Skip to Content

Energy Drinks Vs. Alcohol (Which Should You Drink?)

It’s uncommon to confuse energy drinks and alcohol with each other.

However, considering the modern formulations and somewhat unfamiliar ingredients of beverages, it’s easy to mistake some brands with each other. This is most especially now where some energy drinks contain alcohol and vice versa.

As an energy drink enthusiast and an occasional alcohol drinker myself, I believe that both beverages are the complete opposite. This topic is something that I want other people to be acquainted with, especially since I got to know the dangers of taking caffeine, alcohol, and even both at the same time.

To help with your research, I compiled everything you need to know in this article.

Let’s start…

What Is In Energy Drinks?

Energy drinks mainly consists of stimulants like caffeine and amino acids.

Boxes of Monster Energy Drinks on a shelf
Monster is one of the most popular energy drinks.

More often than not, canned energy drinks like Monster and Red Bull have:

  • Caffeine
  • Amino Acids like Taurine
  • Electrolytes
  • Vitamins
  • Sugar/Artificial Sweeteners
  • Plant Extracts

Energy drinks in powder form usually have better and healthier offers since they offer more than just a good set of B complex. Others also have specialized nootropics to have an equally good boost in mental performance.

Unless otherwise stated, you can also expect energy drinks to be mostly vegan and gluten-free, a big plus for those following special diets. There are also ketogenic-friendly ones, but it’s a more uncommon variant.

What Is In Alcohol?

Alcoholic beverages primarily has depressants, which are ethanol and alcohol itself.

A collection of hard liquor
Alcoholic beverages are usually made up of alcohol and compounds.

Contrary to stimulant-infused energy drinks, alcohols are more depressants. This applies to any liquor type, whether it be beer, wine, gin, or complex variants.

For reference, here is a list of the most common ingredients in alcoholic beverages:

  • Ethanol
  • Fuel Alcohols
  • Organic Acids
  • Carbonyl Compounds
  • Sugar
  • Sulfur Compounds

Alcohols also come in liquid form only. It’s improbable that you find a powdered version of it, especially considering building foundations.

What Will Happen If You Have Energy Drinks?

Having energy drinks will make you feel more energized, both in terms of physical and mental aspects.

As you may have already known, drinking energy drinks means having increased energy levels. Again, this is because of its caffeine and other present stimulants (if no caffeine is used).

Similarly, you can also expect these benefits:

  • Improved Concentration
  • Lower Fatigue Levels
  • Increased Alertness
  • Longer Physical Endurance
  • Overall Better Performance

Of course, keep in mind that although energy drinks work, having too much of them can still overturn its claimed pros. Make sure that you stick to only one serving at most to avoid complications like:

  • Sleeping Issues
  • Heart Problems (Arrhythmia, High Blood Pressure, Afib)
  • Digestive Issues
  • Caffeine Dependence
  • Aggravated Anxiousness

Pregnant and lactating womenchildren under 18, and people with existing health issues should also avoid energy drinks despite the benefits offered.

What Will Happen If You Drink Alcohol?

Drinking even a moderate amount of alcohol can make you mentally unstable temporarily.

Hand pouring alcohol on a glass
Alcohol can make you drowsy after a few drinks.

Realistically, you won’t get any health or physical benefits from drinking alcohol aside from the liberating feeling that comes with it.

Here is an overview of what may happen if you drink liquor:

  • Emotional Instability
  • Drowsiness
  • Mood Swings
  • Bloating
  • Loss of Balance and Clear Vision

Note, though, that these are also short-term effects like energy drinks. Long-term ones can be worse and can include:

  • Alcohol Dependence and Addiction
  • Increased Risks of Kidney and Liver Diseases
  • Weight Gain
  • Decreased Quality of Coordination
  • Cognitive Issues

If you don’t want to go through the adverse effects said above, you have to be keen on the number of alcohol servings and how often you have them. Better yet, you should avoid drinking it while it’s still early. Addiction is much more prominent in this beverage type.

When Should You Have Energy Drinks?

It’s best to have energy drinks 20 to 30 minutes before your physical or mental activity.

Person lifting barbells
Energy drinks are best drunk before an activity.

You will be able to make the most out of energy drinks if you have them some time, preferably 20 to 30 minutes, before your activity. It can be a part of your workout routine, long study sesh, or upcoming sports game. Nevertheless, the time as to when you have it will play a significant role in its effectiveness.

