Alcohol and Energy Drinks: The Dangers of Mixing

caffeine-alcohol-energy-drinks
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
MoonshotDiscontinued
MAX VibeDiscontinued
JOOSEDiscontinued
Liquid ChargeDiscontinued
COREChanged formula
Rockstar 21Discontinued
3SUMDiscontinued
SparksChanged formula
TorqueDiscontinued
Molson KICKDiscontinued
TILTChanged Formula
Budweiser EDiscontinued
24/7Discontinued
SpykesDiscontinued
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 drink  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’s 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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  • Tim Dumoulin

    I got bad palpitations after drinking that stuff, no more!

  • Dan

    So there’s no actual health issues if you consume caffeine and alcohol together? I heard of this before, and thought there were health concerns in terms of interaction between the two drugs. You know, taking a stimulant with a stimulant/depressant. So hopefully there’s nothing wrong with Irish coffees etc., which are rather tasty. That’s the only time I really mix caffeine and alcohol, and typically wouldn’t be drinking much, if any other alcohol.

  • katiebob

    Did it all the time in my drinking days, no more issues than regular drinking but my caffeine tolerance is high. Always had good times and tastes lovely. There’s a reason people like drinking when doing cocaine…just saying. Not that I do any of that stuff anymore but the FDA reaction is unnecessary and overkill, drinking is drinking either way.

  • bobby

    I don’t know what worst, Arlt Tan saying they deserve to die or to drink energy with achool… had lots of energy and achool and im still alive… thanks though dummy..

  • il333

    I got used to those drinks and I am very frustrated that cannot find them here in Canada. I am going to mix them myself from now on. And possibly it will be much worse for health than ready-to-drink alcoenergies.

  • il333

    They don’t.

  • il333

    Lol. Why do you think that mixing alco and energy leads to death? Because somebody on TV said that? 🙂 Do you believe everything they say?

  • il333

    Looks like this is just kind of person “my way or the highway”.

  • Brooklyn

    Where in Canada? I’m in Edmonton and these are stocked up everywhere

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Last Modified: March 28, 2017