Energy Drinking

Published: February 10 2010


Young adults are using energy drinks for more than a boost to get through the day. Experts say they’re increasingly mixing those drinks with alcohol, which could prove risky. A new University of Florida study of college-age adults leaving bars and nightclubs reveals a higher potential for drinking and driving after combining alcohol with energy drinks.

Dr. Dennis Thombs / UF health researcher: “Perhaps what is going on with the drinking and driving issue is that young adults believe that energy drinks make it safer to drink heavily so they may even plan to consume energy drinks with alcohol because it makes them think it overcomes the debilitating effects of alcohol.”

Researchers say 13% of people in their study leaving bars are mixing the two drinks. The study also shows people have a tendency to drink more when they combine energy drinks with alcohol.

Dr. Bruce Goldberger / UF toxicology researcher: “There is a very common misconception that if you drink caffeine with an alcoholic beverage that the stimulant effects of the caffeine counteracts the depressant effects of the alcohol and that is not true. We know that is aggravates the degree of intoxication, which can lead to risky behaviors.”

UF researchers hope this study helps lead to regulations and possible warning labels about the dangers of mixing energy drinks and alcohol.