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There is something about those energy drinks

Date:
July 15, 2016
Source:
Research Society on Alcoholism
Summary:
Energy drinks combined with alcohol (AmEDs) were once available for purchase as a premixed beverage, until 2010 when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration determined that the combination was unsafe. However, the popularity of AmEDs continues to rise, fueled by private consumers and bartenders. There are a variety of risks associated with AmEDs, including a greater chance of binge drinking than with alcoholic beverages alone. A new study investigated whether consuming high-caffeine energy drinks mixed with alcohol results in a greater desire to drink alcohol than alcohol alone.
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Energy drinks combined with alcohol (AmEDs) were once available for purchase as a premixed beverage, until 2010 when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration determined that the combination was unsafe. However, the popularity of AmEDs continues to rise, fueled by private consumers and bartenders. There are a variety of risks associated with AmEDs, including a greater chance of binge drinking than with alcoholic beverages alone. This study investigated whether consuming high-caffeine energy drinks mixed with alcohol results in a greater desire to drink alcohol than alcohol alone.

Researchers invited 26 adult social drinkers (13 males, 13 females) to attend six double-blind sessions that involved drinking alcohol and energy drinks, alone and in combination. On each test day, participants received one of six possible doses: 1) vodka + decaffeinated soft drink, 2) vodka + medium energy drink, 3) vodka + large energy drink, 4) decaffeinated soft drink, 5) medium energy drink, and 6) large energy drink. After each session, the participants rated their desire for alcohol and their breath alcohol concentration was measured.

Results showed that alcohol alone increased the subjective "desire for more alcohol" compared to placebo doses. AmEDs increased the desire for more alcohol beyond that observed with alcohol alone. In summary, this study provides laboratory evidence that AmEDs lead to a greater desire to drink alcohol than the same amount of alcohol consumed alone, and are consistent with animal studies showing that caffeine increases the rewarding and reinforcing properties of alcohol.


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Materials provided by Research Society on Alcoholism. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Cecile A. Marczinski, Mark T. Fillmore, Amy L. Stamates, Sarah F. Maloney. Desire to Drink Alcohol is Enhanced with High Caffeine Energy Drink Mixers. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 2016; DOI: 10.1111/acer.13152

Cite This Page:

Research Society on Alcoholism. "There is something about those energy drinks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 July 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160715181711.htm>.
Research Society on Alcoholism. (2016, July 15). There is something about those energy drinks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160715181711.htm
Research Society on Alcoholism. "There is something about those energy drinks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160715181711.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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