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Can energy drinks make you sober? (Answered)

While being a regular consumer of energy drinks, different questions may arise in our minds regarding their benefits and consequences. Although they facilitate you with a large number of benefits still there are some consequences associated with them as well.

Energy drinks are a popular choice for people who want to stay awake or feel more alert. The caffeine in them is thought to be good for your health, but many people use them as a “pick-me-up” after drinking alcohol.

Young people often mix them with alcohol at parties. Which can be dangerous and it won’t help you sober up either. So let’s find out if energy drinks can make you sober!

Energy drinks
Energy drinks

A quick answer: No energy drinks do not make you sober, they just give you a sense of false sobriety. In fact, Caffeine plus alcohol might actually cause you to consume more booze.

However, doing so might have disastrous repercussions.

Ingredients in Energy Drinks

Some of the common ingredients in energy drinks include:

Ingredients Function
Caffeineis a stimulant and can make you feel awake and alert.
Sugaris a source of energy and also Increases the Palatability of energy drinks.
TaurineTaurine is an amino acid that has been shown to improve athletic performance by increasing endurance levels.
GinsengImproves physical performance
GuaranaGuarana seeds contain high levels of caffeine which act as a stimulant.
B vitaminshelp convert carbohydrates into glucose for energy production while they also support healthy skin and hair growth as well as maintain proper nerve function throughout your body.
L-Carnitineconverts fat into energy.
Glucuronolactoneboosts mental clarity by balancing blood sugar levels in the body.
Ingredients in energy drinks

Caffeine in energy drinks

Caffeine is the main ingredient in energy drinks, and it’s a stimulant, which means it stimulates the brain and neurological system.

It also stimulates the circulation of hormones in the body such as cortisol and adrenaline. Caffeine, in little dosages, can help you feel energized and alert.

In fact, it is reported that caffeine might even help reduce the risk for certain diseases such as Parkinson’s.

Some people are more sensitive than others when it comes to caffeine. Some people feel jittery or nervous after drinking coffee or energy drinks; others don’t experience any side effects at all!

Drinking too much caffeine on its own (more than 500 milligrams) could cause heart problems or seizures. Caffeine overdose is rare but possible when consuming large amounts of caffeine at once—or if someone with a preexisting health condition ingests an unsafe amount of either substance on its own.

It is advised by the FDA to only limit your caffeine intake to only 400 milligrams a day. If you drink more than that you may face:

  • Jitters
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dehydration and frequent urination
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Hypertension

Calories in energy drinks

The calorie content of energy drinks is vastly different from alcohol. While beer might have 150 calories or more, many energy drinks contain less than 50 calories to up to 100 calories per serving.

But this doesn’t mean that energy drinks are an alternative to alcohol.

These calories may seem small for a 2000-calorie diet. But they may add to your body weight if consumed 3-4 cans regularly.

The intake of energy drinks increases the likelihood of obesity. Energy drinks are typically heavy in sugar, which contributes to tooth damage, as well as calories, which lead to weight gain and obesity.

Why do individuals combine Energy drinks and Alcohol?

Man putting alcohol in two glasses
Man pouring alcohol

The combination of energy drinks and alcohol is becoming quite famous among youth as the “perfect combo”. It contains Caffeine ( a high-pressure CNS stimulant) and Alcohol (A low-pressure CNS depressant). The young generation loves this combination because:

  • It symbolizes risk-taking, independence, and experimentation.
  • They enjoy the flavor of the combination
  • To mask the taste of alcohol by mixing it with energy drinks
  • To give the impression that they can consume more alcohol by drinking both at the same time
  • They believe it will help them prevent a hangover.

Hazards of mixing alcohol and energy drinks

Mixing alcohol and energy drinks is a dangerous combination.

A study found that people who drank an energy drink before consuming alcohol were able to consume more drinks before they were as intoxicated as those who had just consumed the same amount of alcohol without an energy drink beforehand. And it gets worse!

Another research found that consuming a caffeine-containing beverage before drinking increases your risk of injury from falling by 80%.

Can caffeine help you become sober after drinking alcohol?

Alcohol brand
Alcohol

Caffeine has a similar effect on the body as alcohol, making you feel stimulated and alert. But even though caffeine may be able to help keep you awake and alert after drinking alcohol, it’s not going to sober you up.

If your goal is to stay awake so that you can drive home safely, then It is strictly not recommended.  Taking caffeine won’t improve your chances of performing well at work or school the next day since it doesn’t actually get rid of any alcohol from your system.

Side effects of mixing alcohol with energy drinks

Energy drinks are not regulated or evaluated by the FDA. Although, they have been on the market long enough for health regulators to collect data on their safety, have recently come under examination due to many fatalities and major concerns.

So, do the advantages of energy drinks outweigh the disadvantages?

Caffeine in energy drinks masks alcohol’s depressive effects on the drinker. This makes the drinker more alert than they would be otherwise. Hence people consume more alcohol than they should and become “wide-awake drunks”, this raises the risk of alcohol-related problems.

Caffeine has no impact on the liver’s metabolism of alcohol, hence it does not affect reducing breath or blood alcohol concentrations (it does not “sober you up”) or reducing impairment caused by alcohol use.

Alcohol poisoning

Since coffee helps you feel awake, you may be more at risk of alcohol poisoning if you overdose.

An alcohol overdose occurs when you consume far more alcohol than you can manage. If you consume more than the recommended amount (1 drink for women and 2 drinks for men), specific parts of your brain become inactive.

When you or a loved one exhibits indications of an alcohol overdose, it is critical to seek emergency medical attention:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting.
  • Headache.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Sleep disturbances (such as insomnia)
  • Anxiety and panic attacks.
  • Irritability, anger, or aggression towards others.
  • Depression in some people who drink large quantities of caffeine regularly.

Higher risk of abusing alcohol

The more you consume alcohol+enrgy drinks the more likely it is that you will Binge drink. Binge drinking is consuming 4-5 drinks in less than 2 hours.

Alcohol addiction

If you take alcohol and caffeine together regularly, you are more likely to develop an alcohol dependency.

The more frequently you binge drink, the more likely you are to develop alcohol addiction or dependency. This risk increases if a person has a family history of alcoholism.

Another possible side effect is alcoholism. It implies your body has become so used to the presence of alcohol that it needs it to operate.

Alcohol use disorder is defined as the continuing use of alcohol even though it causes major issues in your life. These issues might include:

  • health issues
  • Interpersonal issues
  • Incapacity to complete commitments.

Can energy drinks make you sober?

Energy drinks from the store can’t sober you up and they can be dangerous when mixed with alcohol.

Caffeine does not influence your body’s alcohol metabolism. Caffeine mixed with alcohol or consumed the morning after drinking will not diminish the levels of alcohol in your breath or blood.

It depends on a lot of factors and your body is unique, so it’s hard to say. Most likely, the answer is no but many people swear that energy drinks can help them feel better after drinking alcohol. The truth is that there’s no scientific evidence that supports this claim.

Caffeine will make you more awake with a hangover, but it will not make you sober.

Conclusion

  • Energy drinks can’t sober you up and they can be dangerous when mixed with alcohol.
  • Caffeine in energy drinks does not help in metabolizing the alcohol.
  • Caffeine masks the depressive effects of alcohol that makes you feel less drunk.
  • Energy drinks mixed with alcohol can lead you to consume more alcohol.

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