U.S. researchers found mixing alcohol with energy drinks is riskier than drinking alcohol alone.
They say young adults who mix the two tend to drink more, and become drunker, than those who do not.
Dr Megan Patrick, from the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, said: ‘We found that college students tended to drink more heavily and become more intoxicated on days they used both energy drinks and alcohol, compared to days they only used alcohol.’
Dr Patrick, who worked with Professor Jennifer Maggs from Penn State University, says mixing alcohol with energy drinks could increase the risk of alcohol poisoning because it encourages people to drink more.
She added it could also have other implications as it makes people more likely to be ‘wide awake drunk’ after a night of partying meaning they are more likely to behave in an antisocial way.
The researchers studied 652 students and during four two-week periods they asked them to answer questions about their consumption of energy drinks and alcohol.
They also asked them to record any problems they experienced as a result – from suffering a hangover, to getting in trouble with the police.
Dr Patrick said: ‘Our findings suggest that the use of energy drinks and alcohol together may lead to heavier drinking and more serious alcohol-related problems.
‘As energy drinks become more and more popular, we should think about prevention strategies for reducing the negative consequences of using energy drinks and of combining energy drinks with alcohol.’
The news comes just after it was revealed that energy drinks that are high in caffeine change the way the heart beats.
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