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Nature versus intensity of intoxication: Co-ingestion of alcohol and energy drinks and the effect on objective and subjective intoxication

Forward, J, Akhurst, J, Bruno, R ORCID: 0000-0001-6673-833X, Leong, X, VanderNiet, A, Bromfield, H, Erny, J, Bellamy, H and Peacock, A ORCID: 0000-0002-5705-2026 2017 , 'Nature versus intensity of intoxication: Co-ingestion of alcohol and energy drinks and the effect on objective and subjective intoxication' , Drug and Alcohol Dependence, vol. 180 , pp. 292-303 , doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.08.013.

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Abstract

Background: We report a series of studies examining the effect of alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AmEDs)versus alcohol on objective intoxication (breath alcohol concentration; BrAC), intensity, and nature of intoxication.We also aimed to disentangle the role of energy drink (ED) ingredients in any effects.Method: Three within-subject double-blind placebo-controlled studies measured BrAC, subjective intoxicationand impairment (‘intensity of intoxication’), stimulation and sedation (‘nature of intoxication’) following administrationof ED, Cola, Caffeine + Sugar, and Placebo with alcohol (Study 1, n = 18); ED, Caffeine-only,Sugar-only and Placebo with alcohol (Study 2, n = 20); and ED and Placebo with alcohol (Study 3, n = 27).Results: Significant moderate-to-large magnitude BrAC decrements and delayed time to peak BrAC were observedafter ED administration versus Placebo. However, no meaningful BrAC differences between ED and otheractive conditions were observed in Study 1 and 2. After BrAC adjustment, moderate-to-large magnitude reductionsin intoxication and impairment ratings were observed after ED versus Placebo on the ascending limb inall studies and at peak in Study 2 and 3. No meaningful differences were observed in intoxication and impairmentratings between ED and Caffeine + Sugar and Cola conditions (Study 1); ratings were lower after EDversus Sugar-only (Study 2). Stimulation and sedation ratings did not differ between ED and Placebo.Conclusion: Reductions in objective intoxication and perceived intensity of intoxication, but not nature of intoxication,were observed after AmED consumption. However, effects may be common to alcohol mixers containingsugars (objective intoxication) and caffeine (intensity of intoxication) and specific to a laboratory setting.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Forward, J and Akhurst, J and Bruno, R and Leong, X and VanderNiet, A and Bromfield, H and Erny, J and Bellamy, H and Peacock, A
Keywords: alcohol, energy drinks, subjective intoxication, objective intoxication
Journal or Publication Title: Drug and Alcohol Dependence
Publisher: Elsevier Sci Ireland Ltd
ISSN: 0376-8716
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.08.013
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

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