Mixing alcoholic beverages with highly caffeinated energy drinks could be increasing the risk of falls and injury according to Canadian researchers.
According to the researchers AmED use is increasingly popular across North America, with mixing a Red Bull and vodka a common example. These types of beverages can also be bought as premixed drinks from liquor stores.
Explaining the findings, lead study author Audra Roemer, M.Sc. said, "The stimulant effects of caffeine mask the result that most people get when they drink. 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 behavior and more hazardous drinking practices."
Three of the studies also looked at whether risk-taking or sensation-seeking personality traits could also increase the risk of injuries when partaking in AmED use, with Roemer adding that, "We know that these are risk factors for alcohol-related injuries, and some research has suggested that people who have these traits might prefer the awake-drunk state that you get from mixing alcohol and energy drinks."
More research is now needed in order to confirm the team's findings, with Roemer adding that, "Hopefully that will bring more answers. The research we've done so far points to an increased risk of injuries with the use of AmED that could be a serious public health concern."
The results can be found published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.