New study shows: Energy drinks with alcohol increase the risk of accidents
Energy drinks have enjoyed continued popularity for years. In bars and pubs, the sweet drinks are often offered mixed with alcohol. This combination is particularly dangerous for health. This also increases the risk of accidents, as a recent study shows.
Energy drinks are a health hazard
It has long been known that energy drinks are hazardous to health. On the one hand because of the extreme amount of sugar contained - a can can contain up to 13 pieces of sugar - and on the other hand because of the caffeine. The latter can increase the ability to concentrate, counteract tiredness and increase physical performance in moderate doses, but excessive caffeine intake can cause side effects such as nervousness, increased excitability, sweating, rapid heartbeat or insomnia.
Mix with alcohol
In addition, such drinks - especially with alcohol - can be a risk to the heart.
This combination can apparently even be addictive. For example, US scientists reported in the journal "PLOS ONE" about their study, which shows that caffeinated mixed drinks with alcohol can affect the brain like cocaine - especially in adolescents.
This mix poses another danger.
Increased risk of accidents
Those who consume energy drinks with alcohol are exposed to an increased risk of accidents. This was the result of a study by researchers from the University of Victoria in Canada.
In order to arrive at their results, the team led by Audra Roemer had reviewed 13 studies that were published between 1981 and 2016 on the subject of alcohol and energy drinks.
As the scientists report in a statement from the university, it was found that people who mix caffeinated energy drinks with alcoholic beverages have an increased risk of injury, both deliberate (fighting, violence and attempted suicide) and unintentional (accidents caused by Falls, tripping and using motorized transport).
The study results were recently published in the journal "Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs".
The effects of caffeine mask the effects of alcohol
"The stimulating effect of caffeine hides the effect of alcohol," says Roemer.
“Usually you get tired of drinking alcohol and go home. Energy drinks cover that up, so people underestimate how drunk they are, which leads to them staying away longer, consuming more alcohol and taking more risky behaviors even with more dangerous drinking habits, ”the study author explained.
"Given the variability in the relatively few studies on the subject, however, the researchers were unable to statistically determine the exact extent of the increased risk associated with the mix of alcohol and energy drinks," the university said.
Risk increases twenty times
According to the information, Roemer is currently investigating the relationship between alcohol, energy drinks and injuries.
"If we only look at alcohol alone, there is a clear relationship between dose and effect: if you drink more, the risk increases," says the expert.
The risk of injury is therefore twice as likely with a drink or two as with a person who is completely sober. With six drinks you have a sixfold risk.
But if you also mix the alcoholic drink with an energy drink, the risk increases according to a preliminary analysis by about twenty times. (ad)