Is caffeine an alcohol?

Energy drinks and alcohol - a dangerous mix!

Mixing alcohol and energy drinks is still very common. Vodka, in particular, but also other high-proof drinks are popular for mixing with energy drinks.
Surveys in Italy and the USA showed that almost 50 percent of those who like to drink energy drinks also like to mix them with alcohol or choose ready-mixed alcoholic energy drinks. If you take a closer look at the ingredients of energy drinks, it becomes clear that this mixture is not entirely harmless.

What's in the "pick-me-ups"?

The manufacturers of energy drinks promise increased performance and improved concentration. Behind the cool product names, however, there is basically a drink with simple ingredients such as water, sugar or sweetener, caffeine, taurine, flavors and colorings.
Taurine in particular is often touted as promoting performance, but there has not yet been sufficient research into how larger amounts of taurine actually work in the body. What is certain is that the body produces around 50 to 125 mg of taurine daily and that it is also involved in the digestion of fat in the body, for example.

On the other hand, the caffeine in the energy drinks in particular has a real performance-enhancing effect. The dosage is actually quite high: a standard can (250 ml) of energy drink contains 80 mg of caffeine. That's roughly the equivalent of two cups of coffee. In comparison, a can of Coke (330 ml) contains just under 50 milligrams of caffeine.

Recently, even higher doses of energy drinks have been available under the name Energy Shots. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) expressly warns against these, as they contain an even higher dose of caffeine (50 to 200 mg) or taurine (200–1000 mg) in small drinking quantities (25 ml to 75 ml).

Energy drinks are usually very sweet and, with an average of 106 grams of sugar per liter, also very high in calories. The equivalent of consuming around 90 to 120 calories in a 250 ml can of energy drink.

The energy drinks fortified with sweeteners are almost calorie-free, but do not really help you lose weight. Studies show that when you consume sweeteners, the body demands even more sweets and more fat is stored in the abdominal cavity.

What are the dangers associated with energy drinks?

Researchers assume that caffeine, taurine and other ingredients reinforce each other and thus have a harmful effect on the body. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has collected current studies on the dangers of consuming energy drinks and has come to the conclusion that energy drinks can cause cardiovascular problems, seizures and kidney failure, for example. People who already have cardiovascular problems, migraines or kidney damage should therefore avoid the "pick-me-ups" as much as possible.

Alcohol and energy drinks - why is it particularly dangerous?

The mixture of alcohol and energy drinks is dangerous for the body in two ways: On the one hand, there is a risk of health risks, such as cardiac arrhythmias, high blood pressure and dehydration of the body (dehydration of this kind can occur if you move around a lot - such as with Dance - and drink alcoholic energy drinks with it).

On the other hand, the alcohol energy drinks mask the effect of the alcohol and give you the feeling of being fit and sober, even if you are already significantly under the influence of alcohol.

Many believe that the party night can be extended with a mix of alcohol and energy drink. In fact, the dangerous mixture of alcohol, sugar and caffeine suppresses the feeling of tiredness and makes the effect of the alcohol seem smaller than it actually is.
The consequences can be serious, as an American study shows: Scientists asked 800 students at night in a pub district about their alcohol consumption and their intention to still drive. The breath alcohol content was also measured.
It found that those who drank alcoholic energy drinks drank longer and more alcohol than those who drank alcoholic beverages without energy drinks. They wanted to drive four times as often, even though they had clearly drunk too much alcohol to do so.

A previous study found that those who drank alcohol-energy drinks felt fitter and more alert, but still didn't get better results on motor and eye tests. In short: their ability to react and perceive was just as restricted by the alcohol as it was by those who had drunk alcoholic beverages without an energy mix.

The best thing to do is to avoid the deceptive effects of energy drinks with alcohol - and maybe even the non-alcoholic cocktails of “Alcohol? Know your limit. ”Try it out!


Ökotest: energy drinks;bernr=04;seite=00;co=

Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR): New human data for the evaluation of energy drinksüfung_von_energydrinks.pdf

Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR): Health risks from excessive consumption of energy shots

UF researchers: Alcohol, energy drinks add up to higher intoxication levels, increased driving risk intoxication-levels-increased-driving-risk /