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Alcohol in Energy Drinks?
Alcohol in energy drinks? Alcohol sales and stats show teens are consuming a lot of alcoholic energy drinks. This article discusses the dangers of mixing alcohol and energy drinks and offers tips on warning teens about the consumption of energy drinks with alcohol.
According to the Marin Institute, energy drink sales top $3.2 billion each year. The biggest demographic for energy drinks is the age group of 12 to 17 year olds, with 31% of them consuming energy drinks regularly. This is in contrast to the next largest group, 25 to 34 year olds, 22% of which consume energy drinks regularly. The fact that so many teenagers consumer energy drinks is one of the reasons that there are increasing concerns about alcohol in energy drinks.
This concern revolves around two main points. The first is that many students choose to create cocktails using energy drinks and alcohol. These are homemade cocktails that are often created by friends. The other issue is that some companies have begun adding alcohol to already-made energy drinks. There was a controversy surrounding a drink called Spykes, which was an energy drink containing alcohol. Additional, Rock Star 21 represents a foray into professionally produced energy drinks with alcohol, revolving around the popular Rock Star energy drink.
The rise of alcohol in energy drinks
Many students were already mixing alcohol into energy drinks. It soon became obvious that beverage makers could cash in on this trend by adding alcohol to their popular energy drinks. They even package them similarly to non-alcoholic versions so that it can be difficult to distinguish between the two. Even in some stores, checkers and others do not recognize that they are scanning a drink with alcohol and fail to ask for identification. It is fairly easy for underage students to acquire energy drinks with alcohol in them, especially since there are few parents and store workers that even recognize what is going on.
Dangers of alcohol in energy drinks
It is worth noting that it is not exactly a good idea to mix alcohol with the stimulants used in many energy drinks. First of all, there is the psychological implication that you can drink more alcohol when you combine it with an energy drink. This happens most often when students mix it themselves. There is an idea that you can drink more with fewer ill effects because of the stimulants. However, this isn’t true. Students drink more, but the effects of drunkenness are not actually reduced. In fact, since more alcohol is consumed, the effects are actually worse. This because, contrary to popular belief, stimulants don’t actually “cure” the effects of alcohol. Energy drinks can reduce the symptoms of drunkenness a bit, but the alcohol is still there, affecting the system.
One of the dangers associated with alcohol in energy drinks is the fact that some students don’t realize that they are drinking alcohol. The drinks are not always clearly marked, and many don’t even realize they are imbibing. This can lead to unintended consequences, such as unsafe sex and reduced motor control. This is especially true if teenagers drink more than one energy drink at a time.
Warning teens against the dangers of alcohol in energy drinks
Studies show that whether or not a teen drinks can be heavily influenced by parental disapproval. It is a good idea to talk to your teenagers about the dangers associated with mixing alcohol in energy drinks. It is also a good idea to warn your teenager that some energy drinks contain alcohol, and that they need to be careful, since checkers may not always catch the mistake. It is also worth noting that energy drinks themselves - even without the alcohol - come with their own set of problems. The stimulants and other ingredients (which far exceed those found in a cup of coffee or even an espresso), when consumed regularly can lead to a number of health concerns. Combine the issues attached to alcohol in energy drinks, and things could become seriously problematic.
As a parent, you should try to be aware of what your teens are doing. Check the cans of energy drinks yourself when you see them, looking for alcoholic contents. It has to be marked on the can, so look for it. You may have to look hard, since energy drinks with alcohol are designed to be difficult to truly distinguish from their original, non-alcoholic counterparts.
In the end, this is a very real concern. Some energy drinks contain alcohol, and these drinks are specifically marketed at the youth, no matter what companies and ad agencies say. It’s their biggest market, and they will try to capitalize on it. It is up to you to be vigilant, talk to your kids about the dangers, and voice your concerns to regulators and the companies themselves.
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