With the sudden surge in caffeinated alcoholic drinks, it’s no surprise young Americans jumped on board to try them. However, mixing caffeine and alcohol has been long known to be extremely harmful and even potentially deadly when consumed in large amounts.
In fact, because the mixture of the substances is known to be so dangerous, no official studies have been conducted. Much of the data researchers have gathered has come from private interviews with college-aged individuals leaving a bar after drinking alcoholic and/or caffeinated beverages.
The popular drink, Four Loko, has been estimated to have the caffeine content of two cups of coffee and the alcohol content of at least four beers. Considering a can of Four Loko is less than 24 oz., this can pose to be extremely dangerous.
Drinking a combination of alcohol and caffeine has been proven to cause further physical and mental impairment than just consuming alcohol.
Dr. Steven Lipshultz from the University of Miami, explains caffeine as ‘an adrenaline rush’, and alcohol as ‘a depressant that slows brain functioning’. However, the effects are not canceled out when the two substances are mixed.
Experts explain caffeine has long been known to slow the effects of feeling drunk, causing additional consumption, likely beyond the limits of the individual.
One can of Four Loko contains nearly five times the alcohol and caffeine of a vodka and Red Bull.