Page last updated: Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Energy drinks and alcohol make dangerous equation
Experts from Purdue University, Indiana are warning that a new form of alcoholic beverage combining spirits with energy-like drinks may pose a health risk.

‘The reason why people are attracted to [these drinks] is they are always trying to combat the effects of alcohol,’ said Julia Chester, professor of psychological sciences. ‘They want the euphoric effects of alcohol without the sedative effects; that is why the market is playing up these kind of drinks.’

However, effects on the body can actually intensify a hangover rather than avoid it. Tammy Loew, health advocacy coordinator for the student wellness office, said the alcoholic energy drinks give people a false sense of security. ‘When you combine these your body is less likely to tell you when you’re tired or you’ve had too much to drink,’ said Loew. Consumers are potentially at risk because they think they are going to be able to have less side effects by drinking something which combines an energy drink with alcohol, she added.

Loew commented that the products have side effects that are related to dehydration. Both alcohol and caffeine cause dehydration, so combining the two will magnify the effect. While students may think that alcoholic energy drinks will deter a hangover, Loew says this is not the case. ‘When you combine a stimulant and depressant your blood alcohol level is still going to be the same,’ said Loew. ‘So research says: no you will have a hangover.’

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