Sure, getting the AG or goverment involved to regulate this things will cut down on misuse, accidents and medical problems. But it won't teach peole how to use these items as they are meant to be used. And I think that is the make issue. I think the more realistic way to deal with these type of things is that Americans need to be responsible!!!! People need to act like grown ups and respect themselves, others and what the consume. - 10/29/2008   9:38:40 AM
  • 32
    I'm curious: Are rum & cokes and Irish coffees just as bad as the energy drinks with alcohol? - 10/29/2008   8:58:57 AM

Please Log In To Leave A Comment:    Log in now ›


Join SparkPeople.com

x Lose 10 Pounds by December 3! Get a FREE Personalized Plan