Everyone has their own personal preference when it comes to drinking alcohol. Some people enjoy a classic cocktail such as gin and tonic or rum and coke, while others may prefer a more extravagant mixture such as a fruity martini or a trendy micro brew. And just as fashion trends come and go each and every season, many alcoholic drinks will gain a popular buzz around them, prompting the beverage to become the most popular drink at every bar in town.
In the last couple of years, classic cocktails and martinis are increasingly becoming replaced by a wave of energy drink and alcohol concoctions. These types of drinks can range from a simple mix, such as vodka and Red Bull, all the way to the adventurous “Jager Bomb”-a powerful combination of 70-proof Jagermeister which is dropped into a glass of Red Bull.
However, while these high-energy mixes may seem like an exciting trade-in to your average Bud Light or Jack and diet, pairing energy drinks with alcohol can be a hazardous combination if you are not careful.
During a University of Florida research study which interviewed 800 patrons leaving college bars between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m., researchers found that people who drank energy cocktails were four times more likely to attempt drunken driving, compared to those who drank regular alcoholic drinks. That’s not all: The average blood alcohol content (BAC) level of those who drank energy cocktails was 0.109, compared to an average of 0.081 for those who had alcohol only.
Given the fact that a 0.08 BAC level is the legal limit in most states, this is a dangerous combination for those who are walking or driving home from the bar.
Here are a few more things that you should know about mixing alcohol with energy drinks:
Whenever you are drinking high levels of caffeine, especially the amount that is often found in energy drinks, you are boosting your heart rate and speeding up your blood pressure. Mixing these types of drinks with alcohol can further increase the risk of heart palpitations, even prompting cardiac-related problems.
Many people are aware of the fact that alcohol can make you dehydrated. However, the caffeine that is found in energy drinks is a diuretic, which causes the body to lose a lot of water. Therefore, combining the effects of these two beverages can cause your body to become increasingly dehydrated, causing a brutal hangover the morning after your night of drinking.
Whenever you are feeling fatigued and exhausted after a late night of drinking, it is your bodies way of telling you that it is ready go home and shut down for the night. However, energy drinks cause your body to lose this natural feeling of control and sedation, and instead, keep you wide awake and drinking longer.
If you are a big fan of these energy drink cocktails and are not ready to give them up completely, limit yourself to only one on occasion and make sure that you pair it with a glass of water to stay hydrated and alert. As they say, everything is fine in moderation-just be sure that you know your limits when it comes to safe drinking and driving.