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All my “let me get a Vodka & Red bull, please” drinkers! I (Rodigga) personally don’t drink but have always pondered the combination of mixing liquor and caffeinated drinks at the bar! Maybe you really are trying to kick it ALL night long! LOL Well check out this post on Caffeine & Alcohol – it might not be all that it’s cranked up to be and you might want to just stick to the vodka & cranberry! I’m just sayin’…

Caffeine and Alcohol: A New Fad With a Bad Buzz

Red Bull, Rock Star, Jolt, Monster, Amp — heard of these beverages? As the summer sun blazes, and late night parties abound, there are a lot of sleepy folks out there reaching for energy boosting drinks to get through the day. And if that was not enough caffeine for you, when it’s time to hit the bar scene, move over Carrie Bradshaw and the girlie Cosmo — the beverage of choice at local hot spots is blending high caffeinated drinks like Red Bull with vodka. The common belief is that “You can dance all night on Red Bull cocktails.”

Red bull is a heavily caffeinated energy drink spiked with additional stimulants, and when mixed with vodka or other liquor, it can diminish the awareness of drowsiness, feelings of un-coordination and intoxication. However, studies show the added caffeine only makes you think you are more in control. A new breed of high caffeine and high alcohol drinks are now on the market, like Joose and Four Loko, with double the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee, and double the amount of alcohol as a beer. The drinks are currently being outlawed in Europe for kids under 12. There is no legal age limit to purchasing energy drinks, and about 30 percen of 12- to 17-year-olds admit to regular use.

This week, New York Sen. Charles Schumer is urging the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the marketing of flavored alcoholic beverages with caffeine that appear to be explicitly designed to attract underage drinkers. In a letter to FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, Senator Schumer said that the colorful cans of new drinks like Joose are designed to befuddle parents and police with labels that resemble nonalcoholic energy drinks, and use very small print to disclose alcohol content of up to 12 percent.

Researchers in Brazil examined the motor skills performance of people who had drank an equivalent amount of alcohol, but half had drank it with red bull mixers, and the other half with non stimulant mixers. The group that drank the red bull cocktails self-reported feeling less drunk on a number of measures than the non red bull drinking group, but when tested on motor skills performance, and other quantitative measures of intoxication, performed equally badly.

Last November, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration notified more than two dozen manufacturers of caffeinated alcoholic beverages that it has never specifically approved the addition of caffeine to alcoholic drinks and began studying whether it is unsafe and should be outlawed. The agency noted the mix’s growing popularity among up to 26 percent of college students and its potential health and safety issues. They included a Wake Forest University study that students who combine caffeine and alcohol are likelier to suffer alcohol-related injuries than those drinking alcohol without caffeine.

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