Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 40, Issue 3, March 2011

Combining energy drinks and alcohol A recipe for trouble?

Peter Miller Amy Pennay Dan I Lubman
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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 of drinking.
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.

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