Skip to Content

Do Energy Drinks Make You Drunk Faster? (Truth)

Cans of different energy drinks
The combination of energy drinks with alcohol can be fatal for you

Energy drinks have become quite popular, and people are consuming these beverages at a gross rate. Energy drinks are harmful on their own, especially when consumed in immoderation and when combined with alcohol.

People have been using energy drinks with alcohol to give them a fizz which can increase the consumption of alcohol as energy drinks can mask the sedative effects of alcohol, making the consumers feel more alert and more focused than they would otherwise. As a result, they’re more likely to consume large doses of alcohol, making them much more impaired than they actually realize.

Combining energy drinks with alcohol has become a popular practice, especially among young people in the United States. In fact, a study of 2017 says that about 10.6% of students in grades 8, 10, and 12 and 31.8% of young adults aged 19 to 28 have been reported to be consuming energy drinks combined with alcohol at least once a year.

While energy drinks may not cloud your judgment, mixing them with alcohol can have an impact on your brain which can lead to alcohol-attributable harms.

Energy drinks are not so good either, keep on reading to find out.

Do Energy Drinks And Alcohol Kill You?

The combination of energy drinks and alcohol is much more likely to devastate your health than consumed alone.

Energy drinks are stimulants, while alcohol is a depressant, so combining them can lead to health complications that one wouldn’t want.

Energy drinks use caffeine as a stimulant which can increase your heart rate, boost alertness, and get rid of tiredness. Alcohol, on the other hand, is a depressant that can slow down your brain activity, reduce heart rate, lowers blood pressure levels, and dilate blood vessels which can lead to a blackout.

Basically, alcohol does exactly the opposite of caffeine. The stimulant effects may wear off after a few hours, but the depressive effects are likely to remain for a longer period of time, which can lead to vomiting while sleeping and respiratory depression.

Mind you, people who vomit under the influence of drugs or alcohol are at a much greater risk of choking on their own vomit, which can possibly lead to dangerous or even fatal interruption of breathing (asphyxiation).

In addition, energy drinks combined with alcohol can make people consume more alcohol, as a result, they are prone to alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol poisoning can be deadly, as it affects your heart rate, body temperature, and gag reflex which can potentially lead to a coma and even death.

Which Is Worse Energy Drinks Or Alcohol?

A man taking an energy drink from a freezer in a store
Both energy drinks and alcohol can cause dangerous side effects

Energy drinks are much more common than alcohol, while energy drinks may only cause caffeine-related side effects which may only lead to death when consumed in immoderation. Alcohol consumption, whether moderate or excessive can cause side effects that are more likely to kill you.

For instance, energy drinks can cause insomnia and anxiety among other similar side effects, alcohol consumption causes vomiting while sleeping, which can choke you can interrupt your breathing, leading to suffocation and even death.

Here’s a list of side effects linked with excessive caffeine consumption:

  • Restlessness and shakiness.
  • Insomnia.
  • Headaches.
  • Dizziness.
  • Fast heart rate.
  • Dehydration.
  • Anxiety.
  • Dependency.

And here’s a list of side effects associated with alcohol poisoning:

  • Choking: alcohol can easily cause vomiting as it depressant which impacts your gag reflex, leading to an increased risk of choking on your own vomit if you’ve blacked out.
  • Stops breathing: if you accidentally inhale your vomit into your lungs, it can cause a fatal interruption of breathing (asphyxiation), leading to suffocation and eventually death.
  • Severe dehydration: vomiting can cause severe dehydration, which can make your low blood pressure dangerously low and your heart rate extremely fast.
  • Seizures. alcohol poisoning can make your blood sugar levels drop so low that it can cause seizures.
  • Hypothermia: your body temperature may drop so low enough that it causes cardiac arrest.
  • Irregular heartbeat: alcohol is a depressant that can cause irregular heartbeat or even stop it.
  • Brain damage: Extreme alcohol consumption may cause irreversible brain damage.
  • Death. any of the complications above can lead to your death.

As you can see, excessive caffeine consumption may only lead to side effects that are less likely to kill you, however, alcohol poisoning induces side effects that are much more likely to kill you.

However, energy drinks also include large doses of sugar that often exceed the daily recommended dose and according to the research, excessive sugar intake can cause side effects which include:

  • Headaches.
  • Irritability.
  • Fatigue and difficulty concentrating.
  • Feeling jittery or anxious.
  • Feeling shaky or dizzy.
  • Hunger.
  • Bloating.

Whereas in severe cases, too much sugar can cause:

  • Higher blood pressure.
  • Inflammation.
  • Weight gain.
  • Diabetes.
  • Fatty liver disease.
  • Increased risk for heart attack and stroke.

To sum up, both energy drinks and alcohol are bad, and they can be much worse if consumed in immoderation.

Does Red Bull And Alcohol Make You More Drunk?

