Combining energy drinks (such as ‘Red Bull®’) with alcohol
is becoming increasingly popular, particularly among
young people. However, as yet, limited research has been
conducted examining the harms associated with this form
To review current evidence associated with combining
energy drinks with alcohol and provide recommendations
for addressing this issue within primary care.
Combining alcohol with energy drinks can mask the signs
of alcohol intoxication, resulting in greater levels of alcohol
intake, dehydration, more severe and prolonged hangovers,
and alcohol poisoning. It may also increase engagement in
risky behaviours (such as drink driving) as well as alcohol
related violence. General practitioners should be aware of
the harms associated with this pattern of drinking, and
provide screening and relevant harm reduction advice.
Energy drinks, such as ‘Red Bull®’ and ‘V’, are beverages that are designed to provide a boost of energy or enhance alertness.1,2 Red Bull® was the first energy drink to be released and was introduced into Europe in 1987. Since then, the number of available energy drinks has increased to over 500 brands worldwide,3–5 with sales exceeding $500 million per annum in the United States of America.6
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