Believe it or not, your body knows when and how much alcohol you are drinking and sends out cues when you should stop for the evening and get some rest. Many people try to combat this by drinking popular energy drinks with their favorite happy beverage.
However, a new study shows that when mixing liquor with other substances, such as these “rocket fuels,” your brain actually shuts off these natural cues that protect you from making mistakes in judgement.
Cecile Marczinski, a psychologist at Northern Kentucky University, found that combining energy drinks such as Red Bull with vodka or other liquors effectively removes any built in checks your body has for overindulging.
“Even with just alcohol alone, young, underage drinkers are bad at deciding how safe a driver they are, but I think this would make that situation far worse.”
Drinking can give you a feeling of extreme “happiness,” but when you overindulge, your body knows it, and it starts to shut down; you start feeling tired, sleepy and more sedated than stimulated. That spells time for rest. Marczinski found that people downing the combination of alcohol and energy drinks lost this natural control. Marczinski had volunteers show up at her lab and drink either plain alcoholic drinks; mixed beverages containing alcohol and energy drinks; energy drinks alone; or a non-alcoholic beverage.
Participants in the study showed that consuming the combination of alcohol and energy drinks reported twice as much stimulation as those drinking alcohol alone. They tended to report less sedation and fewer symptoms like tiredness or sleepiness.
“The disconnect between what you feel and how you act is what is the problem here. Stimulation may not be a good thing when you’re drinking because you may drink longer, decide to stay at a party where you’re drinking longer, and drink far more than you originally intended.”
You might also think that the caffeine in these drinks is what is to blame for the reduction in judgment, but turns out it’s the mix of other awakening ingredients in the beverages that may be contributing to the enhanced alcohol high.
“I always thought that it was a marketing thing when they mention the other things they put in like taurine, glucose and ginseng, but I think they do facilitate that stimulation; it’s not just the caffeine.”
All of the popular energy drinks out there contain different variations of caffeine, and the majority of these drinks are not considered healthy for the human body. Most of these energy drinks should be watched carefully because of the ingredients and how powerful they can be. Just because they are powerful, it does not always mean good.
Most energy drinks stimulate and trigger reactions towards us that can help boost our blood pressure and heart rate, which again isn’t a good thing for us. These can often prevent sleep if taken at the wrong time and dehydrate your body.
Some of the main reasons why people turn to energy drinks for their solution are for school, work outs or on the job tiredness. You should not use energy drinks while exercising as the combination of all the stimulants and other ingredients in energy drinks can result in a loss of fluid from sweating and cause dehydration.