Risks of Combining Energy Drinks and Alcohol
The American Academy of Pediatrics reported in its journal, Pediatrics in Review, the possible danger the mixture of energy drink and alcohol could bring to adolescents.
In an incident report last 2010, there were nine and twenty-three students who were admitted in the hospital in the states of Washington and New Jersey, respectively after intake of the mixed drinks.
Young people are unaware of the effect of the mixture, as the impact of alcohol is faintly felt. Thus, there is a tendency for adolescents to drink more than what is necessary. Moreover, their motor skill and visual reaction are just as impaired as those who have the same level of blood alcohol and it therefore poses a threat especially when driving.
Energy drinks that came out in late ‘80s are now attracting adolescents. Energy drinks generally contain caffeine and some may contain alcohol. And since some are alcohol free, young adults are therefore inclined to add alcohol to the drink.
The pediatric group claims that a 16 oz energy drink of leading brands contains 154-280 mg of caffeine that is equivalent to two to three cups of coffee.
This was however, refuted by The American Beverage Association saying that the caffeine in a regular energy drink is only half the amount contained in a cup the size of which is similar to that of house coffee. They added that they are encouraging companies to voluntarily display the caffeine content on the packaging including consumer use.
According to the report, the initial step of banning drinks with alcohol and caffeine may not totally be a deterrent in the practice of combining energy drink and alcohol especially in college and high school parties.
MacVean, M. Pediatricians should talk to kids about energy drinks and alcohol. LA Times.