Alcohol and Energy Drinks: The Dangers of Mixing

Alcohol energy drink RTD’s are almost impossible to find these days since, for the most part, they have been forced off the market by the FDA and other governing bodies.

They originally became popular in the second half of the last decade, but by 2010 warning letters were sent out by the FDA and these alcohol and caffeine beverages began to disappear.

Some have simply changed their formulation to no longer contain caffeine such as Four Loko, while others have ceased production.

Caffeine and alcohol RTD beverages may still be available in some other countries, but they are pretty much non-existant in the USA.

Alcohol and Caffeine Based Drinks

Alcoholic Energy Drink NameStatus
Four LokoChanged formula
MAX VibeDiscontinued
Liquid ChargeDiscontinued
COREChanged formula
Rockstar 21Discontinued
SparksChanged formula
Molson KICKDiscontinued
TILTChanged Formula
Budweiser EDiscontinued
Mate Vesa (yerba mate beer)Available
3 A.M. Vodka (Vodka, caffeine, taurine, guarana)Available

As you can see from the above list, alcohol/energy drink hybrids are pretty much a thing from the past. The only way you will find a beverage that has alcohol and caffeine combined RTD is if you choose a craft beer. Mate Vesa is one such beer made with yerba mate for natural caffeine.

Other craft beers are made with coffee and would also have small amounts of caffeine. These would be far from being called energy drinks, though, and do not have to follow the guidelines set forth by the FDA.

Mixed Drinks Using Alcohol and Energy Drinks Dangers

vodka-redbullRed bull’s claim to fame was not because of those seeking a pure caffeine rush, but rather their ingenious marketing to the bar tending industry.

Vodka Red Bull quickly became the go to cocktail among party goers who wanted to be able to party longer and since then, there have been all kinds of drinks invented with other energy drinkĀ  brands trying to get their piece of the pie.

A study out of Wake Forest Medical Center has been looking into this energy drink mixed with alcohol fad in order to see what negative effects it has created. The study revealed the following;

  • Students who drank the mix were likely to become more intoxicated and become intoxicated twice as often.
  • Students were twice as likely to be injured on this concoction.
  • They were twice as likely to ride with a drunken driver.
  • They were also twice as likely to be taken advantage of sexually or take advantage of someone else.

The researchers believe that the high doses of caffeine mask your body’s natural ways of letting you know you’ve consumed too much alcohol, therefore, people tend to drink way more than they should.

Another research study out of Australia also found that mixing caffeine with alcohol gives people the urge to drink more than those who drink just straight alcohol. This can lead to over-intoxication and risk for alcohol poisoning.

Mixing energy drinks with alcohol also leads to increase rates of drunk driving.

A recent study found that of those who consumed both caffeine and alcohol were more likely to still get behind the wheel than those who just consumed alcohol alone. Those that combine also were more likely to ride as a passenger with someone who was drunk.

Cases of teen alcohol abuse are bad enough, but incidents of teens mixing alcohol and other stimulants such as energy drinks make things worse.

This really was clever marketing on Red Bull’s behalf and I can see why the alcohol industry was quick to embrace it. If you can somehow bypass the body’sĀ natural defense mechanisms concerning alcohol tolerance, then you can increase your bar sales by almost double.

Caffeine and Hard Liquor a New Trend?

Recently it has come to our attention that some hard liquors are now being infused with caffeine. One such product has been added above; 3 A.M. Vodka, which is a soybean vodka infused with caffeine, taurine, and guarana.

It will be interesting to see how long this type of alcohol and energy hybrid will avoid FDA scrutiny.

No Alcohol and Caffeine Drinks in Database

Here at Caffeine Informer headquarters we made a deliberate decision – some time ago – to exclude caffeinated alcoholic drinks from the caffeine database. This is a site about energy… and alcohol is a depressant.

The term “alcoholic energy drink” is an oxymoron. There is a large body of research showing that drunk person plus caffeine still equals drunk person. So, hey, we’re just not going there – okay?

Do you know of any alcoholic energy drinks still on the market in the USA? If so tell us about them in the comments below.

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  • erage4truth

    Sparks, Tilt, and another one called Jungle Joose that is not on this list are not banned at least not around me. You can still get them in Ohio and WV so it must be a state thing if they are banned where you live. I’ve seen them

  • Jessica

    Sparks hasnt been banned. I buy them all the time. They’re great to get a buzz.

  • bob

    Sparks is still around but the Caffeine has been removed. Yes you can still get it but now it is just a malt beverage and not an energy drink. Joose, Four, Maxx and some others still have caffeine though

  • Sam

    lol four fours will put you on the floor. unless you’re weak and cant handle even half a can. im a female&can drink at least 2 1/2 and be good for the night. after the second one you cant even taste it anymore. yeah they’re not the greatest, but they get the job done asap. &they’re the cheapest thing out there.

  • Becca

    Thank you for listing these. My mother is a teacher, and I have to say those Rockstar 21s look a lot like regular energy drinks. Lately the local schools have been making rules against having energy drinks in class because some kids guzzle them like crazy and get hyper off the stuff, but some kids bring them to class anyway, and it would be really easy for students to sneak some of these right past the teachers if the teachers didn’t know what to look for.

  • bob

    Becca they don’t make Rockstar 21 anymore so that should not be a problem. All the others clearly lable their cans with the % of Alcohol on them. It’s pretty easy to see. To top it off most are in 24 oz cans and only a few regular energy drinks come in 24 oz cans

  • Anonymous

    TO MR. COOK…your last comment was “Ladies…if you would keep quiet you wouldn’t get hit either.” I am totally tripping on the fact that you even typed that comment. It’s idiots like you who probably hit women that make things worse for the DECENT men in the world that DON’T hit women. If your woman is saying things you don’t like then just leave – divorce her, or break up with her whatever the case may be. Hitting is not an option – and I hope if you DO hit a woman that she puts your slimy butt in jail. I don’t even give a crap about alcohol energy drinks – I personally think we should be able to make our own choice about what we drink. The issue is what people do AFTER they drink. Stay home. Don’t drive. If ppl did that we wouldn’t even need this forum.

  • bob

    Sparks and Tilt are still available to buy. They just removed the caffeine. I have seen them showing up in the big cans now. looks like they made the right move to remove the caffeine a while back. Now they are ahead of the curve.

  • MikeHunt

    I saw a commerical for the ban, and it had a lady giving kids energy drinks. well the lady didnt know they had alcohol in them. how dumb are people if they cant figure out the energy drinks by the beer have alcohol in them. it says it right on it too.

  • Dudess!! Tilt hasnt been dicontinued, i drank like 4 last night with my friends(:

  • rachel

    when did they stop making rock star 21’s

  • rachel


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  • Anon

    Where’s Joose?

  • Brittany

    -cough- Four Loko. -cough-

  • kacy

    four loko,,, yum! i luv the orange one,, me and all my friends drink it ahhh good times nd were still in middle school,,,, craxy shit

  • Claudia

    Awesome posts.Thanks for posting the lists of alcoholic drinks for me to aware which energy drinks harm to our body and mind.

  • john blalock.

    These drinks were aimed at people who have had strokes and can’t drink regular alcohal.

  • ted

    LOL I hardly think that’s their target audience!

  • Carol

    A guy I know got violated on his probation for drinking some kind of energy drink with alcohol in it. He said he didn’t drink any yet, but had one in his hand and two in his pocket and off to jail he went. Oh well…

Last Modified: March 28, 2017