I also recommend having energy drinks only if needed. If you don’t need an energy boost, then having this will be pointless. Opt for other refreshments like tea or soft drink if so.

Moreover, drinking this before you plan on sleeping will only open more cons. If you don’t want to go through tedious stages in insomnia and other sleeping issues, then avoid energy drinks at all costs.

When Should You Have Alcohol?

There is no right time to have alcohol in your system, but it’s best if you only have this during special occasions.

People having a party
Alcohol is usually drunk at parties.

Parties, reunions, gatherings, and simple celebratory events are everyday occurrences where people have alcohol. Some drink liquor for no reason, but the former stays a viable option if you’re looking for the “best” time to have it.

There is also a study that any time past 6 pm is also a good option if you plan on drinking.

However, as I said a while ago, there is no right time to drink alcohol since it isn’t necessary. It doesn’t contribute to a healthy fluid intake or the overall body performance. Because of this, the said time only depends on when it won’t harm your hangover or weight.

Pros And Cons Of Energy Drinks

If you’re a beginner in energy drinks, here are the pros and cons that you should be aware of:

Pros

First, the pros are:

  • It comes in diverse variations (sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan, caffeine-free, calorie-free, etc.).
  • Taking ideal servings comes with mental and physical improvements.
  • Energy drinks can aid in muscle recovery.
  • Benefits are guaranteed as long as healthy adults take them.
  • There are specific regulations that you can follow to avoid overconsumption.

Cons

Below are the cons:

  • Energy drinks are linked to sleeping problems.
  • People with low caffeine tolerance can experience many side effects even in tiny servings.
  • Constant overconsumption of energy drinks can lead to addiction.
  • Caffeine can be a sensitive ingredient to many people.
  • Drinking energy drinks can cause fluctuations in blood pressure.

Pros And Cons Of Alcohol

Of course, alcohol also comes with its fair share of pros and cons. Below is an overview that you can refer to.

Pros

Here is a list of the pros of drinking alcohol moderately:

  • You will be able to feel liberated in terms of expressing emotions.
  • Occasional alcohol drinking is proven to lower risks of heart diseases.
  • Alcohol can be a quick remedy to common cold.
  • Moderate servings of alcohol can regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Having balanced alcohol in your system can improve your eating habits.

Cons

The cons are much more prominent when it comes to alcoholic beverages. See the following:

  • Alcohol addiction can be a serious issue, no matter the age.
  • Skin deterioration is a sure disadvantage of drinking alcohol.
  • Alcohol has high amounts of sugar, carbohydrates, and calories, which can cause unhealthy weight gain.
  • Alcohol is one of the critical reasons behind several crimes.
  • In worst cases, constantly having too much alcohol in the body can cause cancer.

Can You Mix Energy Drinks And Alcohol?

You can’t and shouldn’t mix energy drinks and alcohol, no matter the reason.

Hand pouring alcohol on shot glasses
Don’t mix energy drinks and alcohol together.

I have witnessed people mixing energy drinks and alcoholic beverages just for fun. Although the taste undoubtedly improved, I haven’t seen one end good.

This isn’t even based on simple alcoholic troubles. Science-backed studies have proven that this solution can worsen as much as permanent mental impairment.

In a nutshell, the study said that adding stimulants, like the energy drink’s caffeine, in alcohol (which is supposed to be a depressant) can make the drinker more aware of their surroundings rather than drowsy once again the tolerance is reached. This is a bad thing because it creates an illusion that the body can take more when it is already overpowered by alcohol.

Ultimately, the drinker loses control of their intake, which can cause severe mental and physical issues.

Here is a video regarding the effects of both energy drinks and alcohol on a person’s body that will help you understand the concept:

Effects of Energy Drinks and Alcohol on the Body

Best Energy Drinks To Consider

Here are some of my recommendations if you’re looking for a good energy drink to consider:

Conclusion

There is no healthy option between energy drinks and alcohol, but the former is a clear choice if you need to choose anyway.

Energy drinks and alcohols are complete opposites in the beverage world.

The first one is a stimulant, which boosts your body’s energy levels. On the flip side, the second one is a depressant, which shuts your body down for more activity.

Hence, it would be best to depend on your purpose when choosing the right drink to have.

Health-wise, you will benefit more from energy drinks because of their vitamins and other health supplements. Moderate intake of this drink type will be good if you have an active lifestyle. On the other hand, alcohol can be dangerous even if you stick to moderate servings.

I recommend consulting a professional before drinking either to ensure that you won’t incur serious health risks in just one drink.

Related Articles