Eating Well, Pain

Alcohol + Energy Drinks Increases Risk of Injury 20 X

Three words of advice from researchers at the University of Victoria for people who like to mix alcohol and caffeinated energy drinks: Don’t do it. A U of Victoria news release reports that the first systematic review of literature on the subject found that 10 of 13 studies showed evidence of a link between the use of alcohol mixed with energy drinks and an increased risk of injury compared to drinking alcohol only. “The stimulant effects of caffeine mask the sedative effects of alcohol,” says lead researcher Audra Roemer. “Usually when you’re drinking alcohol, you eventually get tired and you go home. Energy drinks mask that, so people may underestimate how intoxicated they are, end up staying out later, consume more alcohol, and engage in risky behavior and more hazardous drinking practices. When we look at alcohol alone, there’s a clear dose-response relationship: when you drink more, the risk goes up.”  With one or two drinks, says Roemer, the risk of injury is twice as likely as when completely sober. With six drinks, there’s a six-fold increase in risk. But when alcohol is mixed with energy drinks, the risk of injury is somewhere in the order of 20 times greater.

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