Effects of alcohol and energy drink on mood and subjective intoxication: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study
There is concern that combining energy drinks with alcohol may ‘mask’ subjective intoxication leading to greater alcohol consumption. This study examines the effects of alcohol alone and combined with energy drink on objective and subjective intoxication and mood over the course of 3 h.
Using a double-blind, placebo-controlled, balanced, crossover design, 24 participants (mean age 22.23 years) were administered with double placebo, 0.6 g/kg alcohol (mean peak blood alcohol content of 0.051%), 250 ml energy drink and alcohol/energy drink, according to a Latin square design, with a washout of >48 h. On each visit, they were breathalysed and rated themselves on a comprehensive battery of mood items at baseline and then at 45, 90 and 180 min post-drink.
Blood alcohol and subjective intoxication were significantly increased following both alcohol alone and alcohol/energy drink. Both measures were statistically indistinguishable between alcohol conditions. In keeping with its (80 mg) caffeine content, the energy drink alone significantly increased self-rated ‘alertness’ and reduced ‘depression–dejection’ scores compared with the combined alcohol/energy drink. The alcohol/energy drink increased ‘vigor’ and ‘contentment’ at 45 min and decreased ‘contentment’ at 180 min.
The co-ingestion of an energy drink with alcohol does not differently influence blood alcohol content recordings or subjective intoxication compared with alcohol alone, although some mood items are differentially affected. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.