You might want to pass on that next round of vodka Red Bulls. A new University of Florida study shows that mixing energy drinks and alcohol can be a dangerous combination.
Previous studies have shown that caffeine masks some of the sedative properties of alcohol, so drinkers feel less inebriated than they actually are. In the first study of alcohol and energy drink use in an actual drinking environment, UF researchers took data from drinkers outside popular college bars.
They found that drinkers who mixed alcohol with energy drinks were three times more likely to be drunk than those who drank alcohol alone, and that their average breath alcohol concentration was .109. The legal limit is .08.
They were also four times more likely to be willing to drive, and stayed out later than non-caffeine drinkers.
a very common misconception that if you drink caffeine with an
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alcoholic beverage, the stimulant effect of the caffeine counteracts the
depressant effect of the alcohol, and that is not true," co-author Bruce
Goldberger said in a release. "We know that caffeine aggravates the
degree of intoxication, which can lead to risky behaviors."