The Big Q: What about Caffeinated Energy Drinks?
The Big A: Studies on energy drinks are so preliminary that there are no conclusive answers yet. But, the most intriguing suggestions are physiological.
The ingredients in the energy drinks could be affecting the brain’s dopamine release, extending the initial euphoria that accompanies rising blood-alcohol levels and suppressing the sedative-like effects when they drop. This would be in line with laboratory research carried out with other stimulants such as cocaine and cigarettes.
Studies have yet to establish whether it’s the caffeine or possibly the amino acid known as taurine that could be having an effect on the brain and resulting in these behaviors.
When alcohol is drunk combined with these energy drinks, individuals claim they feel more sober.
But, they still have a tendency to function badly on different neurocognitive tasks. Although they feel like they are not physically intoxicated, they are.
Because individuals have a tendency to drink more alcohol when combined with energy drinks it could increase the chance of participating in other risk taking behaviors, put them at risk of acute alcohol poisoning, and, in the long term, build up the kind of tolerance which may result in dependence.
It will require more research before the exact effects of alcohol and energy drink combination can be confirmed. But caution, prudence and consideration for individuals who take pleasure in the drinks in conjunction is recommended.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively
Have a Happy Christmas Week