Why do we like energy drinks?
Young people like energy drinks for the same reason they like coffee: for their stimulant effect.
But beware! Both energy drinks and coffee contain caffeine. Except that you’ll feel the impact of the caffeine in an energy drink much more quickly than the caffeine in coffee.
Why? Because energy drinks are packed for quick consumption: you drink them cold and down them in a few swallows, whereas coffee is usually served hot and sipped more slowly.
And watch out! Not all energy drinks have the same amount of caffeine. Some brands contain as much as 500 mg, or the equivalent of 6 cups of coffee! All by themselves, without alcohol, such drinks can be dangerous because they increase the risk of caffeine poisoning, which is all the more likely in young people, whose bodies are less used to caffeine and less tolerant of its effects.
WHAT ABOUT THE BULL THING? IS IT TRUE?
Of course not! It’s just an urban legend. Energy drinks do not contain bull sperm or bull urine. On the other hand, energy drinks do contain taurine and glucuronolactone.
What is that, exactly?
Simply put, it’s an amino acid found in ox bile (there’s that bull again) and now being manufactured synthetically.
Despite its fancy name, glucuronolactone is just an ordinary chemical compound produced naturally in the human liver when glucose is metabolized. It is thought to help combat fatigue.
Everyone drinks them!
Easy now, maybe not everyone. But a good third (34%) of people 18-34 drink energy drinks regularly. They say it gives them a boost and helps them stay awake. People drink them here, there and everywhere, often at parties and raves, in bars and at clubs. And when people go to a club to dance and party, they don’t want to stay for half an hour, they want to keep going all night. Energy drinks help them achieve that goal.
Adding alcohol to an energy drink
Apparently, it’s not all that unusual for people to add alcohol to their energy drinks. According to one Italian study, nearly half (48.5%) of those who drink energy drinks combine them with alcohol.
Can you overdo it?
Is it dangerous?
Yes and no.
No, mixing alcohol with an energy drink is not dangerous in itself, provided you drink a reasonable amount.
Yes, because it’s easy to drink a lot, which means you end up drinking too much. Obviously, when you drink too much alcohol+energy drink, you’re drinking too much alcohol!
And drinking too much alcohol is definitely DANGEROUS.
You should be extremely careful when purchasing energy drinks, because some are already premixed with alcohol. That means you may inadvertently end up mixing alcohol with your energy drink, even if you had no intention of doing so. Also, some companies that produce this new kind of alcoholic beverage are packaging them to look like the non-alcoholic versions. This can be confusing and mislead you, your parents, and even the employees in the stores where both types of energy drinks are sold.