Researchers Say Red Bull Cocktails are More Dangerous than Alcohol Alone

red bull and vodkaIt’s all the rage of college campuses—Red Bull, or other highly caffeinated energy drinks, mixed with vodka or other alcohol. Personally, this sounds pretty gnarly to me! But according to a recent study by researchers at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, the problem with this concoction is not what it tastes like. Together, energy drinks combined with alcohol can be more dangerous than drinking alcohol alone—especially if you binge drink the stuff. And apparently, about one quarter of college students in the United States drink this stuff at least occasionally.

For more information on this issue, here’s an article from ABC News explaining why Red Bull is Not the Best Mixer.

So what’s the problem with energy drink cocktails? These drinks can cause two sets of problems. First, combining alcohol and caffeine in large quantities creates a chemical reaction that can cause both minor and serious health problems. Second, the combination can impair your judgment even more so than the consumption of alcohol alone. According to researchers, the hazards of energy drink cocktails include:

  • Respiratory problems, ranging from shortness of breath to more severe problems
  • Rapid heart rate, which can be life threatening if you have a known or unknown heart condition
  • Severe disorientation
  • Misjudging level of drunkenness (since you feel so alert), which can increase the likelihood of DUIs, alcohol poisoning, and risky behavior.

Something to think about, students?

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