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16th Aug 2012

Scientists Warn Of Energy Drink and Alcohol Cocktails

Energy drink and alcohol cocktail mixers are being given a sharp wake-up call...

Energy-drink lovers are being given a severe wake-up call over mixing the drinks with alcohol.

The energy-drink cocktails have researchers very worried as their new study shows that the potent combination is seriously harmful for our health.

The mix can give rise to heart palpitations, sleeping difficulties and other psychological problems. Researchers also found that mixing energy drinks and alcohol could lead to nasty side-effects from over-stimulation, on top of the hangover.

The University of Tasmania studied 403 Australians aged 18 to 35 who mixed the energy drinks and alcohol in the last six months.

The respondents were asked questions about 17 physiological and 21 mood states as well as 26 risk behaviours in drinking sessions.

It was found that people who drank alcohol and energy drinks together had a higher rate of heart palpitations, irritability and tension, as well as ‘jolt and crash’ symptoms.

Steve Clarke, director of the College Alcohol Abuse Prevention Centre in the USA, said people need to be careful about mixing the dangerous cocktail.

“Fatigue is the body’s way of saying it has had enough to drink. It is dangerous to continue to fool your body,” he said.

“Energy drinks have a lot of stimulants in them like ginseng and taurine, while alcohol is a depressant so by mixing the two you’re sending mixed messages to your nervous system which can cause cardiac-related problems.”

Clarke said the appeal behind mixing the two drinks is the promise of a sustained rush that would allow people to go on drinking longer into the night.

However, alcohol makes people dehydrated, one of the reasons people have hangovers and the caffeine in the energy drinks is a diuretic which also causes people to lose water. It makes the effect of the dehydration worse.

“You might feel like you can party for a long time, but in reality you are just going to have a greater hangover effect the next day,” Clarke said.