By Staff Writer
Individuals who regularly use energy drinks may be putting themselves at a greater risk for alcohol addiction, according to a new study from University of Maryland researchers.
The findings may be particularly important for college students, who frequently use energy drinks to stay up late studying for tests and engage in binge drinking. Additionally, many young people now mix energy drinks with alcohol, which may have a range of damaging effects.
For the study, investigators analyzed survey responses from more than 1,000 college students. The questionnaire asked about their consumption of alcoholic beverages and energy drinks.
The researchers found that individuals who reported the highest consumption of energy drinks (52 or more per year) were more likely to have started drinking alcohol at an early age, consumed more alcohol per drinking session and had an increased risk of alcoholism.
Researchers said that mixing energy drinks with alcohol can be particularly dangerous because caffeine can counteract some of the more obvious signs of intoxication. This often leads people to consume more alcohol than they normally would, as they feel that they are not that drunk.