Background: Consumption of alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AmED) has been associated with a variety of risks beyond that observed with alcohol alone. Consumers of AmED beverages are more likely to engage in heavy episodic (binge) drinking. This study was to investigate whether the consumption of high caffeine energy drink mixers with alcohol would increase the desire to drink alcohol compared to the same amount of alcohol alone using a double-blind, within-subjects, placebo-controlled study design. Methods: Participants (n = 26) of equal gender who were social drinkers attended 6 double-blind dose administration sessions that involved consumption of alcohol and energy drinks, alone and in combination. On each test day, participants received 1 of 6 possible doses: (i) 1.21 ml/kg vodka + 3.63 ml/kg decaffeinated soft drink, (ii) 1.21 ml/kg vodka + 3.63 ml/kg energy drink, (iii) 1.21 ml/kg vodka + 6.05 ml/kg energy drink, (iv) 3.63 ml/kg decaffeinated soft drink, (v) 3.63 ml/kg energy drink, and (vi) 6.05 ml/kg energy drink. Following dose administration, participants repeatedly completed self-reported ratings on the Desire-for-Drug questionnaire and provided breath alcohol readings. Results: Alcohol alone increased the subjective ratings of “desire for more alcohol” compared to placebo doses. Energy drink mixers with the alcohol increased desire for more alcohol ratings beyond that observed with alcohol alone. Conclusions: This study provides laboratory evidence that AmED beverages lead to greater desire to drink alcohol versus the same amount of alcohol consumed alone. The findings are consistent with results from animal studies indicating that caffeine increases the rewarding and reinforcing properties of alcohol.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research|
|State||Published - Sep 1 2016|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The project described was supported by NIH grants AA019795 and GM103436 awarded to CA Marczinski. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official view of the National Institutes of Health. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Copyright © 2016 by the Research Society on Alcoholism
- Desire to Drink
- Energy Drinks
- Social Drinkers
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Psychiatry and Mental health