Study: Alcohol-energy drink cocktails make you want to drink more

CINCINNATI -- Ever notice friends who order Red Bull and vodka cocktails seem to down more drinks than friends sipping on a craft beer?

If so, there's new evidence supporting your social observation.

A recent study, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research , links drinking vodka Red Bulls with wanting to drink more overall.

The small study looked at 75 participants, ages 18 to 30-years-old. The subjects were given either alcohol and Red Bull cocktails or vodka with a soda water. Both cocktails also contained 200 ml of a fruit drink.

All participants then filled out questionnaires regarding their urge to drink more alcohol.

The study concluded that those who drank the alcohol-energy drink combination showed an increased urge to drink more alcohol, compared with those who drank the alcohol-soda drinks.

"Based on our study, we can't be certain whether it was the caffeine or the sugary additives that made the energy drink and vodka cocktail more appealing than drinking alcohol alone," said study lead author Rebecca McKetin, a fellow with the Center for Research on Aging, Health and Well-being at the Australian National University in Canberra.

Energy drinks are consumed by a third of 18 to 24-year-olds, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Drinkers who mix alcohol with energy drinks are about three times more likely to binge-drink than those who don't.

The CDC also shows drinkers who consume alcohol with energy drinks are about twice as likely as drinkers who do not report mixing alcohol with energy drinks to say they have been taken advantage of sexually, they have taken advantage of someone else sexually and they have been in a vehicle with a driver who was under the influence of alcohol.

The study says more research is needed to understand why people want to drink more after having alcoholic energy drinks and whether it increases subsequent alcohol consumption.

For the full study, CLICK HERE.

For a fact sheet by the CDC regarding mixing alcohol with energy drinks, CLICK HERE.

Print this article Back to Top