A can of Red Bull
Red Bull is the most dangerous energy drink, especially if consumed chronically

Red Bull is one of the most consumed energy drinks, it’s extremely popular, especially among young people, and it holds the largest market share.

There’s no denying that Red Bull has been mixed with alcohol, however, the effects of that are similar. Red Bull combined with alcohol will mask the depressant effects of alcohol and make you alert, which will lead you to consume more alcohol, and then you might end up with alcohol poisoning.

Here are the nutritional facts about Red Bull to know it better:

Red Bull 8.4 fl ozNutrients Contents
Energy110 calories
Caffeine80 mg
Fat
(Of which Saturated)
0 g
(0 g)
Carbohydrate
(Of which Sugars)
28 g
(27 g)
Sodium105 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)22 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)5 mg
Vitamin B65 mg
Vitamin B125.1 µg
Red Bull isn’t healthy whatsoever

Researchers have associated a number of side effects with chronic and immoderate Red Bull intake which include:

  • May give significant rise to blood pressure levels and heart rate.
  • Can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Can cause damage to your teeth.
  • May cause a negative effect on your kidney health.
  • May increase high-risk behavior, especially among teenagers.
  • Can cause caffeine overdose and possible toxicity.

Let’s dig deeper and learn how bad chronic and immoderate consumption of Red Bull can be.

May give significant rise to blood pressure levels and heart rate.

Blood pressure and heart rate are the two most crucial measures for heart health, and high levels have been associated with an increased risk of hypertension and heart disease.

A number of studies including healthy adults have reported that having an intake of one 12-ounce (355-ml) can of Red Bull significantly increases blood pressure and heart rate levels.

In addition, consuming Red Bull may worsen heart health and be life-threatening in people who’re suffering from pre-existing high blood pressure or heart disease.

Can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Excessive sugar consumption, especially from beverages that are sugar-sweetened, can potentially increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.

In fact, a review including adults showed that consuming 1–2 servings of sugar-sweetened beverages every day is linked with a significant 26% increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

As Red Bull is a sugar-sweetened energy drink that has about 27 g of sugar in one 8.4-ounce (260-ml) serving, consuming one or more servings every day could significantly increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Can cause damage to your teeth.

Much research suggests that having an intake of acidic beverages every day can damage your tooth enamel, which is a hard outer layer that protects your teeth against decay.

As Red Bull is an acidic energy drink and having an intake of it every day could have harmful effects on your tooth enamel.

May cause a negative effect on your kidney health.

While frequent consumption of Red Bull is unlikely to cause any serious effects on your kidney health, research suggests that chronic and excessive intake could.

A 12-week study including rats concluded that keeping a chronic consumption of Red Bull can cause a decline in kidney function.

In addition, some research suggests an association between high sugar consumption and a high risk of chronic kidney disease.

As Red Bull contains high doses of sugar, chronic and excessive intake can increase your risk.

May increase high-risk behavior, especially among teenagers.

A number of researches have shown a link between consuming Red Bull and an increase in high-risk behavior, especially when mixed with alcohol.

When Red Bull is combined with alcohol, the caffeine in Red Bull can mask the depressant effects of alcohol, making you feel less intoxicated and experiencing alcohol-related impairments at the same time, which could lead to serious consequences.

A study showed that college-aged students who consumed energy drinks like Red Bull combined with alcohol were more likely to drink and drive and end up experiencing serious alcohol-related injuries as compared to when alcohol was consumed alone.

Can cause caffeine overdose and possible toxicity.

While safe doses of caffeine vary from person to person, some research suggests limiting your caffeine intake to 400 mg per day or less in healthy adults.

As an 8.4-ounce (260-ml) can of Red Bull contains 75 mg of caffeine, consuming more than 5 cans every day may increase your risk of caffeine overdose.

Here’s a list of symptoms associated with caffeine overdose and toxicity:

  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Anxiety.
  • Rapid heart rate.
  • Dizziness.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Seizures.

Check out this video to know the opinion of a professional regarding energy drinks:

Can energy drinks cause harmful effects on your health?

Alternatives To Energy Drinks

Energy drinks can be dangerous for your health, so if you’re concerned, check out the list below:

  • Green Juice.
  • Green Tea.
  • Fruit Juice.
  • Green and Fruit Smoothies.
  • Herbal Tea.
  • Kombucha.

Conclusion

  • Energy drinks mixed with alcohol can make you get drunk faster as caffeine in energy drinks will mask the depressant effects of alcohol, which may make you more alert, making you consume more alcohol.
  • Energy drinks combined with alcohol have become a popular practice, and people often ignore the side effects that this practice can cause.
  • In my opinion, both energy drinks and alcohol are bad as they both can kill you eventually, especially when consumed immoderately and combined.
  • Red Bull and alcohol together cause the same effects that any energy drink with alcohol would, however having a chronic intake of Red Bull may cause much worse side effects.

Other Articles