When it's 1 a.m. at a nightclub and you need to rally to get through the next half hour of hard-core dancing, sometimes the only drink to order is a vodka Red Bull. Turns out, your magic dance floor potion may be turning you into a lush.
A recent study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research suggests drinking alcohol mixed with an energy drink can make you want to drink even more alcohol.
Researchers in Australia gave 75 participants ages 18 to 30 a vodka soda or a vodka and Red Bull Silver Edition energy drink. All of the drinks also contained a little less than a cup of some kind of fruit drink. Participants were given questionnaires regarding their urge to drink alcohol before and after they received their cocktails.
The study found the participants who drank the vodka Red Bulls showed higher ratings of liking their cocktail and wanting to drink more than the participants who drank the vodka sodas. The results did not show a significant difference in stimulation or feeling the effects of the cocktail, just a desire to want more alcohol.
According to the study, more research is needed to understand what in the cocktail is causing this effect, and whether the alcohol and energy drink combination leads to an actual increase in alcohol consumption beyond wanting another drink.