If you have opened this article, it’s likely because you’re partial to the odd -insert NRG drink name- and vodka, or jäger or whatever estranged boozy concoction you have mixed up during the unholy hours of the night. And to be fair, so Have I.
But it seems there is a reason we all enjoy those bittersweet beverages so much and it’s a little frightening. According to a new study from researchers at Purdue University, the mixing of energy drinks and alcohol “has the same effect on the brain as taking cocaine.”
Some of you might be thinking, “well, obviously, it keeps me going at 2am when I’ve hit the wall but don’t wanna call it quits”. But did you stop to think about why this happened?
The researchers used lab mice to conduct their study, testing the reactions of the mice when given cocaine and when given an alcohol energy drink. As FirstWeFeast have reported, “Not only did the mice behave similarly after consuming both cocaine and the caffeine-infused liquor, apparently the concoction can also cause permanent damage by creating a protein called FosB—an indicator of long-term changes in brain chemistry.”
Speaking on the study with the Sun, Dr. Richard van Rijn said “It seems the two substances (high energy drinks and alcohol) together push them over a limit that causes changes in their behavior and changes the neurochemistry in their brains… We’re clearly seeing effects of the combined drinks that we would not see if drinking one or the other.”
To make matters worse, the study also revealed that the mice that were given alcohol were less sensitive to cocaine, with the effects of the popular party drug having lesser effect as they got older.
“Mice that had been exposed to alcohol and caffeine were somewhat numb to the rewarding effects of cocaine as adults,” Dr. van Rijn said. “Mice that were exposed to highly caffeinated alcoholic drinks later found cocaine wasn’t as pleasurable. They may then use more cocaine to get the same effect.”
Be careful what you drink!