Mixing caffeine-loaded energy drinks and booze could be a recipe for trouble, according to a new study that says the popular party duo ups the odds someone will get hurt.
Researchers in Canada analyzed results of 13 prior studies. Most reported a higher rate of injuries when alcohol was paired with an energy drink like Red Bull or Monster Energy compared to drinking alcohol alone, they said.
The study, detailed in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, classified the injuries as unintentional — such as falls or motor vehicle accidents, and intentional — such as fights or other physical violence.
“The stimulant effects of caffeine mask the result that most people get when they drink,” said lead author Audra Roemer from the University of Victoria in Canada.
In addition, the researchers also looked at whether risk-taking or sensation-seeking tendencies play a role in injuries associated with alcohol mixed with energy drinks use.
People who have these traits might prefer the awake-drunk state that one gets from mixing alcohol and energy drinks, Roemer said adding “this could be a population that’s at even higher risk for injuries,” he noted.
“Usually when you’re drinking alcohol, you get tired and you go home. Energy drinks mask that, so people may underestimate how intoxicated they are, end up staying out later, consume more alcohol and engage in risky behaviour and more hazardous drinking practices,” Roemer said.