Alcohol and Energy Drinks: A Dangerous Combination
College students are constantly looking for ways to pick themselves up from the all-night study sessions, the tedious homework assignments and the ever-popular college social life. In recent years, a growing trend among college students has been the emergence of energy drinks to help provide a stimulating boost for those long hours. Popular brands among students include Red Bull, Venom, and Adrenaline Rush. This trend has not only affected college students, but people around the world bringing with it yet another trend: mixing these popular energy boosters with alcohol at parties and bars.
By mixing energy drinks with alcoholic beverages, you are ultimately endangering your body two-fold. Most energy drinks contain an obscene amount of caffeine, which is meant to boost the immune system and send more energy to the body. According to the National Institute of Health, energy drinks can increase the heart rate and blood pressure of a person’s body, which can cause palpitations. By mixing these drinks with alcohol, people are thus increasing the chance for heart rhythm problems to occur. A misconception among students is that by combining the energy drink with alcohol, their bodies will be able to physically last for a longer period of time, allowing them to drink further into the night. In reality however, both alcohol and energy drinks cause dehydration in a person’s body and by mixing the two, the effects of dehydration become worse.
Steve Clarke, director of the College Alcohol Abuse Prevention Center says:
“Energy drinks have a lot of stimulants in them like ginseng and taurine, while alcohol is a depressant so by mixing the two you’re sending mixed messages to your nervous system which can cause cardiac related problems.”
According to the Core Institute, which is an organization that focuses primarily on college drinking habits, 159,000 of today’s college freshmen will drop of out of school after their first year because of alcohol or other drug related problems. A common phrase among many students is that after they graduate they will stop drinking and get his or her act together, but the reality is that engaging in heavy drinking all through college can have a traverse effect on becoming a full blown alcoholic later on in life.
Abusing alcohol in and of itself can be a very harmful action, but when bringing energy drinks into the mix, the danger of its effects are greatly intensified. College is meant to be the beginning to the rest of your life, so don’t let it be the end. If you or someone you know has a problem with substance abuse, get help now. It may just be the beginning you are looking for.
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