The popularity of energy drinks seems to be increasing on an exponential level. If you are in doubt, you only need to visit your local grocery store or even the corner convenience store to see the expansive line of energy drink selections. But as with almost anything that the general consumer can buy over the counter, if it doesn’t have a prescription label on it, they make the false assumption that it is completely safe. This misperception has been extended as people are combining energy drinks and alcohol and creating deadly cocktails that led to higher injury risk rates.
In studies conducted from 2008 through 2015, ten of the studies related to those individuals that consumed energy drinks and alcohol combined. These individuals had a higher risk of getting injured when compared to those that drank only the energy drinks or only alcohol. While the risks ranged, the most common seemed to be motor vehicle accidents, injuries such as falling while intoxicated, and injuries from fights.
It is believed that the caffeine that is contained in the energy drinks themselves may hide the effects that alcohol has on the body. University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada research assistant, Audra Roemer stated: “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.”
However, it must be noted that even though the studies were done over a period of years, more research is needed to encompass a broader perspective and larger demographics. Some of the studies have resulted in a potential of another factor for injury for those that combine energy drinks and alcohol. Researchers are interested in incorporating factors such as those people that are more likely to be risk-takers or impulsive may experience an elevated state of those tendencies which then contributes to their injuries. Another potential variable that is very important relates to the age groups and gender of those that drink the combinations. All of the data from more research will need to be collected and pooled to see what levels of risk as well as injury potentials.
Some of the plans for additional research will involve getting data from hospital emergency rooms and emergency clinics to correlate to see if there is a link between consuming energy drinks and alcohol.
For now, people within the medical communities are advising all patients of the higher risk factor and potential dangers of combining the consumption of alcohol and the energy drinks that have hit a high in popularity. It is hoped that this information will be shared within the school systems, especially high schools, colleges and universities. The more that the dangers can be exposed, the lower the potential for accidents and injuries.