Energy drinks give your brain a jolt to stay up and moving, while your senses are dulled due to the effects of alcohol. The condition has been described as “wide awake drunk”.
With the New Year on the horizon, it is natural to want to toast to life, particularly for a world that has suffered through a deadly pandemic and its economic ramifications. While a cocktail may seem like a great way to forget past suffering and celebrate new beginnings, it is prudent to be aware of the perils of mixing energy drinks with alcohol.
According to research, the mixing of energy drinks and alcohol can increase your risk of injury. Alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AmED) tricks your brain into thinking that you are still sober and capable of consuming more. The main ingredient in energy drinks that helps you stay up is caffeine, which looks a lot like adenosine (the chemical that helps you fall asleep) to the brain. In other words, caffeine temporarily takes the place of adenosine in the body and keeps you up rather than letting you feel tired or drowsy.
Energy drinks do not counter the effects of alcohol; they merely give your brain a jolt to stay up and moving while your senses are still dulled due to the effects of alcohol. The condition has been described as “wide awake drunk”. A fit analogy would be putting on a blindfold and driving a car.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the national public health agency of the United States, has released dietary guidelines strongly warning against the practice of mixing alcohol with energy drinks. Given that both caffeine and alcohol have the potential to influence your mood and motor functions significantly, it’s advisable to be mindful and enjoy responsibly.