29th April 2008

Energy Drinks + Alcohol = Be Careful!

posted in Useful Info |

Energy Drinks MixIt is not a surprise that most of us seem to be enjoying a Red Bull vodka or a Jagerbomb. However, doctors seem to have a completely different opinion. They are mostly concerned about the mix rather than the alcohol itself.

Unless you don’t follow what’s going on out there, you must have seen at least one advertisement for energy drinks. They typically contain high doses of caffeine, guarana, taurine, ginseng and various sugars, mainly to give you a boost to do whatever it is you do best. Guarana is a climbing plant that produces a bean that holds three times the amount of caffeine as a coffee bean. Taurine is an organic acid that is the major ingredient in bile, a greenish fluid secreted by the liver to aid in digestion.

It is true that almost every bar now offers energy drinks to mix with alcohol. Usually, Red Bull and vodka, some martinis, Jagerbombs, Turkeybombs, Vegasbombs and any other bomb you can think of use energy drinks as a base. Basically, you are mixing a stimulant (energy drink) with a depressant (alcohol) and you are hoping for a favorable physiological response. Hmm…

Dr. George Hacker of the of the Center for Science and the Public Interest in Washington, D.C., says this combination can be a health risk.

“It is like having one foot on the break and one foot on the gas, and that can’t be good.” he said

Hacker said countries such as Sweden and France have banned the sale of Red Bull due to the deaths of some who have consumed the drink. The makers of Red Bull deny it was the cause of death but doctors wonder if the increase in heart rate, dehydration and a possible spike in blood pressure that can occur with such a high dose of sugar and caffeine played a part.

Angie Thomas reports that restaurant manager Sara Quiroz, 26, of St. Louis, said her experience with mixing energy drinks and alcohol recently took a bad turn.

“I drink Red Bull and vodka all the time. It is one of my favorite drinks,” Quiroz said. “I never really thought much about it.”

One night after consuming three Red Bull and vodkas and a Jagerbomb, Quiroz passed out at a bar. Although her blood alcohol level was below the legal limit, she had a seisure and had to be rushed by ambulance to Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

“I don’t remember much,” Quiroz said. “When I came to, I was in an ambulance and my body would not stop jerking.”

Doctors gave her medication to relax her system and monitored her through the night.

Quiroz’s doctor told her that the spike in her blood sugar, possibly from the energy drink, contributed to her passing out and suffering from seizures.

“My doctor seemed shocked that I would drink alcohol and energy drinks,” Quiroz said. “I am on strict orders not to drink that ever again.”

bnd.com, 2008

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