Clubgoers and their trendy cocktails: Implications of mixing caffeine into alcohol on information processing and subjective reports of intoxication

Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0044, USA.
Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology (Impact Factor: 2.71). 12/2006; 14(4):450-8. DOI: 10.1037/1064-1297.14.4.450
Source: PubMed


Alcoholic drink preferences in college students have made an interesting shift recently, with trends in consumption leaning toward caffeinated alcohol in various forms (e.g., Red Bull and vodka or caffeinated beers such as Anheuser-Busch's B-to-the-E). Despite the dramatic rise in popularity of these beverages, little research has examined the combined effects of alcohol and caffeine, which is problematic for adequately informing the public about the risk or lack thereof of these drinks. The purpose of this study was to directly investigate the acute effects of alcohol and caffeine, alone and in combination, on well-validated measures of cognitive performance and subjective intoxication in social drinkers. Participants (N = 12) performed a psychological refractory period task that measured dual-task interference as the prolonged reaction time to complete the 2nd of 2 tasks performed in close temporal sequence. Performance was tested under 2 active doses and 1 placebo dose of caffeine (0.0 mg/kg, 2.0 mg/kg, and 4.0 mg/kg) in combination with 1 active dose and 1 placebo dose of alcohol (0.0 g/kg and 0.65 g/kg). As expected, alcohol impaired task performance by increasing dual-task interference and increasing errors. The coadministration of caffeine counteracted the effects of alcohol on interference but had no effect on the degree to which alcohol increased errors. Subjective measures of intoxication showed that coadministration of caffeine with alcohol reduced participants' perceptions of alcohol intoxication compared with administration of alcohol alone. The results highlight the complexity of drug interactions between alcohol and caffeine.

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    • "Importantly, no differences were observed in actual impairment in motor coordination or reaction time resulting from intoxication [18]. In a second study, participants consuming alcohol with energy drinks reported lower subjective intoxication compared with alcohol-only participants, and caffeine counteracted some cognitive effects of alcohol (e.g., response speed) but not others (e.g., response accuracy), showing the complexity of the drug interaction [19]. A third study concluded that consuming alcohol with energy drinks led to more impairment in behavioral inhibition, although response activation was not as impaired as in the alcohol-only condition [1]. "

    Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs 03/2015; 76(2):346-7. DOI:10.15288/jsad.2015.76.346 · 2.76 Impact Factor
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    • "Chez l'homme, des travaux ont démontré que la caféine contenue dans les boissons énergisantes diminuait les effets subjectifs de l'ivresse, sans réduire les mesures objectives des effets de l'alcool au niveau moteur ou du temps de réaction. Ainsi, la caféine pourrait non seulement modifier les effets renforçant de l'alcool, mais aussi réduire la sensation d'ivresse et donc potentialiser les effets de désinhibition, et faciliter ainsi l'abus d'alcool et les comportements à risque [74]. En effet, un quart des consommateurs justifie l'ajout de Red Bull ou de Dark Dog par l'envie de boire plus d'alcool tout en retardant l'ivresse [2]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Energy drinks designate "any product in the form of a drink or concentrated liquid containing a mixture of ingredients having the property to raise the level of energy and liveliness". Their introduction has raised many reluctance and reserves after numerous cardiovascular and neurological injuries among regular consumers. This article attempts to synthesize the existing literature on energy drinks. The review focuses to show that excessive energy drinks consumption cause many complications. The literature review was conducted from 2001 to 2014, using PubMed, Google Scholar, EMBASE, and PsycInfo, using the following keywords alone or combined: energy drinks, caffeine, taurine, toxicity, dependence, complications. Occasional or moderate consumption of these cans seem to present little risk to healthy adults. However, their repeated consumption in proportions that far exceed the recommendations for recommended use by the manufacturers, combined with the use of alcohol or illicit drugs consumption increases the risk of occurrence of somatic and psychiatric complications, especially among underage, and subjects with cardiovascular and neurological history. Repeated consumption of energy drinks increases the risk of somatic and psychiatric complications. Further studies must be controlled to improve our understanding of other possible negative consequences on health. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
    La Presse Médicale 01/2015; 44(3). DOI:10.1016/j.lpm.2014.07.029 · 1.08 Impact Factor
    • "Due to the pharmacological caffeine ethanol interaction, the elevated percentages of caffeine in EDs relative to other commonly-used alcohol mixers highlight several important considerations (Ressug et al., 2009). When compared to alcohol-only ingestion, consumption of ED combined with alcohol reduces one's perceived level of intoxication (Marczinski & Fillmore, 2006), psychomotor impairment (Ferreira et al., 2006), and perceived mental fatigue (Marczinski, Filmore, Heneges, Ramsey, & Young, 2012b). It is important to note, however, that the energizing effects of ED consumption do not improve physical performance, enhance driving, sustained attention/reaction time, or reduce the effects associated with alcohol ingestion (Ferreira, de Mello, Rossi, & de Souza-Formigoni, 2004; Howland et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: The combined-use of alcohol and energy drinks is an emerging public health issue. This investigation examined group differences in drinking and driving as well as other high-risk behaviors among combined-users (CU) and students who consumed alcohol-only (AO). METHODS: College students (n=281) from a large mid-western university were surveyed to assess high-risk drinking and driving behaviors. Chi-square analyses and Mann-Whitney U tests were used to examine differences between the AO (n=174) and CU (n=107) groups. RESULTS: Combined-users were significantly more likely to drive both over the .08 blood alcohol content (BAC) driving limit (CU 53% vs. AO 38%; p=.009) and after knowing they were too drunk to drive (CU 57% vs. AO 44%; p=.025). Past 30 day differences in the number of days driven while drunk were also examined. Results indicated combined-users drove more frequently with 11.6% of combined-users driving 3-7+days while drunk compared to 2.8% of AO consumers (1-2days, AO 6.9% vs. CU 15.5%; 3-4days, 2.3% vs. 5.8%; 5-6days, 0.0% vs. 3.9%; 7+days, 0.0% vs. 1.9%). Combined-users were also more likely to choose to ride with an intoxicated driver while knowing it was unsafe (CU 56% vs. AO 35%; X2 p=.000). CONCLUSIONS: The current study suggests students who combine alcohol and energy drinks exhibit an increased likelihood to drive over the .08 BAC limit, to drive while knowingly drunk, to choose to ride with an intoxicated driver, and to drink considerably more alcohol per heavy drinking episode. Public health professionals should focus prevention and education efforts to reduce these high-risk combined-use behaviors.
    142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition 2014; 11/2014
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