Dangerous Mix: Energy Drinks and Alcohol

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For over a decade now, drinks such as Vodka, Red Bull, Jaeger bombs, and Kamikazes have generated great popularity in the social-drinking and bar scene, consumed daily by people all over the world. Many people, especially from the younger generation, claim that the combination of an energy drink, and an alcoholic beverage, make a tasty concoction to accompany the nightlight. However, many are oblivious to the damaging physiological effects that such a mixture brings on the body.

Red Bull and other popular energy drinks hit a spike in popularity in the early millennium, and their effects were found to be so prominent that many took to them easily, enjoying the sudden buzz of energy. With varying, yet sharp sweet tastes, there is a flavor for every pallet; not to mention the drinks are marketed to target people from age 30 and below. It didn’t take long for the powerful stimulant drinks to make it into the bar scene.

Alone, energy drinks have been found to increase heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration rate, as well as body temperature. Effects can last from four to twelve hours with varying potency and has an outstanding effect on the body. Many feel empowered after digesting a can of their favorite energy drink and take advantage of the increased energy. Some however, do not benefit as much. In certain people, who may or may not have pre-existing heart conditions, the drink can become frightful, since irregular heart palpitations are common. Others have reported feeling faint, experiencing upset bowels and even become hyperactive.

In combination with alcohol, the strain on the body is doubled if not complete overload to the system. Where energy drinks are powerful stimulants, alcohol is a powerful depressant. Although the taste and twisted effects of an ‘electric buzzed’ feeling may be pleasurable, it is dangerous to overlook the risks that come with ingesting the combo. The struggle between the body’s response to both the depressant and stimulant can be extremely confusing to the senses and increases the risk of heart attack, black outs and other cardio vascular failure.

Another point to take into account is the mental effects that drinking the combination of energy drinks and alcohol can have on a person. While alcohol often induces a watery, sluggish and delayed sense of reality, energy drinks do just the opposite. This is one of the most appealing aspects to those who drink the cocktails often. They are able to enjoy the muted and heavy feelings of alcohol intoxication paired with added effects of an energy drink, which is wakefulness and increased energy. In this sense, alcohol “buzzes” or drunkenness is experienced in an amplified and more energized form. This can lead to people being able to drink more than they normally would. It raises the chances of alcohol poisoning, reckless behavior, poor decision-making and other life threatening choices, which otherwise would have been prevented.

While many will continue to enjoy these types of drinks, it is important to weigh the options for yourself before indulging. Is that particular drink worth the possible health complications? Is it worth putting yourself at risk for?

For more information on our addiction treatment programs and therapeutic approaches, call toll free at: 800-960-5041. Florida Center for Recovery offers residential drug and alcohol rehab treatment through 12-Step and Non 12-Step Programs.

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