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Alcohol and Energy Drinks

  • Energy drinks are beverages that typically contain caffeine, other plant-based stimulants, simple sugars, and other additives.
  • When alcoholic beverages are mixed with energy drinks, the caffeine in these drinks can mask the depressant effects of alcohol. At the same time, caffeine has no effect on the metabolism of alcohol by the liver and thus does not reduce breath alcohol concentrations or reduce the risk of alcohol-attributable harms.
  • Drinkers who consume alcohol mixed with energy drinks are 3 times more likely to binge drink (based on breath alcohol levels) than drinkers who do not report mixing alcohol with energy drinks.
  • Drinkers who consume alcohol with energy drinks are about twice as likely as drinkers who do not report mixing alcohol with energy drinks to report being taken advantage of sexually, to report taking advantage of someone else sexually, and to report riding with a driver who was under the influence of alcohol.

Information from the CDC