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Warning issued to people mixing alcohol with energy drinks on St Patrick's Day

Warning issued to people mixing alcohol with energy drinks on St Patrick's Day

Be careful what you're ordering at the bar while painting the town green

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are in full swing, which means bartenders are being worked to the bone and people hosting their own parties have been googling green cocktail recipes all week.

Maybe you're firing down pints of Guinness chased with a shot of Jameson whiskey, or sipping on an Irish coffee to raise a glass to the patron saint - but whatever you're gulping down, let's hope it doesn't involve an energy drink.

Although people often reckon they're killing two birds with one stone by having a booze and getting a boost in stamina, researchers have warned that this is a 'high-risk drinking practice'.

So if you're painting the town green for St. Patrick’s Day, experts advise that you should steer clear of mixing alcohol with stimulating beverages.

A group of researchers from the Department of Psychology at Palo Alto University in California, US, warned that doing this can have effects on both your physical health as well as your mental state and behaviour.

The experts conducted a systematic review examining how consuming alcohol mixed with energy drinks affects young adult drinkers aged 25 and below in terms of their physical and sexual aggression.

They examined 17 previous studies, which took place prior to March 2023, before raising the major red flags they found.

The American boffins explained that mixing energy drinks with booze can 'mask physiological cues', resulting in the person consuming this popular tipple feeling more stimulated as opposed to sedated the more they drink.

Be careful what you're ordering at the bar on St. Patricks Day.
Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

They noted: "This phenomenon, known as 'wide awake drunkenness' results in numerous problems, including impaired ability to judge one's intoxication level, desire to keep drinking, reduced risk assessment skills, and greater risk-taking."

The study - published in Science Direct - also revealed that mixing alcohol mixed with energy drinks is 'significantly associated with aggressive behaviours' in drinkers.

The results of the studies suggest that those who sup this concoction are more likely to be both the perpetrator and victim of physical fights or 'bullying' behaviour, compared to those who just drink alcohol.

Those who enjoy alcohol energy drink mixes were also found to be twice as likely to 'take advantage of another sexually'.

However, they concluded that 'more nuanced studies' are needed, as it is not specifically the drink combination which makes people more violent.

It claimed that the people who order alcohol energy drink mixes are just as aggressive on nights they drink alcohol alone.

So, ultimately, it might not be the alcohol and energy drink mix which causes aggression, but typically, the person who orders it could exhibit more violent tendencies than someone who sticks to alcohol and another mixer.

But what's the solution?

Experts warned of the dangers the mixture of energy drinks and alcohol pose.
Getty stock photo

Professor Amie Haas, a co-author on the study, told Mail Online: "Imposing a ban after 11:00pm could help if it reduced the number of consumers getting intoxicated on alcohol energy drink beverages."

Although, the professor resolves: "Establishments who choose to serve these mixes should be aware that violence may be more likely to happen. But it is not solely attributable to drinking alcohol-energy drink mixes.

"Banning the mixes at establishments may reduce violence, but it may be because it is deterring alcohol energy drink consumers from drinking at public establishments not due to the kind of beverages they serve."

Chief executive of the Institute of Alcohol Studies, Dr Katherine Severi, notes a 'particular concern' over the marketing of alcohol energy drink mixtures.

Dr Severi adds young people are the ones 'predominantly targeted' to buy the drinks, despite already being 'more likely to be victims of violence in the night-time economy,' resolving the government and authorities should be concerned.

Chair of Alcohol Health Alliance Professor Sir Ian Gilmore stated: "We welcome policies that aim to reduce alcohol-related violence."

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images

Topics: Alcohol, Food And Drink, Health, Mental Health, Science