A new study has found that people who mix alcohol and energy drinks have a higher risk of getting injured. This is because the caffeine in energy drinks masks the effects of the alcohol, leading people to think that they're not as intoxicated as they actually are.
Researchers looked into 13 different studies published from 1981 to 2016. In 10 of these studies, the researchers found that mixing alcohol and energy drinks increased the risks of falls, fights, and accidents.
However, there is a need for more studies on the matter, as it's not clear yet how mixing these beverages impacts health. It's also unclear how big the risk of getting injured is. What's clear, though, is that there is an increased risk of getting hurt when you mix alcohol and energy drinks.
In fact, mixing these beverages may be riskier than just drinking alcohol or the more traditional mixed drinks. Also, since you don't fully feel intoxicated, you may start drinking more and more alcohol-energy drink mixes. Not only will you drink more alcohol, you will also drink more and more caffeine. High caffeine consumption may lead to palpitations, agitation or anxiety, and difficulty sleeping.
Thus, next time you're at a party, think twice before mixing some Red Bull into your vodka. Energy drinks have about as much caffeine as a mug of instant coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant, and it can counteract the feelings of tiredness caused by drinking alcohol.
However, this does not mean that you are not getting intoxicated. Instead, this may lead you to feel like you are not intoxicated enough. This can lead to behaviors that may lead to unsafe situations. The caffeine stimulates your brain, but the alcohol also slows it down. Thus, you'll be more prone to making bad decisions, and you'll also be stimulated enough to actually do them.
Have you ever decided against doing certain things, like driving, because you were aware of how drunk and tired you were? Being fully aware of your intoxication may save you from taking risks that can land you in bad situations. However, if you consume energy drinks as well, you may underestimate your intoxication. You may decide to drive home, though in reality, you're in no condition to drive.
Of course, you may find yourself drinking an a mix of alcohol and energy drinks anyway. Even so, you can still reduce risks of harm. One thing you can do is to watch how much you're actually drinking. You can also eat a big dinner before drinking so you won't be drinking on an empty stomach.
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